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Laura Ingraham: Threats to Talk Radio Real

By    |   Thursday, 13 September 2007 05:25 PM EDT

If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency she’ll launch an all-out attack on conservative talk radio, top commentator Laura Ingraham warns.

In an exclusive NewsMax interview, Ingraham – one of the nation’s most influential talk-show hosts – discusses her new book “Power to the People” (Regnery) and the sorry state of America’s political and moral culture, both important targets of the alternative media that the left wants to protect. [Editor's Note: Get your copy of "Power to the People" now at 40% off - Go here now.]

A lawyer who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and worked in the Reagan administration, Ingraham is the author of the best-selling book “Shut Up and Sing.”

In “Power to the People” she attacks the politicians who refuse to defend our borders, a Hollywood that peddles profanity and pornography as “entertainment,” schools that teach our kids more about condoms than the Constitution, and arrogant judges who think it’s OK to legislate for the people instead of letting lawmakers do the job. Then she advises what can be done about these outrages.

NewsMax: Do you think the threat to revive the Fairness Doctrine is a serious one?

Ingraham: I do think it’s serious. I think that if Hillary Clinton becomes president, we’re going to see all sorts of moves to regulate political talk radio in a manner that would ultimately drive a lot of [talk] shows off the air because of the push to make individual stations “fair.”

In other words if you have a Laura Ingraham or Sean Hannity on then you have to have two other public interest shows which come from different points of view. What would happen would be that stations would change formats - go into music or do something totally different.

I do think it’s real with everyone from Dianne Feinstein to Congressman Maurice Hinchy to Congressman Dennis Kucinich and many others who have said that they are looking at it seriously. These people are absolutely vexed by the people - millions of people across this country - learning the truth about Washington.

If we didn’t have talk radio in the last election, John Kerry would be president. And the immigration amnesty bill would have passed. As I wrote in the book, there was enormous pressure put on all of us who had dug in hard for the people – 95 percent of my listeners wanted this thing stopped, and wanted some common-sense border enforcement. The elites on the left and the right were in an unholy alliance of Lindsay Graham and Arlen Specter and [Hispanic political advocacy group] La Raza.

When you have Republicans who are closer to La Raza on immigration issues than they are to their core voters, you have a really serious problem in this country.

[The mass protests talk radio sparked] worked on every level. At that moment people really believed they could change things, that everything wasn’t a fait accompli They actually could make a difference. That was a real shot in the arm for folks.

NewsMax: Given the fact that big TV media dominated by liberals also dominate the airwaves, what hope is there to get the message out that the culture needs reform? Can talk radio and the independent media really have sufficient effect to stop the drift towards whatever it is we’re heading for?

Ingraham: Time will tell, but I always bet on the common sense of the American people over what the elites ultimately want to do. It doesn’t mean you’re going to win every battle. It doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to stop every activist judge from getting on the Supreme Court or that we’ll be able to shut down every pornographic enterprise by going after whoever sponsors them, but it does mean that more often than not we’re going to be a conduit to millions of people who, with the new media’s help, will know that the truth is not on the elite side.

I think [talk radio and the alternative media] can have a continuing positive effect on the political debate and culture and I think it will. If it wasn’t having a big effect, they wouldn’t be coming after it with such a vengeance.

NewsMax: Why did you call your book “Power to the People”?

Ingraham: I thought it was about time that we took back that phrase from the self-styled Marxists of the ‘60s and ‘70s. When they had that rallying cry it really meant power to the Marxists, power to the unwashed socialist protesters, power to the free love movement, power to do whatever you want whenever you want regardless of whether it’s right or wrong or conflicts with whatever is best for America.

When I say “power to the people,” I am talking about all the people, not just the few who need a pat on their hands so they can show up at an anti-war rally.

NewsMax: You mention various steps that the American people can take – and you address your comments to both the left and right sides of the political spectrum.

Ingraham: I thought it was important not to keep this within a left-right prism. I really believe that we’ve gotten so caught up with the conservatives finger-wagging at the liberals and the liberals wailing at the conservatives and I think we can agree on civic involvement and putting your principles into practice.

That means getting off our duffs and not just complaining about politicians who don’t listen to us, or politicians who don’t represent our views, but doing something about it. Get involved; get in the game. Decide that you are going to be a positive force in the culture for your children, and not try to be a cool parent, but give them the baseline of excellence in music and literature and all that is good about this country.

When kids have a baseline they have an easier time separating the garbage from quality.

We’re all in this together when it comes to the culture. The culture is who we are at the moment.

NewsMax: You start the book with a chapter on the attack on the American family, bemoaning the disappearance the traditional large family. What do you see as the cause of this?

Ingraham: It has become a life-style choice - the number of children you have. Children are all well and good as political props, but when you’re actually talking about having a lot of little kids in your house – seven, eight, or nine – the elite look upon that as horrifying.

How did we get to the point where having children is selfish?

When you’re international celebrities like Brad [Pitt] and Angelina [Jolie] it’s kind of chic to have a lot of kids, but when you’re a couple living in the heartland and God has blessed you with nine or 10 kids you’re going to get a look. The way we view big families does say a lot about the way we view families, period.”

NewsMax: In your book you talk about the problems you had in your two years with CBS and MSNBC.

Ingraham: When I signed on to work with CBS and MSNBC simultaneously in June of 1996, I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I thought it was a cool opportunity and that it would be a lot more fun than working in my law firm. Even with everything I know about the media and media bias, back in ’96 I still had this idealistic notion, that once I got there I could make a difference – that it wouldn’t be so bad and that I would not be treated like an outcast.

What I found was that it’s a club and I didn’t have the right password, which is for the most part an ideology. It was very obvious that I did not fit in. It was an experience that clarified for me why it’s important for the rest of us to have real media choices because heaven forbid, all the people got was what the producers of CBS News thought was newsworthy every night.

I lasted about two years but it was getting me ready to do what I’m doing now. If it wasn’t for that experience I probably wouldn’t be hosting a radio show heard by millions of listeners.

NewsMax: What do you think is the most important issue you dealt with in your book?

The faith angle I wrote about in Chapter 10. Ultimately that principle of sacrificial concern I wrote about is what we have to re-invigorate in this country. It shouldn’t be just be the troops and the first responders who exhibit that sacrificial concern on a daily basis. Those people are the ones who need to be elevated in our culture and not the Paris Hiltons and Britney Spearses.

In the book I explained that sacrificial concern is the animating spirit that made martyrs of the holy and compelled a great generation to face powerful foes in Europe and the Pacific. We must seek to cultivate a sense of sacrificial concern in the republic. This basic virtue will ensure the strength of America and her goodness.

[Editor's Note: Get your copy of "Power to the People" now at 40% off - Go here now.]

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If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency she’ll launch an all-out attack on conservative talk radio, top commentator Laura Ingraham warns.In an exclusive NewsMax interview, Ingraham – one of the nation’s most influential talk-show hosts – discusses her new book “Power to the...
Thursday, 13 September 2007 05:25 PM
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