NEWS AND OPINION:
It is a meeting of the minds — and the voices. “Talkers 2022” — a sizable national conference of both on-air and behind-the-scenes forces of the nation’s talk radio realm — gets underway Friday.
Some 60 speakers will man the microphone at an undisclosed location in New York, the event boasting contributions from such high-profile folks as Premiere Networks host Sean Hannity, Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade, Salem Network’s Mike Gallagher, Key Networks commentator Bill O’Reilly and Newsmax primetime host Rob Schmitt.
“People are there to feel a sense of community, to learn things from each other and be inspired by each other. They are ready to tackle some of the existential issues facing talk radio — and the media in general,” Michael Harrison, editor and publisher of Talkers Magazine and the organizer of the event, told Inside the Beltway.
“I am very optimistic about talk radio. It is among the most dynamic venues for free speech, and it takes a lot to shake it up. I think talk radio will persevere,” said Mr. Harrison, who has organized the annual conference for the last 25 years.
This year’s event is associated with Hofstra University.
“People enjoy meeting their competition. There’s a sense of camaraderie out there, even among those who sound like they hate each other when they’re on the air. They don’t. All of them have an authentic love of the medium. This is actually one of the most civil meetings between those who back left or right leaning political causes that you could imagine,” Mr. Harrison said.
“Talk radio is a cousin to cable TV news. Actually, cable news was born from talk radio in many ways. What we have here is a gathering of the tribes, ready and able to talk about the issues the industry faces,” he added.
THE CURRENT STATS
“We are five months from Election Day, and House Republicans stand five seats short of retaking the majority for just the third time since 1954,” advises Tom Emmer, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a handy memo released Thursday.
“Right now, the political environment is downright toxic for Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and House Democrats. History shows the President’s party loses an average of 27 seats in the midterms, and that number jumps to 37 when the President’s approval rating is below 50. Joe Biden’s approval rating currently sits in the low forties because Democrat policies have led to 40-year high inflation, rising crime, and a crisis at the southern border,” Mr. Emmer said.
“If Republicans continue to execute the plan laid out at the start of this cycle, we have an opportunity to deliver a lasting and historically significant majority.
For a majority larger than the post-1994 wave, Republicans need to win 18 seats. For a majority larger than the post-2010 wave, Republicans need to win 30 seats. For the largest GOP majority in nearly 100 years, Republicans need to win 35 seats,” he noted.
President Biden’s popularity rating has dwindled to a record-setting low — a worrisome trend for the White House, which could be blamed if Republicans regain control of Congress in the November midterm elections, now just five months away.
“President Joe Biden’s job approval rating has reached a new low, according to Morning Consult/Politico tracking, slipping below 40% for the first time since he entered office,” wrote Eli Yokley, an analyst for Morning Consult, in a comparative review of multiple polls conducted by the news organization.
“The latest survey found that 58% of voters disapprove of Biden’s job performance and 39% approve. It marks the 46th president’s lowest approval rating and highest disapproval rating in 62 weekly surveys conducted since he took office in January 2021,” Mr. Yokley said.
“For comparison, Biden’s latest numbers are worse than Donald Trump’s were at this time four years ago, when 45% approved and 52% disapproved of the former president. Biden’s popularity, or lack thereof, mirrors Trump’s standing in June 2020, when the nation was grappling with the twin crises of the pandemic and the response to the murder of George Floyd,” the analyst continued.
“Republicans are far more strident in their disdain for Biden than Democrats are in their support: 80% of GOP voters ‘strongly disapprove’ of Biden’s job handling, compared with 37% of Democrats who ‘strongly approve’ of it,” Mr. Yokley noted.
YOUR GETAWAY RESOURCE
Need a break? Here’s a resource for those seeking a getaway of note. Consult HistoricHotels.org.
This online compendium of the most interesting older hotels in both the U.S. and worldwide has been assembled with care by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which offers everything from “romance” destinations to hotels associated with historic golf courses, grand old spas, family and pet-friendly excursions, and outstanding dining experiences.
There is a very handy link to the Historic Hotels of America division at the very bottom of the main landing page.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: Il Casolare, an Alpine-style “mountaintop” stone home built in 1890 by Italian stone masons on three acres near Highland, New York. Two bedrooms, two baths, original 18-inch thick stone walls, wide-plank wood floors, new cedar roof; 1,330 square feet. Large custom kitchen with fireplace, “enchanting” stone paths with staircase and patio, terraced garden, 150-year-old chestnut tree. Property includes a modern tree house with studio, historic plantings. Priced at $795,000 through LillieKteam.com/il-casolare.
POLL DU JOUR
• 72% of U.S. adults definitely or probably will take a vacation away from home this summer.
• 78% of this group will go on vacation within the U.S.
• 70% will go on vacation with a spouse or partner.
• 39% will go with other live-in family members; 34% will go with family with whom they don’t live.
• 25% will go on vacation with friends; 13% will go on vacation by themselves.
SOURCE: A Washington Post/Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University poll of 1,055 U.S. adults conducted April 21-May 12 and released Thursday.
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