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The Shifting Media Spotlight

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs had an insightful conversation Friday with Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. The two recapped the lasting achievements of Donald Trump’s administration, the media’s deceptive coverage of his Presidency and journalism’s once-revered role as our nation’s watch dogs.

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2021 brings a new focus for the media, as frustration and anger linger across the country relating to journalism’s role in the rancor and discord enveloping American life over the past couple decades. 

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs had an insightful conversation Friday with Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. The two recapped the lasting achievements of Donald Trump’s administration, the media’s deceptive coverage of his Presidency and journalism’s once-revered role as our nation’s watch dogs.

“The President again is being fraudulently impeached by the Dems, and there is not even a whisper of dissent or opposition to that in the national left-wing media,” Dobbs said, also pointing out the recent attacks on Jeffress by some members of the Republican establishment. 

“Lou, this is something we’re going to see more and more over these next four years,” Jeffress began. “That’s an attempt to shame people like you and me who strongly support this President, and to repenting of our support of him. Well I’ll guaran-dang-tee you I’m not repenting of anything, certainly not my support of this great President.”  

Jeffress told USA Today this week that he had no regrets in supporting Donald Trump. None whatsoever.

“I told him this week that I believe he is the greatest President of my lifetime, and he will go down as the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty President in American history,” Jeffress added. “Nothing anyone says is going to change that. Lou, he’s leaving office next week with his legacy intact.” 

Dobbs, who has for four years pointed out nonstop media deception relating to  President Trump’s accomplishments, went further to recap the incessant attacks on the 45th President of the United States.

“It’s an extraordinary legacy all the more because of the efforts of the radical Dems, the deep state, from the beginning almost of his candidacy for the office – they tried to deny him – and then their efforts to overthrow him and block his agenda throughout. He accomplished more than any President in the first three years of his term. His four years in office are remarkable in achievement, all the more so because of the naked, corrupt opposition of the radical Left and the deep state,” Dobbs said.

Jeffress, an early and consistent supporter of candidate and then President Trump, added that the President knew what he was in for, as the entire establishment swamp of both parties was not simply going to sit back and allow him to disrupt the normal way of doing things in Washington.

“I remember sitting in the oval office and telling him ‘Mr. President, you have an axis of evil that is going to conspire to take you down. Not only the media and the Democrats, but the establishment Republicans,’” he recalls telling Trump. “And that proved to be true. They conspired together but they couldn’t stop his tremendous achievements in spite of all of those headwinds. I am grateful, eternally grateful, for what he has done for our nation, even though he’s leaving office for now. His legacy will endure.”

The news over the weekend was how Dobbs summed up the conversation in his synopsis of the non-stop attacks from the left and the media, designed to take down Trump politically and personally.

“It is the most vile, venomous assault ever conducted against a President in our country’s history,” Dobbs pointed out. “Short of the assasignation of Abraham Lincoln. This is a nation that cannot heal, that cannot come together, until we understand the truth and reality of what we have witnessed over the course of the past four years of this man’s presidency.”

“We’re going to depend upon you over these next four years to point out what is going on – the darkness, the lies that we’re going to see,” Jeffress implored Dobbs. “Yes, we need to pray for our new president, president Biden. The Bible says we need to pray for all of our leaders. But we also need to be ready to push back against the unGodly policies that are sure to come. These are days for God’s people to stand up and be courageous like never before.”

If recent history is any indication, both Dobbs and Jeffress will remain standing strongly on the front lines, illuminating the truth, as the next chapter of our nation’s history unfolds.

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BNM Writers

No Replacing Rush

There never will be a big, bold voice like Rush that can deliver the way he did for so many years.

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After the passing of conservative talk media icon Rush Limbaugh, I labored with what kind of piece I was going to write on the subject.

I certainly wasn’t going to pen a flowery, sentimental column.  Not that I take offense to anyone that did. It’s just that the internet was going to be full of them and all from people who listened to Limbaugh far more than I ever did. 

