- The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 26, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

Well, here’s some promising information regarding the state of conservative news organizations — so often vilified by critics who perhaps actually fear the consistent power of many right-leaning media organizations.

The state of Florida is now becoming “conservative media HQ,” advises Axios, which offers some viable examples of this trend.


A former president is at the helm of this endeavor.

Donald Trump is bringing conservative media — a multibillion-dollar industry — to Sarasota County. Driving the news: Trump Media & Technology Group Corp., which owns social media app Truth Social, registered as a business in Florida earlier this month, using an office building on North Cattlemen Road in Sarasota as its address,” noted the Axios report.

“Just 11 miles down the road, Canadian media company Rumble, a video platform commonly used by conservatives, recently made Longboat Key its U.S. headquarters,” the report continued.

“The big picture: Florida has quickly become a hub for conservative media companies, with Newsmax, the cable network owned by Chris Ruddy, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. Tampa has become a hub for young Republicans and conservative media influencers. Dan Bongino, a conservative podcaster, lives in Palm City,” the report said.

“Between the lines: Jimmy Finkelstein, most recently the owner of political newspaper and website The Hill, is planning to launch a new media company that will be based in Florida,” the report concluded — but not without adding that Nashville, Tennessee, is also “proving to also be a center point for conservative media companies.”

Meanwhile, fans of the late talk radio host Rush Limbaugh may yawn at all this Florida talk; he offered his daily blockbuster broadcast from the Sunshine State for many years.

BUCKLE UP

Are voters interested in the midterms? The answer is yes. Things are already buzzing, judging from new reports from the political sector that arrived at the Beltway desk on Tuesday.

WinRed, a Republican online fundraising technology platform, reports that it has already processed $169.8 million in donations during the first quarter of the year. That is a 37% increase when compared to the first quarter of 2021.

“On average, 43% of donations were from brand new donors to individual campaigns,” the organization said in its update.

In the meantime, are voters getting political messages? The answer is also yes.

Viamedia — a Kentucky-based independent “cross-media” advertising company — says that record-breaking political advertising already is underway as the midterms approach. The company has notched an increase of 42% in political advertising when compared to this time in 2018, and this messaging frenzy spans all political categories — including U.S. House and Senate, gubernatorial, and local races.

The company saw “particularly robust activity” in hotly contested states such as North Carolina, where advertising is up by 266%, Georgia (up by 277%), Pennsylvania (up by 670%) and California (up 3,399%).

“The company has seen spending vault by 6,561% across various races, including another high-profile, open-seat Senate contest,” Viamedia noted in its percentage findings for the Buckeye State.

READY FOR ELECTORAL COMBAT

“Boot the suits. Send in the Marine!”

That’s the campaign motto of Christopher Rodriguez, a decorated combat Marine, small businessman, city councilman, husband, farmer, father of seven and Republican candidate for Congress in California’s 49th Congressional District.

Mr. Rodriguez says he maintains a “no excuses mindset” in his quest for office, and is prepared “to bring that same level of intensity, optimistic vision, work ethic, and heart for service to the halls of Congress.”

The all-parties primary election arrives on June 7. Among others, Mr. Rodriguez is facing Rep. Mike Levin, a progressive Democrat, and fellow Republican Brian Maryott, whom Mr. Rodriguez deemed a “professional candidate” during an interview with KUSI, an NBC affiliate in San Diego.

Find his story — and a noteworthy video — at RodriguezForCongress.us.

FOXIFIED, THE JUMBO EDITION

Fox News Channel is finishing out the month of April as the most-watched network in the entire cable realm, according to Nielsen Media Research — airing 66 of the top 100 cable telecasts. This marks the 14th consecutive month that Fox News has emerged No. 1 — besting its news and non-news competition alike.

Fox News enjoyed an average daily primetime audience of 2.4 million in April, compared to MSNBC, which drew 1.1 million viewers, and CNN, which attracted 694,000.

Among the standouts: “The Five” enjoyed an average audience of 3.5 million, followed by “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (3.4 million), “Jesse Watters Primetime” (2.9 million), “Hannity” (2.8 million) and “Special Report with Bret Baier” (2.5 million).

Sean Hannity, by the way, also earned a historic designation as the “longest-running cable news show in primetime,” according to the network.

And a round of applause for Fox Business Network, which bested CNBC and ended the month of April as the top business network for the first time since January 2020, according to Nielsen. On average, the network garnered 203,000 viewers, compared to CNBC with 201,000.

April marked the seventh consecutive month that “Kudlow” (278,000 viewers) aced CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (202,000 viewers). And with 263,000 viewers, “Varney” also outpaced CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street/Techcheck” with 215,000.

POLL DU JOUR

• 60% of U.S. adults say that national security is “very important”; 78% of Republicans, 56% of independents and 55% of Democrats agree.

• 28% overall say national security is “somewhat important”; 17% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 34% of Democrats agree.

• 8% overall say it is “not very important”; 4% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

• 4% say it is “unimportant”; 1% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted April 16-19.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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