Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mike Allen points out the obvious

I'm not bagging on the guy because I like him. I like him a lot. But his piece on Politico today almost registers as a "no sh*t, Sherlock" moment:

Opposition from key talk radio and cable TV hosts helped kill the immigration bill in Congress, a study out today concludes. “What listeners of the conservative talk radio media were hearing, in large part, was that the legislation itself was little more than an ‘amnesty bill’ for illegal immigrants, a phrase loaded with political baggage,” it says.

The study by the nonpartisan Project for Excellence in Journalism quantifies what White House and Capitol Hill phone lines and e-mail inboxes already indicated: Talk radio focused on the immigration debate more intensely than the mainstream media did from April to June.

Conservative hosts touched off a brushfire in the Republican base that President Bush and other party leaders were helpless to contain.

"If media attention translates into political pressure, the argument that talk radio helped kill the immigration bill in Congress has some support in the data," the study says. "Thanks to energetic opposition from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage, immigration was the biggest topic, at 16%, on conservative talk radio in the second quarter."

Everybody knows that talk radio started the firestorm, and it's right that they should acknowledge hosts like Rush and Sean for their yeoman's work in stirring the populace to pay attention to what was being brokered int he Senate.

But I give the hat-tip to Laura Ingraham (who took it to Tony Snow mid-debte, and didn't let him weasel out of the bill's problems with White House talking points); Hugh Hewitt deserves a great deal of credit as being one of only a few talk show hosts that actually read the thing, and posted his legal opinions regarding the loopholes on his site; this caused additional fervor when bloggers jumped on it.

And when it came to the 'Sphere's influence, the guys at Hot Air did an exceptional job watching Congress, noting the discrepencies, and even nailed down those that were attacking opponents like Lindsey Graham and Trent Lott.

Talk radio did take point on the issue, and they should have. They reach more people daily than the media's coverage of the issue ever did. Most of the MSM paid little attention to it unless it came down to the rhetoric tossed back and forth by both sides. They decided to ignore the overall impact the bill would have had had it passed.

I give Mike Allen credit for putting this together. What I fault him for is doing this now, a fulkl two months AFTER the bill died. (On a side note, we covered the fallout in our 1 July column at Common Conservative). He was probably waiting for the confirmation from the report he cites in his piece, but if anyone ever listened to talk radio during the time the bill was presented and debated, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that talk radio was the vanguard against the bill's passage.

Publius II


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