Thought experiment of the day

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT OF THE DAY…. David Frum, a conservative pundit and former Bush speechwriter, isn’t especially popular on the right these days. His efforts to bring conservatives back from the brink — Frum recently suggested that Glenn Beck’s rhetoric may be, quite literally, dangerous — have left him with few allies.

Today, Frum noted that some of the high-profile right-wing voices are every bit as conservative in real life as they are during their on-air performances. But he takes the next step and ponders an interesting thought experiment. (via Chris Orr)

Suppose an agent arrived in the offices of Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity/O’Reilly etc. with an offer. “I can guarantee you a deal that will pay you twice as much — bring you twice as much fame — and extend your career twice as long — if you’d say the exact opposite of what you are saying now.” Which of them would sign?

My nominations: O’Reilly accepts for sure. Beck likewise almost certainly says yes. Limbaugh would want to think it over, but would ultimately say no. Mark Levin: certainly not. Sean Hannity would need the offer explained a few times. Ann Coulter — that one puzzles me — but probably no. Roger Ailes? Do you even need to ask?

I like this game — and I laughed out loud at the Hannity analysis — though I’m not sure about the conclusions. I agree that O’Reilly would gladly accept the offer. I’m less sure that Beck would take it; he seems more motivated by the voices in his head than financial rewards. I think Levin and Hannity would reject the offer, but I think the smart money is on Coulter accepting it. (Sometimes I think Coulter is actually a secret liberal doing some kind of performance art now, so the leap would be a short one.) Ailes, of course, wouldn’t hesitate.

What say you?

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