Posted tagged ‘Pat Buchanan’

Rush vs. Bush – Again

March 28, 2015

Politico recently ran a feature on Republican presidential frontrunner Jeb Bush’s problem with talk radio. The piece mentions Laura Ingraham, who said there would be no difference between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, and called for them to run on a ticket together, “Clush 2016.” But it goes deeper into the complicated relationship that talk radio king Rush Limbaugh has with Jeb.

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

The Right Frequency describes the complicated relationship between Limbaugh and the Bush family. The book describes how Limbaugh endorsed Pat Buchanan’s primary challenge to George H.W. Bush in 1992. Limbaugh actually tore into Buchanan in the 1996 Republican presidential primary. In 2000, Limbaugh wholeheartedly supported George. W. Bush in the Republican primary against John McCain.

From Politico:

Bush, who’s all but officially announced he’s running for president, has said he would want to run a “joyful” campaign. He’s said he would want to have “adult conversations.” It’s phrasing that hints at his general distaste for conservative talk radio. Some Bush allies privately refer to some of the medium’s leaders as “warlords”—a description meant to convey the unreasonable, unrealistic and pugilistic agenda of those who thrive off of conflict. Bush, on the other hand, believes a winning Republican campaign a decade and a half into the 21st century must promote inclusion and optimism, not discontent and fear. People think he’s too moderate in part because Limbaugh and the Limbaugh-like are saying he is. So here, almost a year before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, the primaries have started already—the fundraising and positioning of the so-called invisible primary, but a visible one, too, or at least an audible one. Call it the Rush primary.

Every Republican politician of a certain consequence over the last quarter-century has had to make a decision about how to engage with Limbaugh and the many others who populate America’s most redward airwaves. Bush right now isn’t talking about this because (1) it’s so early in the campaign the campaign can’t even technically be called a campaign and (2) that would be unwise. Limbaugh and his imitative competitors don’t need additional oxygen. But based on conversations with strategists and advisers connected to Bush, consultants, show hosts and industry watchers—and what he’s done over the past month—Bush won’t ignore talk radio.

If there is in fact a Rush primary, Bush, headstrong and self-assured, thinks he can win that one, too.

To learn more about Limbaugh’s complicated relationship with the Bush family, read The Right Frequency.


Chris Matthews Absurdly Compares Conservative Ted Cruz with Leftwing Father Coughlin

June 13, 2013

MSNBC bomb thrower Chris Matthews recently compared Sen. Ted Cruz and other conservative commentators to the 1930s socialist commentator Father Charles Coughlin, a once ardent supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who later became a Nazi sympathizer.

“This guy goes pretty far,” Matthews said of Cruz. “I think he fits in the tradition of Father Coughlin and McCarthy and, of course, maybe to a lesser extent, Pat Buchanan and, of course, O’Reilly. These guys are hard right-wing guys. They look a lot alike. They have what we call the black Irish look to them. They don’t smile much. It’s quite a tradition here, but it does run to the right of the regular Republican Party.”

Coughlin was definitely a demagogue, but was not a man of the right, as Matthews and others have characterized him. Matthews is the not the first to make the odd comparison.

“Coughlin has so frequently been called ‘right wing’ it became an article of faith despite the fact that nearly all of the policies he advocated were radically progressive,” The Right Frequency explains. “He was a staunch supporter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, telling his vast audience in the 1932 election it was “Roosevelt or Ruin.” When Roosevelt took office, Coughlin insisted that no good Christian could oppose the policies of the New Deal, and he declared an end to capitalism. So how did he earn the label rightwing? He became a virulently anti-Semitic on the airwaves and grew to sympathize with Nazi Germany. It is difficult to understand how either of those would qualify someone as a conservative. But the justification for liberal writers would be that he became just as virulently anti-Roosevelt. Never mind that the anti-Roosevelt tirades were because he thought the New Deal did not go far enough and simply lost patience with the president he so vehemently supported in the 1932 election.”

“Coughlin called the New Deal ‘Christ’s Deal.’ … Roosevelt invited Coughlin to attend the inauguration, and Coughlin praised this “Protestant President who has more courage than 90 percent of the Catholic priests in the country.” Coughlin told his listening audience that “Capitalism is doomed and is not worth trying to save,” which sounds similar to the title of one of Michael Moore’s films.

Sounding almost like a cult leader, Coughlin once declared, “I know Congress will do nothing but say ‘Mr. Roosevelt, we follow.’” He continued, “God is directing President Roosevelt,” and that “he is the answer to our prayers.” He further warned, “If Congress fails to back up the president in his monetary program, I predict a revolution in this country which will make the French Revolution look silly.”

The book goes on to say, “In 1938, Coughlin’s newspaper, Social Justice, fed readers a steady diet of pieces on Jewish control of America’s financial institutions. He published a version of the Russian diatribe ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ that accused the Jews of planning to take control of the world. … In 1940, the Catholic Church, which had already been frustrated with him for some time, silenced him. The Detroit Archbishop Edward Mooney strictly forbade Coughlin from having any ties with his newspaper Social Justice or ‘with any other publication.” Faced with the choice of being defrocked or giving up political activity, Coughlin was able to remain at the Shrine of the Little Flower. By April 1942, Attorney General Francis Biddle ordered a federal grand jury investigation of Social Justice because of what he considered its pro-Axis views. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Postal Service suspended his second class mailing privileges for Social Justice.”

Click here to order 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.

Talk Radio Sways Election Results

October 6, 2012

Townhall published an excerpt from The Right Frequency explaining the historical role that talk radio has had on determining election results.

The excerpt reveals how Rush Limbaugh helped unravel the Republican primary campaigns of Pat Buchanan in 1996 and John McCain in 2000 and how Bob Grant helped Christie Whitman get elected governor of New Jersey, then helped George Pataki win the governor’s race in New York. Further, it details talk radio’s impact on the California recall election.

Click here to read the excerpt.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.