Posted tagged ‘New York Times’

NYT Correlates Rise of Talk Radio with Decline of GOP Presidential Success

July 20, 2013

New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall asserts that talk radio is decreasing the Republican Party’s chances of winning a presidential race — even though in the last two election cycles the candidates least favored by talk radio won the GOP nomination.

This advances an argument contrary to that in The Right Frequency.

In a column this week, Edsall cites a Mark Rozell and Paul Goldman essay  contending Republicans were more successful when the mainstream media dominated. The NYT column says:

There is a striking correlation between the rise of conservative talk radio and the difficulties of the Republican Party in presidential elections. In an April Reuters essay, “Right Wing Talk Shows Turned White House Blue,” Mark Rozell, the acting dean of the George Mason University School of Public Policy, and Paul Goldman, a former chairman of Virginia’s Democratic Party, wrote:

Since Rush Limbaugh’s 1992 bestseller “The Way Things Ought to Be,” his conservative talk show politics have dominated G.O.P. presidential discourse — and the Republicans’ White House fortunes have plummeted. But when the mainstream media reigned supreme, between 1952 and 1988, Republicans won seven out of the 10 presidential elections.

The authors continue: “The rise of the conservative-dominated media defines the era when the fortunes of G.O.P. presidential hopefuls dropped to the worst levels since the party’s founding in 1856.”

The Right Frequency makes the opposite argument. While talk radio has been a powerful force in American conservative movement, it is not all powerful. It has influenced GOP primaries in the past but cannot pick the nominee.

Below is a passage from Chapter 1 of The Right Frequency.

In 2008 Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” very likely helped prolong the Democratic presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. With John McCain having wrapped up the GOP nomination early, and an apparent  Obama nomination, Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to vote in Democratic primaries, changing their party registration if necessary, to cast a vote for Hillary just to keep the contest rolling along, knowing Hillary would cling to any chance of victory. The idea was to create as much division in the Democratic Party a possible and give Republicans a better chance of winning in November 2008. But in the end, Obama won both the nomination and the election.

The view that conservative talk radio is an all powerful, or as former Republican Senator Trent Lott said, “talk radio is running America,” is ridiculously overstated. If that was the case, Obama would have never been elected president. For that matter, John McCain would not have been the GOP nominee in 2008, and the runner up would not have been Mike Huckabee, the two candidates least liked by talk radio hosts.

It is difficult however to deny the influence of talk radio on the political system. Of listeners to the news talk format of radio, 77 percent voted in the 2008 presidential election, according to the 2010 Talk Radio Research Project conducted by Talkers Magazine, which covers the talk radio industry.17 Compare that to 56.8 percent for
the general public. That does not mean Limbaugh, or for that matter Ed Schultz, is the reason certain people vote. It’s probably a nobrainer to say a frequent voter is likely more inclined than a nonvoter to listen to political radio. Still, it is quite likely that the entertainment value of talk radio—a mixture of satire and commentary—
has made ordinary Americans more engaged in politics than they would be if talk radio did not have such a large reach, even if some of those listeners are just tuning in to argue with the host.

Of Limbaugh, the book later says, “Nor has he controlled the Republican nomination process—obvious in the 2008 choice of McCain as the GOP standard bearer. He was no cheerleader for Mitt Romney during the 2012 primary either.”

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.


Soviet Union Clash with Talk Radio Legend

May 12, 2013

(The following is an excerpt from The Right Frequency.)

A significant enough a voice on the right, Barry Farber penned an op-ed in The New York Times rallying to the defense of President Reagan by
1987, then embattled by the Iran Contra scandal.
“Harry S. Truman probably could not have identified the six republics that make up Yugoslavia, but his decision to jump to the aid of Marshal Tito accelerated the fragmentation of the Soviet bloc,” Farber wrote in the Times. “The notion of a President helping a Communist in 1948 makes the sale of arms to Iran today seem like an embassy party cookie push.”

“I happen to value Ronald Regan’s Kennedy-like ability to inspire, his Ike-like ability to be the genial daddy of the mall, his Trumanesque toughness to tyrants in all words and some deeds, his Nixon-like willingness to try bold foreign policy initiatives and his Rooseveltian knack of remaining popular through it all,” Farber wrote. “Call me wrong, even doltish, but I feel a new pride in this country, a new respect for this country, a new hesitancy in Moscow to commit aggression, a welcome paralysis among Moscow’s client states to pursue subversion, and economic optimism to match a rising Dow.”

