In Kurt Anderson’s Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire - A 500-Year History (2017), he has an interesting take on the impact of Art Bell and Coast to Coast AM, and its contribution towards America’s continual slide into fantastical thinking.
A national news-talk radio program called Coast to Coast AM became a huge hit in the 1990s, syndicated on hundreds of stations. The creator and host was Art Bell, who talked for four or five hours every night from a studio near his home in the desert between Las Vegas and Death Valley. His guests were conspiracy theorists and promoters of the implausible and impossible of every sort, political and paranormal and pseudoscientific and apocalyptic. Compared to the strictly political new stars of talk radio, Bell sounded friendly and low-key, almost reasonable, not pushing one clear agenda but open to practically any claim or allegation or belief. Coast to Coast AM became the go-to broadcast venue for the excitingly untrue, and when celebrities appeared, the whole demented buffet seemed all the more legitimate. Of Americans awake each night between midnight and dawn, by my rough reckoning, during the 1990s as many as a fifth were listening to Coast to Coast AM.
If you want to read more, you can read this excerpt on Google Books.