Bob Grant, Radio Host, Is Dead

Bob Grant, Father of Conservative Talk Radio, Dead at 84

He railed against gays, against blacks, against Hispanics, against Democrats — against virtually anyone and everyone who did not agree with or share his mythical vision of an America that never really existed except as an all-White all-1950s pre-Civil Rights mirage.

I wasted many, many hours listening to him in the 1970s.

I missed out on him for years because I got a job and Did Things. Unlike, I think, many of his diehard listeners.

When I happened to tune into him again in the mid or late 1980s. I was shocked at just how vile and actually mean he was. Could he have really been like that all the time I had listened earlier?

Yes. I think so.

He had a huge influence in New York City due to his audience. But despite that audience, elections usually went against his candidates, which I think further frustrated him. He was just a big fish in a very small pond and he wanted more.

Who got that more? Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh wove a fantasy America with trees made of treacle and children built by robots. An America that actually never existed, not even as a nostalgic mirage. And because he did it in very soothing tones, he got the national exposure that Grant always craved. And it forever stuck in Grant’s craw.

Like Limbaugh, Grant began to lose his hearing too. A physical manifestation of their philosophical and political deafness. Yet neither of them were ever self-aware enough to see that. Karma, bitches.

Grant was compelling radio. He was a dynamic personality. As such, he could have done some real good. But I don’t think he ever did. All he did was coalesce around him a group of people who had a narrow view of how they thought life worked and so were forever in a frenzy of frustration and despair. What a waste.

2 Comments

Filed under R.I.P.

2 responses to “Bob Grant, Radio Host, Is Dead

  1. Ed Tracey

    During the 70’s (when I, too, listened to him) he was much more restrained. He interviewed several Democrats on-air, turned on Nixon early during Watergate, had other subjects to speak of and he was less of a race-baiter.

    But in the 80’s, several things happened: (a) Rush and other competitors raised-the-ante on xenophobia, and (b) the NY Times obit noted that the end of the Fairness Doctrine opened-the-gates to more rancid thoughts (and Grant became much more GOP-oriented, only featuring Republicans).

    • mikecane

      I’m not sure if he was any better in the 1970s. He used to tell people to come down to the stupid so he could “punch your nose right down your throat.” He also endlessly talked about how politicians were “catering” to blacks and how Hispanics were invaders. I think the only real difference is that in the 1970s, he still knew how to laugh. Something he hardly ever did later on.

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