Posted tagged ‘NBC’

Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin as GOP Moderators? If Only RNC, Candidates Had the Guts

August 17, 2013

With CNN and NBC out of the running for hosting 2016 GOP presidential primary debates, three of America’s biggest talkers could step forward, the Washington Examiner first reported this week. It would be a ratings bonanza if the candidates and the RNC have the guts to do it.

“Miffed that their candidates were singled out for personal questions or CNN John King’s ‘This or That,’ when he asked candidates quirky questions like ‘Elvis or Johnny Cash,’ GOP insiders tell Secrets that they are considering other choices, even a heavyweight panel of radio bigs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

“They told Secrets that they are eager to bring in questioners who understand Republican policies and beliefs and who have the ability to get candidates to differentiate their positions on core conservative values.

“The move comes as several conservatives are pressuring the party to have Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin ask the debate questions. “It makes a lot of sense. We’d get a huge viewership, they’d make a lot of news and maybe have some fun too,” said one of the advocates of the radio trio hosting debates.”

Talk radio has helped shape the outcomes of Republican presidential primaries in the past. Below is an excerpt from The Right Frequency about the role of talk radio in the 2000 Republican presidential primary.

Bill Clinton was getting little attention in his final year in office, 2000, as most of the attention was focused on the presidential race.
Hosts weighed in heavily to the Republican primary, which had become a two man race between Texas Governor George W. Bush
and Arizona Senator John McCain by the end of 1999.
Rush Limbaugh threw all his support in the 2000 primary to
It is always impossible to know how much impact talk radio had
on primary voters, but it is certainly reasonable to view talk radio
having greater influence on a primary, when the choir seeks guidance
in making a choice, than in a general election when the choir
already knows what notes to sing and listens to the preacher for reaffirmation.
So it would be with Limbaugh’s near daily lambasting of
McCain, even more than he built up Bush.
“The way the primary system is set up today, talk radio has more
of an influence in encouraging primary voters to vote than general
election voters because talk radio has a higher audience of people
who are more in the extremes of both the left and the right,” said
Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers Magazine. “And statistics do
indicate that the turnout for primaries are more o the zealots than
the average person in the middle. Any radio show that specifically
targets the extremes is likely to galvanize voters. I would think that
talk radio has a bigger influence in primaries today than it does in
the general election.”
McCain had a mostly conservative record, but his support of
campaign finance reform was untenable to many conservatives, as
was his eagerness to “reach across the aisle” and work with
Democrats. Most Republicans liked him in spite of, not because of,
the McCain-Feingold bill. Still, because of his biography as a war
hero, a significant numbers of voters were enamored by him. The
mainstream media especially loved him, because he kept things
interesting, but also for the campaign finance reform proposal.
When McCain trounced Bush in the New Hampshire primary
by a surprising margin, it posed the question whether the inevitability
of Bush’s nomination would happen.
Limbaugh warned that even though the media is “orgasmic”
over McCain now, they are “love ’em and leave ’em liberals” if he is
the Republican nominee (a prediction given credence by the 2008
One of Limbaugh’s parodies featured a McCain supporter
singing, “He’s the candidate I adore. He can keep my tax cut and I’ll
be poor. And I’ll send him more.”
The National Annenberg Election Study found that post New
Hampshire primary listening to Limbaugh negatively affected the
voters feelings about McCain. This is significant since Limbaugh’s
focus on McCain really began after the senator’s victory in New
Hampshire. The Annenberg study also found that the impression
Republican voters in Super Tuesday states had of McCain took a
negative turn after listening to Limbaugh. So there is evidence to
show that talk radio can impact the outcome of a primary election.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.


Rick Santorum Trumpets Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity as Presidential Debate Moderators

August 14, 2013

Rick Santorum, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, voiced support for the Republican Party’s threat to yank GOP presidential primary debates from CNN and NBC.

Last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus protested the two networks’ plan for feature films on likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. As a consequence, Priebus said he would as the full committee to approve a measure to prevent primary debates from airing on the networks.

