Jim Villanucci, KKOB-AM’s afternoon talk show host, outdid himself yesterday. His topic for the show was the recent Harris Poll that says 24% of Republicans believe that President Obama may be the Antichrist.
The fact that throughout the show Villanucci kept stating incorrectly that 24% of “Americans” believe the Antichrist thing is not of concern here. (Although, come to think of it, perhaps his understanding is that only Republicans are Americans? Whatever.)
No, what was interesting was the listener reaction Villanucci unleashed. It was truly amazing – in the way that disconcerting and deeply disturbing can be amazing. It was so over the top, even by KKOB standards, that the jaded talk jock himself seemed a bit shocked.
Based on the crush of callers who declared they would have answered the Obama=Antichrist question in the affirmative, it does seem that a good 85% of KKOB’s listener demographic would qualify as sufferers of ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome).
One of the few callers to dissent from the overwhelming Obama-is-Antichrist consensus took great pains to demonstrate serious expertise on the subject. “No, Obama simply could not be the Antichrist.” According to the relevant texts, he explained, the evil one will be a European male with a mark on his head and have only one eye. Plus Obama isn’t popular enough. (Apparently a 51% job approval is a disqualifier for the Antichrist sweepstakes.)
So there! Slam dunk!
Any researcher hunting for a good focus group sample that is representative of wingnut nation should look no further.
Here in the Duke City, KKOB is their magnet. It’s home base for birthers and the whole healthcare-reform-is Armageddon demo.
Of course, that’s why KKOB devotes most of its schedule to filling New Mexico’s airwaves with political venom and incitement. After all, it’s the self-proclaimed “talk monster”, proudly featuring a lineup of the superstars of hate radio — Rush, Sean, Bill Cunningham and Michael Savage of “die you gay pig” infamy.
Egging on the crazies for a living
The funny thing is that from time to time Villanucci slips.
You can hear it occasionally in that sardonically bemused tone in his voice. The rolling of his eyes almost seems faintly audible.
Once in a while Villanucci even makes a half-assed attempt to distance himself from the target demo with his “shucks, I’m really just a laid back live and let live libertarian” routine. He’s really not one of “them”, you know — his insane listeners.
Is Jim Villanucci really a decent, sane individual – just a good guy at heart?
That aside, one thing is clear. Villanucci is the most breathtakingly cynical voice on the Albuquerque talk radio scene.
At times you can detect the outright contempt he feels for his audience.
Thus far, Villanucci has stifled the impulse to shout, “You’re all insane as hell and I’m not taking you people any more!”
But hey, someone has to get paid the big bucks to read the daily dose of Fox News Party talking points they set in front of you. You just rationalize it. The show must go on.
Yesterday Villanucci let slip one particularly startling disclosure. At the height of the Hour of Fear and Hate, he mentioned offhandedly that he’s been contacted by the Secret Service recently – twice to be precise — presumably with regard to statements made by some of the callers to his show. Stuff like this and this.
Now that kind of thing must make the job exciting for Jim. Breaks the routine. Beats stand up, right?
And who knows? The next Timothy McVeigh might be listening, seething with rage, drawing inspiration from New Mexico’s Talk Monster.
KKOB-AM is owned by Citadel Broadcasting Company.