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“We Didn’t Really Punch Them”

Why did conservatives lose their audience?

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Illustration by Tony Millionaire  

Excerpted From "The Mark Levin Show," Aug. 31, 6 p.m.

Mark Levin: Do you know the convention viewership is in the tank? Fox News was just about flat compared to 2008, losing around 2 percent of its viewership. Keep in mind we have more people today than we had four years ago. NBC lost 56 percent. ABC lost 26 percent. CBS lost 30 percent. CNN lost 52 percent. MSNBC lost 25 percent. Whatever you think of these various networks, who the hell is watching this? So where’d they go? Why aren’t they watching? Now, I’m not predicting anything here. I’m not saying this means we’re going to lose or win, win in a close one, win in a landslide, lose in a close one, lose in a—I’m not getting into that. That’s not my point. My point is, we have to slap our faces in reality and stop this Mickey Mouse analysis: “Well, you know, that one looked good, and that one said good stuff, and blah, blah, blah.” Fine! But I don’t think we made the case we could have made. You know, when you have a republic teetering, are we going to save it or not? I thought Romney gave a very good speech. Mr. Producer, will you open your microphone for a second? Can you tell me three great things that Romney said in his speech?

Producer: No, not off the top of my head.

Levin: Now be honest with me. Can you or not?

Producer: I can’t.

Levin: Mr. Call-Screener. I want you to be honest with me. Open your mike. Can you think of three great things that Romney said in his speech?

Call-screener: I honestly—no, I cannot. Nope.

Levin: I’m not talking about a clever one-liner or a joke. Three great things. Can you think of them? No. And we want him to win! So it was a workmanlike speech. I thought Rubio gave a great speech. I know more about his background now than I did before. But so what? We’re a nation of immigrants; that came across. Great! We already know that! What does that mean? Now, we do have something positive going on, and that’s next week. That’s a freak show. And it’s gonna be class warfare; it’s gonna be sex warfare; it’s gonna be elderly and youth warfare. They’re gonna divide us. They’re gonna Balkanize us. And what frustrates me, quite frankly, is anticipating them doing that. We didn’t really punch them enough. You know, and then I hear commentators, including on my favorite cable network, talking about, “Oh, they want red meat! They want red meat!” No, we’re not talking about red meat. We’re talking about substantively taking on our enemies. I don’t even call them opponents anymore. I don’t even call them adversaries anymore. They’re our enemies. They act like it; they talk like it; that’s what they are. So the question I’m posing to you: Why are these viewership numbers so low? Why did they tank? All right, let’s get some of your input. Doug, Falls Church, Virginia, the great WMAL. Go.

Caller: Hey, Mark, great show. Great question. I’ve just got one statement. I’m a conservative. I’ve been torqued off since the first night. And it’s simple: Words are meaningless absent action. What actions occurred at the convention, Mark? What’d they actually do?

Levin: Well you can’t really—hold on now, you can’t really do anything at a convention.

Caller: Well, didn’t they change the rules?

Levin: Well, you’re right. That was the first action they took.

Caller: And what was their priority?

Levin: Frankly—and a lot of the people listening today don’t want to hear this—they took that action to try and stop the tea party.

Caller: Mark, I resigned as a precinct captain—I’m working as an election officer—but I’m not going door-to-door for Romney. I’m sorry.

Levin: All right, listen to me. Listen to me! I don’t mind you being upset with the party and so forth, but now is not the time to have a fit.

Caller: So I should lie to my neighbors? I should go my neighbors and lie to ’em and say, “Yes”—

Levin: No, you don’t have to lie to your neighbors. Let me ask it this way. Answer in short answers. Do we need to defeat Obama?

Caller: Absolutely.

Levin: Well, that’s what you tell your neighbors. Case closed.

Caller: You ever read The Lord of the Rings?

Levin: What do you mean, have I read it? I’ve seen it; I’ve read it. Yes, I’ve read it.

Caller: Okay, quick. I feel like the Hobbits. The Republican Establishment is Saruman. And the Democrats is Sauron. We’re in a three-way tie.


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