I wanted to do something that was more proactive and looked forward.

I was going to wait a couple of weeks, let the deluge of memorials and tributes to come in, and then I was going to submit a piece that I have been quietly working on for some time:

THE TOP CANDIDATES TO REPLACE RUSH LIMBAUGH.

I had a list of people that I felt, as a former programmer, were great talents and ideal fits to sit in front of the “Golden EIB Network Microphone.”

As I usually do, I made a slew of phone calls to my contacts at iHeart and in different talk radio circles, to gage their opinion on my list of candidates.

I didn’t get more than a few conversations in before I realized that the column I was about to write was fool’s gold.

The reality is…there is no replacement for Rush Limbaugh. There never will be.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  iHeart will eventually have to figure out something to offer the hundreds of EIB affiliates throughout the country from 12-3p ET/9a-12p PT.  Maybe it’s Buck Sexton.  Maybe Clay Travis makes the pilgrimage from sports to news (which, by the way, I think would be an intriguing choice).  Maybe Tucker Carlson can be lured away from all the projects he’s working on for Fox News.  Maybe it’s a combination of different people offered to different regions of the country.

No matter who gets to replace him in that timeslot, Rush Limbaugh left a void that can never be filled.

This truth has been staring us in the face for quite some time.

IF IT COULD’VE HAPPENED, IT WOULD HAVE BY NOW

Rush did not die suddenly.  His terminal illness had been known for some time.  Even before that, iHeart (and EIB affiliates) have been wrangling with the question of, “Is there life after Rush?” 

Many thought that Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and even Ben Shapiro could be the heir apparent.  However, none of them could command the high dollar rights fees that Rush affiliates were paying.  How high?  An EIB affiliate that I am very familiar with negotiated DOWN their yearly rights fee to a little over $100k recently.  That was getting a discount.

Not to mention, many conservative voices have all found greener pastures on the digital frontier.  Beck has made a fortune building The Blaze.  Shapiro turned The Daily Wire into a profitable, growing content platform that has attracted high dollar investors. 

Why would they want to replace Rush?  They don’t NEED the money or exposure.  Plus, as the old saying goes, you never want to follow a legend.

WE’RE IN A DIFFERENT ERA

Ryan Williams, a Republican strategist and press aide to Mitt Romney, summed up the current situation perfectly in a recent article in the New York Times:

“There’s so many different platforms to interact with conservative voices, and there are so many more voices.  If you’re pro-Trump, you’ve got Breitbart and Newsmax. If you’re more of a moderate Republican, you’ve got The Bulwark and Charlie Sykes. I follow 25-, 26-year-old conservatives on Instagram who are sharing two-minute videos that young people connect with personally.  I don’t think you’ll see it ever again where one person is the king of this realm.”

Exactly.

The media landscape is far more cluttered today and that trend is only going to continue.  There are multiple voices for every flavor of Republican out there and all of them are available on demand.   Because of that, no one person can take the mantle of “King of All Conservative Media”.  In a way, Rush has already been replaced, not by one person, but by many others who were likely influenced by his success.

Williams also makes a great point when talking about young talent and younger consumers.  Those who fit into the Millennial or Gen Z classes don’t have the attention span to listen to a 3-hour radio show, regardless of it being live or on-demand.  Short from programming delivered on social media channels such as YouTube or Instagram have not only proven to be more popular with people of those generations, but also drives far more engagement. 

WHAT CAN AFFILIATES DO?

At some point, “the long goodbye” that is being offered to Rush affiliates will end. 

So, if you are one of them, what should you be doing?

You have two choices: hope or be proactive.

You can hope that iHeart will offer you a palatable replacement.   You can hope that there is another syndicated show you can time-shift or slide into Rush’s old timeslot.

However, as a colleague of mine once told me, “hope is not a strategy”. 

Stations should be taking the money they were paying Rush and re-investing it into building out local programming.   

Sure, the popular decision will be to take the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in expense and put it back towards the bottom line.  That’s the safe play.

