Friday, November 05, 2004

Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz

How do I spell relief? B-u-s-h v-i-c-t-o-r-y! I would be tempted to gloat, but I am still a little scarred by a sense of narrow escape reinforced by Newsweek's revelations about Sen. and Mrs. Might-Have-Been. I am very, very grateful.

Just by accident of birth, I was born to wonderful parents in the greatest country ever in the history of the world. My parents exemplified American character at its best and I miss them keenly at election time. Dad would have been gratified that his native Iowa returned to the red state column. Mom would have exulted that our home, Orange County, California, provided President Bush with his largest national margin, even more votes than Tarrant County, Texas. Yee-haw!

Both my parents were disaffected Democrats of Reagan’s generation who likewise embraced William F. Buckley conservatism and the GOP in the 1950s and 1960s. My mother, the only daughter of German chef-restaurateurs, was a marvelous cook who spent happy hours each day in her kitchen, all the while talking back to AM radio. She was a political news junkie with few compatible media sources, except for Buckley's National Review and Firing Line, until the advent of Rush Limbaugh, of whom she was an early fan. She passed away months before the electoral ratification of the Gingrich revolution; years before the arrival of the Fox News Channel; and a full decade before talk radio, fair and balanced TV news, and the blogosphere converged to crack the MSM monopoly. In ten years we have witnessed many breakthroughs that would have thrilled her, but she would have no trouble recognizing the same old liberal media establishment.

I consider it a maternal imperative to teach my son how blessed we are to live in this time and place. Depending on our weekday schedule, we can listen to William Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Larry Elder, and Al Rantell. Sean Hannity, full of energy and heart, has the best insider connections, but his guests tend to be the newsmakers and shapers of the past. I am loyal to Rush because he’s "the one who brung me." Rush’s success is extra impressive because he is the show and has remained the dominant voice in a burgeoning field despite well-publicized personal exigencies that have exacted their toll. Oh, how I wish he and Dennis Prager, the conscience of talk radio, were not competing directly in my media market. However, Prager’s archived show is available online at KRLA, if you want to listen and you’ll be glad you did.

The second best news this week for southern California conservatives is that KRLA resumed live broadcasts of the third hour of Hugh Hewitt’s show. Hooray! For too long, a certain San Francisco loudmouth’s three-hour show was sandwiched between Hugh’s second and third hour - in Hugh’s home territory! (You know, that guy who wrote a bestseller that earned him a brief blip on MSNBC. I think it was titled The Crude Country. Could I be more contemptuous?) My prayers and pleas have been answered.

For many of us, including Beldar and the Powerline crew, Hugh Hewitt is our touchstone for conservative multimedia, as William F. Buckley bridged print and electronic media for my mother’s generation. Some ingenious TV network executive should offer Hugh his own new media showcase. (Paging Roger Ailes.) He is the only center-right talk radio elite who blogs and is a generous promoter of fellow bloggers, many of whom he inspired. His guests tend to be the tech-savvy influential thinkers of the September 12th era. (Could I be more complimentary? Heck, yeah.)

As Michelle Malkin and John Hinderaker proclaimed, Hugh Hewitt is one of this election year’s notable winners. President Bush and his supporters owe Hugh big time for keeping the Republican base informed and inspirited throughout the cycles of the campaign, especially after that first debate. Consider this my down payment.

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