“Look, we already as Republicans allow the media to run over us,” said Santorum, who won 11 states during the 2012 primaries, coming in second place to eventual nominee Mitt Romney. “Republicans allow moderators who will never vote for any of them to frame the debate, he said, adding, “Can you imagine a Democratic debate where Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were the moderators?”

The Right Frequency tells about how most conservative talk radio hosts favored Santorum over Romney. The book further goes into detail about the role talkers have played in Republican presidential primaries — helping Bob Dole and George W. Bush win the nomination in 1996 and 2000. However, talk radio doesn’t hold unlimited sway over the nomination process, as was evident in 2008 and 2012.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

James Dobson Tangles with Ted Bundy, Katie Couric and Republicans

June 8, 2013

(This week, Ryan Dobson a national radio host and son of the legendary Dr. James Dobson —  talked about how his famous father could be targeted by the IRS through the health care law, tying the IRS scandal together with the Obamacare law.  Below is an excerpt from The Right Frequency, an Amazon Best Seller, about Dr. Dobson’s career in talk radio and beyond.)

In 2008, the Focus on the Family program was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, which said, “The show’s host, Dr. James Dobson, is perhaps the most influential conservative Christian leader in the country.”

Dobson has been so much more than a broadcaster and his broadcasts have been more than an essential aspect of the conservative movement. Some evangelical leaders such as the Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have—fairly or not— been accused of pushing the Republican Party line. It is tougher to make that charge against Dobson, who had the ear of the GOP but could be annoyingly independent to those in power. A radio show that began in 1978 went on to gain 200 million listeners worldwide in 27 languages in 160 countries.

In 1988 —in the midst of a presidential campaign, the one-to-five-minute “Family News in Focus” began airing on commercial radio stations. This was the first attempt to reach a secular audience, as the regular “Focus on the Family” show aired only on Christian stations.

In one of Dobson’s more famous moments, he interviewed serial killer Ted Bundy on death row. Bundy had claimed to have had a religious conversion before his execution. He told Dobson that pornography influenced his murderous life. Focus marketed a videotape of the interview, with the proceeds going to anti-porn groups.

As the organization and Dobson gained even more influence, several Republican presidential candidates visited the Colorado headquarters in 1996, such as Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, Alan Keyes and Phil Gramm.

In October 1998, Focus sounded the alarm over comments made on Katie Couric on NBC’s Today show after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man and University of Wyoming student beaten to death outside a bar. Couric and NBC reporter Geoffrey Dickens linked several conservative Christian groups by name to the murder, even though there was no evidence Shepard’s murder was motivated by religion. “Some gay-rights activists have said that some conservative Christian political organizations, like the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family are contributing to this anti-homosexual atmosphere by having an ad campaign saying: If you’re a homosexual, you can change your orientation. That prompts people to say: If I meet someone who’s homosexual, I’m going to take action and try to convince them or try to harm them. Do you believe that such groups are contributing to this climate?”

During his broadcast, Dobson demanded an apology. “That Couric would repeat such a ridiculous accusation on a national TV show only serves to perpetuate twisted stereotypes of Christian people. Ms. Couric was highly irresponsible and potentially libelous.” NBC got so many calls, letters and e-mails demanding an apology, that they
contacted Focus and asked them to desist talking about the matter. Neither side backed down and the matter eventually faded.

During the chorus of conservative radio hosts opposed to the President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Dobson supported her. He came under fire, as did the Bush White House, after he announced on the October 5, 2005 Focus radio program that he spoke to Bush political advisor Karl Rove about the nomination. Democratic senators such as Pat Leahy of Vermont and Ken Salazar of Colorado as well as a few liberal interest groups such as American United for the Separation of Church and State demanded records of the communications.
“The issue is whether the White House is giving information to Dr. Dobson that it’s not giving to senators and the American public,” said Salazar spokesman Cody Wertz said at the time.

Recalling the Rove conversation to his listeners, Dobson said that “Harriet Miers was at the top of the short list,” and that “What Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list. They would not allow their names to be considered because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter that they didn’t want to subject themselves or the members of their families
to it.”

Click here to order The Right Frequency.