Conservative talk shows' influence on US immigration debate greater than ever

Feb 20, 2006
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http://my.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20070623/467c9ac0_3421_13345200706231448810291

Conservative talk shows' influence on US immigration debate greater than ever

June 23, 2007 11:31 AM EDT

WASHINGTON - Immigration has supplanted Iraq as the leading issue on television and radio talk shows, complicating the prospects of a Senate bill desperately wanted by President George W. Bush.

Conservative talk radio's impact on the immigration debate reached new heights last week, with one host effectively writing an amendment for when the Senate returns to the imperiled bill this week.

National talk show hosts have spent months denouncing the bill as providing amnesty for illegal immigrants. Some top Republicans who support the legislation have defied the broadcast pundits. Others Republican lawmakers have tried to placate them, even to the point of accepting their ideas for amendments.

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the key conservative negotiator behind the compromise bill, told reporters Friday that California-based radio host Hugh Hewitt "had several ideas" that "we are trying to include" in amendments to be offered in an upcoming series of crucial votes.

Hewitt, a conservative who has criticized many aspects of the bill, had Kyl as a guest on Thursday and asked: "Does the bill provide for any separate treatment of aliens, illegal aliens from countries of special concern?"
Kyl replied: "It's going to, as a result of your lobbying efforts to me."

People seeking entry to the U.S. from countries that the U.S. has designated as state sponsors of terrorism will get a higher level of scrutiny, Kyl said Friday.

Other Bush allies have tried more confrontational approaches to the talk hosts, sometimes with bruising results.

Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi told reporters last week, "Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem." Some hosts, he added, do not know what is in the lengthy bill.

The comments incensed conservative talk show hosts who generally had supported Lott over the years.

Lott is "upset that the American people got right into the middle of the conversation over the problem with illegal aliens and it didn't turn out all that well for the pro-amnesty forces," Atlanta-based talk show host Neal Boortz wrote on his Web site.

"If Trent Lott and his other buddies up on the Hill aren't listening to 'talk,' then what are they listening to? The answer is either their wallet or their legacy."

Another conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh asked his audience: "What are we going to do about Mississippi Senator Trent Lott?"

Lott's treatment contrasted sharply with that given to Kyl. In a column posted on his Web site, Hewitt called Kyl "perhaps the single most effective and principled conservative in the United States Senate."

The immigration bill would tighten borders and workplace enforcement, create a guest worker program and provide ways to legal status for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

The legislation faces showdown votes this coming week that lawmakers on all sides agree will be close.

If the measure fails, talk radio and TV - where CNN's Lou Dobbs has been especially critical - will deserve substantial credit, academics and politicians say.

"Talk radio and talk TV are most effective when there's an immediate action pending," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania, who is an authority on media and politics. "It's a classic instance of mobilization with all the pieces in place and it's sure to have an effect."

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a leading opponent of the bill, said in an interview that "talk radio has had a significant impact on this issue."

A frequent guest of Dobbs, Hewitt and other conservative hosts discussing immigration, Sessions said, "I think people have learned more from talk radio than from reading the newspapers."

As for Lott, Sessions said: "I can't imagine what Trent was thinking. Maybe his mouth was moving and his brain was in neutral."

Michael Harrison, editor of the talk show industry magazine Talkers, said immigration has replaced the Iraq war as the most discussed topic and has led many conservative hosts to show more loyalty to the anti-amnesty issue than to the Republican Party.

"I think talk radio should be credited with possibly saving the American people from George Bush's immigration bill," Harrison said, adding that he and his magazine are nonpartisan.

Some Republicans who recently announced their opposition to the bill said constituent concerns were their main reason. But they acknowledged the intensity of talk radio hostility in their states.

"Neal Boortz, he popped us pretty good," said Lindsay Mabry, a spokeswoman for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, who shifted from qualified support to opposition to the bill in recent days. She said Chambliss consulted with Boortz on immigration even though the senator was not an on-air guest during the debate.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
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#2
God, we really jumped the shark when Russia collapsed.
 
Feb 20, 2006
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God, we really jumped the shark when Russia collapsed.
True. We need another Cold War type global scenario to keep those in charge focused on big picture problems like worldwide nuclear annihilation. You're far less likely to do stupid shit if you know the end result could be the end of mankind.

Most of our politicians now are like micromanaging bosses.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#6
The end of mankind... Look around. if this is what we're trying to save. Please, push the fucking button.
You're right. Which is why I want another civil war to rid ourselves of the leeches also known as politicians and other undesirables.
 
#7
When it's to a fucking point where people will argue against the fourth amendment it's done for me. All joking aside. I don't care what color you are. When the comeback to Constitutional law is essentially the writ of Habeas Corpus is against the law they should be taken out and dispensed with by bin Laden himself.
 

Vyce

Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
Feb 11, 2006
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#8
Jesus. "Running America."

Just face facts. This is a monumentally terrible bill - a bill that if passed, it will become legendary in years to come at just how much of a colossal failure it is, and just how much WORSE it makes the problem. And THANKFULLY, there were people out there, on the radio or TV, who pointed out all of the awful shit in this bill that politicians on both sides of the aisle put in there and wanted to pass without the American public knowing about it. And they're ramping up to do that all over again.
 

SOS

ONA
Wackbag Staff
Aug 14, 2000
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#9
replace immigrated to invaded and declare war on mexico....



/trolling
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
141,468
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#10
replace immigrated to invaded and declare war on mexico....



/trolling
Trolling or trying to become "Favoritest Mod on Wackbag?"
 

Sutsu

O&A Po'ty ROCK!
Dec 7, 2004
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True. We need another Cold War type global scenario to keep those in charge focused on big picture problems like worldwide nuclear annihilation. You're far less likely to do stupid shit if you know the end result could be the end of mankind.

Most of our politicians now are like micromanaging bosses.
I kinda sorta thought that's what Islam and Terrorism was... silly me.
But this just goes to show that politicians on both sides just want the public to go along with what they're being told is best for them and keep voting them into office. Then when they realize that informed people won't put up with their crap, they cry foul.