As I’ve argued before, now is a great time to not be safe, but to be bold. Take that money, or even a PORTION of that money, and GO LOCAL.

Find a talent that connects to your audience and build out their brand to better your own.

There are conservative voices out there, its all a matter of finding them and grooming them to be great.  Maybe it’s a former political official…like Joe Scarborough.  Maybe it’s a talented youngster who volunteers at the local college radio station…like Sean Hannity.  Maybe its an ivy league educated writer and author like Ben Shapiro.  Maybe it’s a tandem that has good chemistry together.

Talent is out there.  It’s on local stations to find it and cultivate it.

There never will be a big, bold voice like Rush that can deliver the way he did for so many years.  That era of spoken-word media is over. It’s on individual radio brands to find their own way.

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BNM Writers

Joe Biden, Already a Failure

In Bill O’Reilly’s opinion, the honeymoon is over. National chaos and pain are only beginning to kick in. Even if the media refuses to share the facts.

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Photo by U.S. Embassy Jerusalem CC BY 2.0.

It may be only six weeks, but that is plenty to offer an early report card.

The grade – F.

Bill O’Reilly didn’t mince words when he joined the Glenn Beck Radio Show on Friday. When asked what the week’s biggest news story was, O’Reilly said it was the early and clear failure of President Joe Biden.

“I said I would give Joe Biden a chance because he asked for one,and in our Judeo-Christian tradition, if somebody asks you for a chance, and they’re not a convicted felon, you give them a chance” O’Reilly said. “But after six weeks, we have absolute pandemonium in the country.”

The hard-hitting O’Reilly laid into Biden, criticizing the President’s change in border policy, which effectively invites illegal immigrants to flood America’s borders.  

“How exactly is it helping the country to allow undocumented people to cross into the United States, request asylum, hand them $1100 in cash so they can go anywhere they want, and not test them for Covid,” he asked.

O’Reilly noted that 106 undocumented people tested positive for Covid-19 in one day alone. 

According to Beck, 6% of illegal border-crossers have tested positive for Covid-19, and he added “I’d rather have children locked in cages, as they say, that are protected, waiting for someone to claim them that can be clearly tested to be a parent or a relative, rather than this system now of colored wristbands by the mob and the cartels down across the border, that are smuggling these children into America, clearly for the sex trade.”

O’Reilly has spent much of this week, both on his website BillO’Reilly.com and in interviews, such as this one with Beck, detailing the 180 degree difference between the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump and the new Biden administration. He and his guests, such as Trump immigration advisor Stephen Miller, have documented how children are being smuggled across the border into the United States, after which authorities are helping them locate and bring over their parents and families as well. He added, “it is absolutely astounding, and the reason it’s happening is because the media does not report it. So people listening to us now don’t live on the border, they don’t know what’s happening. This is going to lead, in the next two years, to hundreds of thousands of undocumented people coming into the United States.”

The push to help Americans see the impending danger from the administration’s radical change of course came at the same time Trump voiced his anger and concern about the effects of these extreme policies, which favor non-citizens over Americans.

“The spiraling tsunami at the border is overwhelming local communities, depleting budgets, crowding hospitals, and taking jobs from legal American workers,” the former President said. “When I left office, we had achieved the most secure border in our country’s history. Under Biden, it will soon be worse, more dangerous and more out of control than ever before. He has violated his oath of office to uphold our Constitution and enforce our laws.”

Trump continued, saying “Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden. Our great Border Patrol and ICE agents have been disrespected, demeaned, and mocked by the Biden administration. A mass incursion into the country by people who should not be here is happening on an hourly basis, getting worse by the minute.”

Bill O’Reilly has been one of the most vocal news personalities informing the country about the crisis in recent days, pointing out what many see as the resulting deleterious effect on America’s economy and neighborhoods. His urgency stems from the media’s common suppression tactic of hiding negative impacts of the policies of their protected class of Democrat politicians. He adds, “nobody will know, because the media blacks it out.”

