NEWS AND OPINION:
This could be annoying news to those who like listening to old-school AM radio while driving, be it a leisurely trip or frantic commute. For its large and loyal audience, AM radio has long been the home of talk shows, interesting overnight programming, alternative music, sports, call-in advice, politics and other intriguing fare.
Things change, though. Eight automakers — including Ford, Mazda and BMW — have removed AM radios from their electric vehicles — also known as EVs.
Another important issue is at stake, however.
“AM radio is one of the critical ways that federal, state, and local officials communicate with the public during natural disasters and other emergencies. If drivers don’t have access, they might miss important safety alerts,” an Axios report released Tuesday advises.
Sen. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat and a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, prefers that car companies maintain free access to AM radio as a public safety measure. He also contacted 20 car manufacturers and expressed his concern about this emerging trend.
“Although many automakers suggested that other communication tools — such as internet radio — could replace broadcast AM radio, in an emergency, drivers might not have access to the internet and could miss critical safety information. The truth is that broadcast AM radio is irreplaceable. As the auto industry rightfully replaces the internal combustion engine with electric batteries, I will continue to work to ensure that automakers maintain access to broadcast AM radio in all their vehicles,” Mr. Markey said in a written statement last week.
The automakers, however, say the electric motors “interfere with AM frequencies, creating annoying buzzing noises and faded signals,” the Axios report said.
Meanwhile, there is still a considerable AM audience out there.
“Terrestrial radio (both AM and FM) reaches 92% of the U.S. population, more than any other medium, according to media tracking firm Nielsen. Nearly 50 million people listen to AM radio, according to Nielsen figures provided by the National Association of Broadcasters,” the Axios report noted.
BUDGET HORROR SHOW NO. 3
Welcome to Part 3 of a Republican National Committee analysis of President Biden’s $6.9 trillion budget. The committee has released a hefty, handy comprehensive study of the content of the budget. Here’s some more practical insight from the GOP researchers.
“Biden’s budget is full of wasteful spending that does nothing but promote his radical left-wing agenda,” the research said.
So, what’s in the White House plan? It appears to be carefully curated to include certain issues, causes and activities.
“Biden’s budget focuses on advancing ‘equity and environmental justice,’ mentioning equity 63 times, climate 148 times, and environmental justice 25 times. Meanwhile, inflation is mentioned just 10 times, police 4 times, parents 3 times, gas prices 3 times, and fentanyl 2 times. For the third year in a row under Biden, the budget does not include the Hyde Amendment and would use taxpayer money to fund abortions, a policy that a majority of Americans oppose,” the GOP analysis said.
“The budget includes funding to establish a Civilian Climate Corps, a demand pushed by far-left environmentalists like the Sunrise Movement, which would pay young Americans to advocate for ‘environmental justice.’ Biden’s budget would increase funding for the IRS by 15%; this comes on top of the $80 billion Democrats gave the agency last year,” the analysis continued.
“Biden’s budget also includes other far-left priorities: $3 billion to advance gender equity and equality. $150 million for illegal immigrants’ legal fees, [and] $57 million to support the UN Population Fund, which supports abortion and forced sterilization in China,” it advised.
Look for a fourth and final GOP budget highlight in the next Inside the Beltway column, and as always, thanks for reading.
BIDEN’S BUDGET BLUES
And here’s one more lamentation about the nation’s pocketbook concerns, this from Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
“Real average hourly earnings fell 1.3% in February, marking the 23rd month in a row in which inflation has outpaced wages. Groceries are up 10.2%, electricity 12.9%, and rent 8.2%, the highest increase on record,” she said in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
“Bidenflation is breaking the banks and bankrupting families who can’t afford the falling wages, higher prices, and tax increases [President] Biden’s reckless policies created. Instead of trying to ease the economic burden on American workers, Biden is doubling down and asking families to foot the bill for his $6.9 trillion tax-and-spending spree,” Ms. McDaniel said.
For the week of March 6-12, Fox News drew an average nightly prime-time audience of 2.2 million viewers, compared with MSNBC with 1.1 million viewers and CNN with 442,000. In addition, Fox News also aired 83 of the top 100 cable news telecasts.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the heavyweight program of the week, drawing 3.6 million viewers per night, followed by “The Five” (3 million), “Jesse Watters Primetime” (2.7 million) and “Hannity” (2.6 million).
“Fox & Friends” bested its morning competition for the 103rd week in a row. The program netted 1.2 million viewers, compared with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” (808,000 viewers) and CNN’s “This Morning” (337,000 viewers).
And in late night, “Gutfeld” attracted an average nightly audience of 1.9 million, besting both NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” (1.3 million viewers) and HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” (765,000).
POLL DU JOUR
• 19% of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about participating in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
• 18% say they are “very enthusiastic” about participating in the presidential primary.
• 30% say they are “somewhat enthusiastic” about participating in the primary.
• 16% say they are “not too enthusiastic” about participating.
• 8% say they are “not at all enthusiastic.”
• 9% do not plan to participate in the primary.
SOURCE: A CNN/SSRS poll of 1,045 Republicans or Republican-leaning independents.
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