Friday, May 31, 2013

Clue to Hannity's Popularity

One of the irritants in the life of one who seeks to keep abreast of current events, I think I have on occasion admitted, is Sean Hannity. I think he's right about much of what he says, but how he says it is very hard for me to take for more than about five minutes before I have to turn him off.

When, after a few minutes of his talking over and interrupting callers, his incessant prattling about himself (why does he insert himself into virtually every discussion topic?), or his endless recitations of the entire corpus of his opinions when he's interviewing guests who would be much more interesting to listen to than he is, I find myself yelling at the radio, I know it's time to switch the station to some easy-listening music.

Mr. Hannity is, I regret to say, vain, pompous, egotistical, rude, and talks like a fifteen year-old girl (Really?? Seriously??? I'm like ...) so why is he so popular, even with some liberals? Perhaps a study discussed here affords us a clue:
Being confident and loud is the best way to win an argument - even if you are wrong, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Washington State University drew this conclusion after studying the activity of Twitter users. The more opinionated they were, the more influential and trustworthy they were perceived to be.
Mr. Hannity is certainly confident and, if not loud, at least strident in expressing his opinions. The possibility that he might be mistaken is never allowed to perch upon his lips. Nor are his listeners permitted to hear any cogent counterpoints offered by his masochistic callers without him drowning them out. Sadly, maybe that's why he's so successful.

It really is a shame that someone with such a prominent platform from which to articulate ideas and who holds political views so worthy of being articulated, is such an insufferable, boorish spokesperson for those ideas.

Of course, this applies a forteriori to people like Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews on the other side of the ideological spectrum. In fact, if rude, loud, opinionated commentary expressed with no hint of intellectual humility is the key to popularity, Olberman and Matthews should be the two highest rated commentators in the business.