NEWS AND OPINION:
The nation’s top talk-radio stars have been named by a leading industry source. The annual “Talkers Heavy Hundred” was released Thursday by Talkers Magazine, which chronicles the comings and goings and highs and lows of the profession.
The top dog this year is Fox News Channel prime-time host Sean Hannity, who is heard on a daily radio show broadcast syndicated by Premiere Networks, in addition to his nightly cable news show.
Naming the top-100 hosts, however, is a challenge for judges. Talkers Magazine noted that there are literally thousands of eager radio hosts around the nation, in big markets and small.
The judges themselves know what to look for, however, in the host behind the microphone: “Courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness,” are the attributes of a champion host, the publication said in a statement.
Judges also note that some listeners may disagree with their decisions.
“We acknowledge that it is as much as art as science, and that the results are arguable,” the magazine added.
All that said, here are the other nine, after Mr. Hannity, of the top-10 talk radio hosts, along with the syndication companies or broadcast sources which produce their shows:
Dave Ramsey (Ramsey Solutions); Mark Levin (Westwood One); Brian Kilmeade (Fox News Radio); Joe Madison (SiriusXM Satellite Radio); Dana Loesch (Radio America); Mike Gallagher (Salem Radio Network); Thom Hartmann (WYD Media); Michael Berry (KTRH Houston/Syndication); and Joe Pagliarulo (WOAI San Antonio/Compass Media Networks).
And some other standings: Glenn Beck (Premiere Networks) was ranked 12th, George Noory (Premiere Networks) was at 15, Ben Shapiro (Westwood One) came in at 19 and Hugh Hewitt, Sebastian Gorka and Dennis Prager — all with Salem Radio Network — were ranked respectively at 23, 27 and 33.
For those who wonder, the late Rush Limbaugh topped the Talkers Magazine list on multiple occasions.
SMILE: REPUBLICANS MAKE BETTER FRIENDS
Buddy, pal, chum — what is the state of friendship among the political parties?
One particular political persuasion appears to be more tolerant than others when it comes to cultivating simple friendships, and navigating political differences at the same time, according to an unusual new survey by the Survey Center on American Life, a project of the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank.
“Importantly, Republicans have more bipartisan friendships than Democrats do. A majority (53%) of Republicans say they have at least some friends who are Democrats. In contrast, less than one-third (32%) of Democrats say they have at least some Republican friends,” the survey analysis said.
Among all Americans, a mere 15% have ended a friendship over political beliefs, the findings show. That sense of tolerance does not appear to apply to everyone, however.
“Ending friendships over political disagreements occurs more among liberal and Democratic-leaning Americans. Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans are to report having ended a friendship over a political disagreement (20% vs. 10%),” the analysis noted.
“Political liberals are also far more likely than conservatives are to say they are no longer friends with someone due to political differences (28% vs. 10%, respectively). No group is more likely to end a friendship over politics than liberal women are; 33% say they stopped being friends with someone because of their politics,” the research noted.
The wide-ranging poll of 2,019 U.S. adults was conducted May 14-23 and released Tuesday.
A MOMENT OF CRITICISM
CNN media critic Brian Stelter appeared Thursday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” a popular morning program on the public affairs network. Mr. Stelter was there to talk about media issues, along with his new book, titled “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.”
Some viewers called in with a few choice comments that were not particularly cordial.
“Mr. Stelter is the biggest minister of misinformation I’ve ever heard, and I’m a news junkie. This gentleman told the American people and his news organization — which he pretty much has control over — for four years that there was Russian collusion,” a caller from Indiana said, adding that the government investigation that looked into the matter revealed zero collusion between the Trump administration and Russia.
Another caller also had a say.
“I just had to call in because I think CNN is so liberal, and I think Fox is great. As far as the election, I’m glad that [President] Biden won, even though I’m a conservative. I did not want Trump to win a second time. I watch Fox News because I feel like that they are fair and balanced and CNN — I can’t watch it,” the female caller from Texas said.
“And MSNBC — they’re worse than CNN. And I’m a conservative, but I’m not far to the right. So that’s my comment. Y’all have a good morning,” she advised.
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POLL DU JOUR
• 49% of U.S. adults say they are “pro-choice” in their abortion beliefs; 22% of Republicans, 53% of independents and 70% of Democrats agree.
• 80% of liberals, 56% of moderates and 18% of conservatives agree.
• 52% of women and 45% of men also agree.
• 47% overall say they are “pro-life”; 74% of Republicans agree, 41% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.
• 78% of conservatives, 38% of moderates and 17% of liberals agree.
• 43% of women and 50% of men also agree.
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 1,016 U.S. adults conducted May 13-18 and released Wednesday.
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