- The Washington Times
Monday, July 18, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

None other than the Hollywood Reporter once declared this: “How Salem has Quietly Become a Giant in Conservative Media.”

The industry publication made this statement three years ago about conservative powerhouse Salem Media, which owns 100 radio stations, leading conservative websites like Twitchy and Townhall — not to mention podcasts networks, a 24/7 news channel, a major publishing house, a video-on-demand platform, the Salem Influencer Network geared for young conservatives and other outlets — all concentrating on conservative and faith-based content.


There are, in fact, 3,100 affiliate broadcast outlets now airing Salem’s programming. Its stable of talent includes Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher and Charlie Kirk among the many on-camera or behind a microphone.

Things have only gotten more expansive.

“When it comes to conservative media, it’s impossible not to see Salem’s giant footprint,” wrote Kevin Casey, executive editor of Talkers Magazine, a news organization tracking talk radio.

“Executives at Salem believe that because of the firepower it has built as part of this infrastructure, it is able to expand and grow into new areas of influence, and provide the necessary backing for those ventures without relying on outside parties. They believe that’s becoming increasingly important due to cancel culture’s attempts to suppress anything conservative,” Mr. Casey said.

And the secret of success here? It is refreshingly direct.

“Salem’s leadership enthusiastically embraces the concept of American exceptionalism — that America is unique in human history as a place where no matter your social status, your ethnicity, your religion, or your country of origin the American dream is available for the taking,” Edward Atsinger — who founded Salem — told Talkers.

“Today there are ideologies conspiring to tear us apart by promoting identity politics under such euphemisms as ‘critical race theory.’ Salem is committed to do all that we can to counteract the forces that would tear us apart, and we have created a company uniquely positioned to achieve that goal,” Mr. Atsinger said.

Curious? Find the outreach at SalemMedia.com.

WHITE HOUSE WALLETS

Work goes on, people make money, even in the nation’s capital.

“Let’s hop over to Washington D.C. and take a look at a new report on White House staffing. On July 1, the White House released its annual report to Congress on personnel. According to the report, the White House has 474 employees. Sixty-three staff members are detailees — that is, staff temporarily assigned to the White House from another agency or department. The other 411 staff members are employees,” notes a comprehensive new report from Ballotpedia.

“Last year, the Biden Administration reported that it had 560 staff members. Twenty-six staff members were detailees. The other 536 staff members were employees. The average salary in the Biden White House is $102,095,” the report said, noting that the highest paid staff member’s annual salary was $300,000.

Another 27 staffers earned $180,000 or more.

“Sixteen staff members received no salary. The majority of individuals receiving no salary (nine) were policy advisors. The largest share of employees (153) received salaries between $60,000 and $89,999, and the second largest (114) received $90,000 and $119,999,” the report said.

MEANWHILE AT THE FAIR

Despite endless political drama, hair-raising inflation and seemingly nonstop public angst, one staple of summer life continues. That would be the deep-fried, often fabulous foods found in the nation’s state fairs, many now underway.

Naturally the Inside the Beltway column is interested in such forbidden fare. Here are eight current samples of state-fair cuisine from around the country:

Minnesota: poultrygeist (fried chicken topped with sausage gravy and french fried onions on buttery Texas toast).

Iowa: deep-fried pecan pie on a stick, accompanied by caramel sauce and bacon bits.

Texas: Southern fried lemon ice-box pie balls.

Alaska: deep-fried beer-batter halibut chunks.

Indiana: pickle pizza.

Kansas: “moink” balls (five savory meatballs wrapped in bacon on a stick).

Arkansas: gator on a stick (yes, as in alligator meat).

California: wild boar on a stick.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Peak climate insanity.”

The handy phrase is from Marc Morano, founder and publisher of ClimateDepot.com, a news site that tracks the trends in the climate-activism realm.

He was particularly interested in the dramatic reactions among Democrats and activists to Sen. Joe Manchin, who gave a decisive thumbs down to President Biden’s pricey climate spending bill.

“Sen. Chuck Schumer is ‘shell-shocked.’ The House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth said ‘we’re all going to die.’ We have a climate activist Bill McKibben actually saying that Joe Manchin’s name is going to be a geologic era in the Earth — that Manchin is altering the geologic history of the earth,” Mr. Morano told Fox News.

“They are completely unhinged because one politician is not going to support a pork barrel spending bill, which they somehow think is going to save the planet. Just another pork barrel spending bill in Washington somehow has this power. We’ve reached peak climate insanity,” he said.

POLL DU JOUR

• 93% of registered U.S. voters are concerned about inflation and higher prices.

• 75% say inflation has caused financial hardships for them and their family.

• 70% have cut back overall spending in order to afford necessities.

• 68% disapprove of the way President Biden has handled the economy.

• 55% say the Biden administration has made the economy worse.

• 52% have changed their summer plans because of gas prices.

• 52% say the U.S. economy will be worse a year from now.

SOURCE: A Fox News poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters conducted July 10-13.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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


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