Shawn, I have to ring in on Hunter’s side here. In the first Internet column I ever published, I wrote:
Most commentators who attack Dr. Dobson don’t have any idea who he is, and mostly they don’t bother to find out.
Dobson, according to the pundits, is a fire-breathing ideologue kind of like Jimmy Swaggert. Dobson, to his listeners, is the genial, kindly, soft-spoken host (“psychologist and author,” as he’s always introduced) of a highly professional radio variety program, by turns funny, touching, sentimental, and inspiring. Dobson has achieved a rapport with his huge audience best compared to the status of such radio icons as Arthur Godfrey, Art Linkletter, and Garrison Keillor.
Focus on the Family’s radio show airs in every radio market every day, most often two or three times a day. Note that the mainstream media does not know this, and obviously has not listened. It’s like overlooking the Goodyear blimp.
As Hunter correctly pointed out, Dobson has gotten more involved with politics since 1997 or so, simply because he feels like he has to. He feels like the Republican party is too eager to take Christian voters for granted and not to do enough for them in exchange for their invaluable votes. Abortion, in his view, plainly seen, is murder. You can no more stay silent about it than conscience-stricken clerics in New England could keep quiet about slavery before the Civil War.
But Hunter, I must point out that Dobson’s show was not untouched by scandal. Former co-host Mike Trout had to resign when it turned out he was getting too touchy-feely with the help.