To the Editor:
David Brooks’s column about dignity and its absence in American political life was both informative and graceful. But any analysis of the vulgar and meandering press conferences held by Govs. Mark Sanford and Sarah Palin has to be seen in the light of talk radio and its impact on the substance and even the style of the conservative conversation.
Anyone who wonders why they spoke so badly for so long has never listened to Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck/O’Reilly drone on for hours at a clip.
Anyone who found Mr. Sanford’s confessions to be cringe-worthy beyond endurance has never listened to Rush Limbaugh reminisce about his dating life — something he does with painful frequency.
While it’s safe to assume that Mr. Sanford’s muddled mea culpa may be a career-ender, the Alaska governor’s peroration had all the hallmarks of an audition.
Kevin McDonoughNarrowsburg, N.Y., July 7, 2009
The writer is a television critic for United Features Syndicate.