The way O’Reilly sees it, there are three developing trends that will eventually combine to crush Biden’s approval ratings and turn public opinion decisively against him.

“The economy, and you’re seeing a shaky stock market now. Immigration, and cancel culture,” O’Reilly listed as the big three areas where Americans are beginning to feel the negative effects of radical Democratic policy shifts. “Those three things are going to undermine his administration. But here’s the really frightening part about it – if you, and me, and Stu were talking to President Biden right now he could not explain, and does not know, what is happening on that border. He does not have the capacity, in my humble opinion, to absorb information and analyze anything.”

In Bill O’Reilly’s opinion, the honeymoon is over. National chaos and pain are only beginning to kick in. Even if the media refuses to share the facts.

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BNM Writers

Winterble, Daugherty Discuss Dr. Seuss, Cancel Culture

“We lost a battle for sure,” Daugherty said. “Did we lose the war? I don’t know. I hope to heck not.”

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Photo by Evelyn Giggles CC BY 2.0.

After moving from the San Diego to Charlotte market last year, radio host Brett Winterble has quickly learned that the best way to attract listeners in the Tar Heel state is to forge a connection with college basketball. That’s why former North Carolina Tar Heel basketball coach Matt Daugherty is a frequent quest on The Brett Wintertble Show which airs on WBT AM in Charlotte. Daugherty was in studio again on Thursday, and while the pair did touch on sports topics, the main part of their conversation was devoted to Dr. Seuss and cancel culture in general.

”You look like a guy who read Dr. Seuss as a kid,” Winterble said to Daughtery. “My favorites growing up were, One Fish, Two Fish and of course the classic, Green Eggs and Ham. I read them and my kids read them, but now all of a sudden, they are too dangerous. Dr. Seuss has been banned. Our glorious monarch, King Joe Biden I has decreed that Dr. Seuss cannot be read at a celebration of Dr. Seuss Day. Five weeks ago they were just fine, but now they are too dangerous to even be sold on Ebay? What in the world is going on? Have we as conservatives lost the war?”

Winterble’s comments come after six of Theodor Geisel’s works are no longer going to be published due to racial stereotypes. Geisel wrote more than 60 other books under his popular pseudonym Dr. Seuss which will still remain in print, but that does not stop Winterble and Daugherty from claiming Dr. Seuss is a victim of cancel culture.

“We lost a battle for sure,” Daugherty said. “Did we lose the war? I don’t know. I hope to heck not.”

Winterble makes the comparison to other items sold on Ebay, but yet six Dr. Seuss books are banned.

“You can go on there and buy a poster of a certain political leader that ruled Germany in the 30’s and 40’s (Hitler), but Dr. Seuss is too dangerous? You can go on there and buy polyurethane items that should only be used in the hushed tones of the bedroom and yet people find Dr. Seuss objectionable? What’s next?”

Daugherty worries that cancel culture will eventually cross over into the world of sports.

“I think we will eventually start erasing players from the Hall of Fames,” he said. “Now of course, there were some scoundrels, particularly in baseball, but you can’t just erase that history. You can learn from it, but you can’t remove it.”

“I love working with young people,” Daugherty continued. “I always tell them to stand up for what you believe in, but to be a good leader, you also have to be able to listen. It seems we have lost that art of debate. We see plenty of argument, but people rarely make a point and then take the time to listen to the other side. If you can do that, you learn something. A lot of it has to do with dialogue happening over social media instead of face-to-face. 50 percent of communication is body language. You can’t see that on Twitter. It’s so much easier to cancel someone or throw out zingers if you can’t look them in the eye and see how much it hurts them.”

Winterble agrees and also urges open discussion if something is considered offensive or harmful.

“People have their identity so wrapped up in whatever issue it is, that when someone attacks the issue, it feels like they are attacking the person. There is some value in all of these things (like the Dr. Seuss controversy), but the default position should not be to rage quit and erase everything.”

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