Later that same year, the prestigious weekly Soviet newspaper Literaturnaya Gazeta published Farber’s denunciation of Soviet communism,
and Soviet crimes unedited, but with a response from the newspaper’s political editor Alexander Sabov.

The Soviet paper put a preface on the Farber op-ed, warning readers:

“Our correspondent in the USA has dictated to our editorial office alongside the article of Barry Farber the following note: ‘On your request, I am sending to you the article of the zealous advocate of the Truman Doctrine.

The author is a well-known publicist of ultraconservative outlooks. On New York radio an announcement on the unprecedented proposal for an adversary of the Soviet Union to write in Literaturnaya Gazetta was transmitted. If now the publication does not take place or is printed abridged a scandal would be fanned in the local press (in New York).’ We print a word-for-word translation of B. Farber’s article not because we fear
scandal, of course. It was in the essence of our editorial intention to give our readers a chance to get acquainted in the original with the stereotypes of anti-Sovietism and a concrete proof of the old way of thinking, which is clearly outdated in our time.”
Farber wrote that despite U.S. efforts to contain the spread of communism “it is less safe there (in Western Europe) than in 1947 because of the all-powerful Soviet military.” He wrote that Soviet control of Eastern Europe and installing Communist dictators in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cuba and Nicaragua ended the goodwill the two nations had during World War II. “We loved the Soviet Union when it was our partner in the fight against Hitler. It would be good to love you again,” Farber wrote. He added that reforms proposed by Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s reform efforts, “gave us, too, a ray of hope and a little warmth in our hearts.”

Farber admitted to being impressed the Soviet paper did not censor him. “I listed every Soviet crime I could fit in. The Berlin blockade,
the repression of the Hungarian revolt, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the downing of KAL flight 007, the refusal to let Jews and
others leave the Soviet Union, the invasion of Afghanistan, the takeover of the Baltic states. I called the role of all the Soviet
crimes,” he said. “I didn’t think they would actually print it. Actually, their preface to my article was rather mild. … I am flattered, encouraged
and impressed. But I will be more impressed when a Soviet writer can write the Literary Gazette and get it printed then get a
call from a Politburo member saying ‘Your politics are all wet but let me buy you a beer.’”

Farber was on the forefront of ABC Radio’s effort in the early 1990s to create a national stable of talkers called Talknet. After that fell apart, Farber joined Michael Castello and Alan Colmes to help form a new network called Daynet. For a while, he co-hosted a debate show with Colmes, pre-Hannity, called “Left to Right.”

Talkers Magazine called Daynet “one of the forerunners of today’s independent talk syndication scene.” He continues to do a weekend program on Talk Radio Network.

Farber, a household name to New York radio listeners for decades, didn’t actually reach a national audience until 1990. But then he was initially heard outside of New York on his one-hour weekend show carried by the Talk Radio Network, and he filled in for other weekday hosts.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

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Dean Manion, Consistent Conservative, Couldn’t Endorse Nixon

May 14, 2012

Dean Clarence Manion, host of the popular and influential “Manion Forum,” could not bring himself to endorse the moderate GOP presidential nominee Richard Nixon in 1960, a recent New York Times article reminds readers.

The Times article compares Nixon’s problems shoring up conservative support with that of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Manion, the former dean of the Notre Dame law school, briefly worked for the Eisenhower administration, but quit in protest when he felt Ike was not sufficiently conservative. He started “The Manion Forum” radio program, which became highly influential in the conservative movement and was the force behind Barry Goldwater’s eventual rise as the standard bearer of the GOP and conservatism.

After William F. Buckley withheld his endorsement of Nixon that year, “Clarence Manion, host of the ‘The Manion Forum’ radio program, agreed. ‘Like you,’ he wrote Buckley, ‘my first 1960 objective is to beat Nixon. He is an unpredictable, supremely self-interested trimmer and has never been anything else,'” the Times story says.

“So solid was the resistance to a Nixon candidacy that in 1960, no conservative media outlet endorsed the vice-president either in the primaries or in the general election. Instead, they threw their energies into last-minute long-shot candidates and third-party alternatives,” the article continues. “Manion began organizing a Draft Goldwater movement on behalf of ‘the courageous leader of conscientious American conservatism.'”

You can learn more about Manion in Chapter 3 of The Right Frequency, to be released in August. You can pre-order a copy signed by the author at a 30% discount now.