My Paul Harvey obit
One of the great commentators was Donald Kaul, who wrote for the Des Moines Register for years. And when Richard Nixon died, he did not mince words, pointing out in no uncertain terms that Nixon represented the worst tendencies in American life. In that vein, let me reminisce on radio personality Paul Harvey, who just died at age 90.
Paul Harvey had the most formulaic radio program imaginable. He perfectly represented the smug, narrow, judgmental, jingoistic attitude of conservative-leaning postwar America. He regularly ridiculed liberals, foreigners, and racial minorities. He even manipulated religious notions like God, salvation, and miracles for his own benefit.
He hawked crappy products as if they were part of his regular report -- like Citrical -- and made millions of dollars every year off such snake oil. His delivery was equal parts self-congratulation and self-righteousness, with false folksiness and dramatic pauses only an idiot could love. He regularly manipulated stories to fit his "Rest of the Story" surprise-ending BS lies. He set up his no-talent son to be his replacement. In all, Paul Harvey was a self-promoting hack who capitalized on the cheap, sentimental, fearful notions of ignorant Americans. With his death, we have lost a me-first purveyor of lies.