The 15.5 million people who have been faithful listeners of talk-radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh are praying that he will return to the airwaves following his poignant sign-off in late December. Guests hosts have been filling in since then as Mr. Limbaugh continues to battle cancer.
“Who will replace Rush? It’s talk radio’s frequently asked question. The short answer: Nobody can,” wrote Holland Cooke, a longtime radio executive and a columnist for Talkers Magazine.
“Though many Limbaugh wannabe’s ape his act, there’s only one Rush,” he said.
Radio station managers are now getting “anxious,” Mr. Cooke says, fretting that they now face a stark reality should Mr. Limbaugh not return to his show. Those station managers will have 15 hours of weekly airtime to fill as Mr. Limbaugh has contributed three hours of live broadcast on a daily basis, five days a week for several decades.
Mr. Cooke consulted with Michael Harrison, editor and founder of Talkers Magazine, and an on-air talent himself.
“Asked about buzz that President Trump — an impactful TV act — might take over when Rush steps down, Michael offered what anyone who does daily talk radio knows,” Mr. Cooke said.
“Television doesn’t require as much prep, as much day-to-day grind,” Mr. Harrison told him. “I don’t know if Trump is ready for prime-time radio.”
AND NOW WHAT HAPPENS?
“Gridlock will likely dominate Washington for at least the next two years for several reasons. First, due to his age (78), some in Washington already see President-elect Joseph R. Biden as a one-term president which undercuts his influence. Also, Biden lost more House seats than any newly elected president since 1960, and the best he can hope for in the Senate is a 50-50 split,” reports Brian Gardner, chief Washington policy strategist for Stifel, a Missouri-based financial services company.
“If Republicans win at least one of the Georgia runoffs, the GOP will keep the majority in the Senate which would mark the first time since 1884 that a first-term Democratic president did not begin his administration with unified government. Even if Democrats sweep the Georgia runoffs and win back the Senate, a 50-50 tie will make running the Senate difficult. Congress is unlikely to pass sweeping legislation given the close splits in the House and the Senate. Thus, any policy changes in the coming two years are likely to come from the regulatory agencies,” Mr. Gardner predicts.
“Certainly, there are advantages to holding the Senate’s majority,” he continues.
“However, the difference between a 50-50 Senate and a 51-49 Senate on the ability to pass legislation is small. There is a de facto 60-vote requirement the Senate (aka ‘the filibuster’) and regardless of the Georgia results, Democrats will be far short of the 60-vote mark,” Mr. Gardner says.
“No matter what happens in Georgia, the Senate’s 60-vote requirement is going to stay in place, gridlock will be firmly in place for 2021, and Congress’s ability to pass sweeping legislation will be restrained.”
IN SEARCH OF ‘TALENTED AMERICANS’
The intelligence community may grow in size in the near future. The CIA has unveiled a massive overhaul of its website to bolster its recruitment efforts.
“The CIA started the New Year with a new look to recruit talented Americans to join the Agency’s foreign intelligence mission,” the federal agency said Monday. “With a completely revamped website focused on recruitment, CIA aims to attract talent by creating an engaging, unique, and streamlined experience for applicants.”
The new site features a stark and dramatic landing page with a simple message and a bold look.
“We are the nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go,” the site advises, providing a clear online path for those who aspire to work in the clandestine field.
“Find your calling,” the site says, providing information on 100 career paths in house.
“We’ve come a long way since I applied by simply mailing a letter marked ‘CIA, Washington, D.C.,’” said CIA Director Gina Haspel in a statement.
“I’m proud to share our new website and hope it piques the interest of talented Americans, giving them a sense of the dynamic environment that awaits them here,” she said.
DERSHOWITZ CANCELS CANCEL CULTURE
Legal scholar and culture commentator Alan Dershowitz warns against cancel culture — the practice of marginalizing a chosen person via intense negative social media and other methods. The process can affect public figures, unknowns, politicians, movie stars and just about everyone else.
“Cancel culture not only cancels free speech and due process, it also derails meritocracies. It says, ‘We’re not going to judge people on their merits; we’re judging people on the basis of identity politics.’ It’s a cancer on America. It’s a political weapon being used by the hard left, in general, and it just has such a terrible impact,” Mr. Dershowitz tells Newsmax.
He also expressed his concern over the power of “social justice warriors” who are determined to take over American culture. Mr. Dershowitz says the name “social justice warrior” itself is deceptive.
“It has nothing to do with social justice. It’s not social. It’s not justice. It’s anti-social injustice. So, let’s not let them claim social justice. Let’s not let them claim they’re progressives; they’re regressives. They are taking away our liberties in the name of their definition of political correctness and identity politics,” he says.
“We have to fight back. Unless we do, cancel culture will become American culture, and that would be a disaster for the freest and the best country in the history of the world,” Mr. Dershowitz advises.
POLL DU JOUR
• 65% of U.S. adults say politics has become “more negative” compared to a year ago; 81% of Republicans, 54% of independents and 65% of Democrats agree.
• 19% overall say the level of negative is “about the same”; 11% of Republicans, 22% of independents and 20% of Democrats agree.
• 6% overall say politics is now “less negative”; 3% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.
• 11% overall are not sure; 4% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 19-22 and released Dec. 28.
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