tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN October 18, 2016 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
advocate very much involved in the abolition of slavery. it was also the second college in the nation to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women. we accept no money from the federal government. we continue this mission of hillsdale college in the classroom and nationwide through numerous outreach programs, charter schools, and the kirby center, our campus here in washington, d.c., which is to extend that teaching mission to the nation's capital. aristotle says that what is most distinctive about man is his speech and his ability to think out loud about the good, the bad, and the just and the unjust. speech, dialogue, discussion, debate is the key to education, which is why radio is important, especially talk radio. the modern communication jg ere
it is the most conducive to teaching. on our main campus we have a radio station, brand-new raid station, dedicated to the mission of helping hillsdale students learn about radio and the skills that will make them valuable contributors, especially to the news, talk, and networks. wrfh, radio free hillsdale. the general manager of the station is here today and a few students who will probably try to interview you some of you later today. we have 30 students right now working on this -- in this area
and may be looking for internships this coming summer. again, welcome. let me turn the program over to the moderator, one of today's leading authorities on public radio and media, a graduate of hofstra university, michael harrison, my old friend, has served on as on program director. he was the on air personality in numerous stations and has hosted and produced national programs syndicated by abc networks and i could go on. he is currently the editor and publisher of two of u.s. talk radio's leading trade publications "radio info" and "talkers," which he has been publishing since 1990.
michael, the floor's yours. [ applause ] >> thank you, dr. spalding. thank you very much. thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you to our very distinguished panel for coming here today and engaging in which should be a very meaningful viewing and listening experience. that's our goal -- to make this as meaningful as possible. this election couldn't come at a better time than this debate which has been planned for years. the truth is i have been in discussion with hillsdale about this particular moment for the last two years, and we had no idea that the arena, the territory, the ground that we'll be dealing with would be so ground breaking in terms of issues, in terms of the scenario, the paradigm at hand, so this is going to be fun. but i do approach it with a degree of responsibility and
trepidation because i do believe a lot of folks are going to be watching and listening to what we say today. it's an honor to be involved with the allen p. kirby center. allen p. kirby jr. center for constitutional studies and citizenship and hillsdale college, a wonderful organization, and i'm proud to be a part of this. we have a host, a panel of hosts, that represent not just the old left versus right paradigm that has dominated conversation in this type of arena for so many years, but people who have dealt now with the fractures and the nuances and the soul gut-wrenching decisio decisions they have each had to make. this has been indeed challenging. it used to be checkers. and now it's become chess. those of you who know "star trek." it's become three-dimensional
chess and beyond that. let's get right to it. in alphabetical order, last names being the alphabetical order we have chosen, to my left is thom hartman, who is a syndicated host. he is one of the leading progressive voices in media today both on radio and television and in literature. to his left is hugh hewitt. has played a major role in this election. a long-time highly regarded conservative talk show syndicated nationally. next to him is a dynamo, a quintessential local talk radio broadcaster who has served her community in south florida for over 20 years, a recent recipient of the humanitarian of the year award, definitely controversial, definitely opinionated and brave, joyce
kaufman. next to joyce is a cultural leader in our country, a man whose history is the stuff movies could be made about, a recipient of our freedom of speech award, so has thom hartman been a recipient of that, and the humanitarian year of the award as well. his name is joe madison. joe, thank you for being here. next to joe is a colorful individual who i met in washington, d.c. several years ago when he was working with breitbart news. >> that would be the old brei breitbart news. >> he's not only a bright guy,
very much in contact with the trump campaign. the reason i bring the distinction is that my -- everyone has an interpretation of what andrew breitbart stood for and what he wanted to achieve with his websites. i was still working with him in his basement when he started everything. he always had great concerns about what he perceived as the democratic media complex, which was a bit of a revolving door between mainstream media and operatives on campaigns. he didn't like that. he wanted to put an end to it or at least expose it. he didn't want to build his own conservative version of it. i want to draw that distinction. i know many of the proceeds from the site go to andrew's widow
and family, which is very important to me personally, but i left the site a couple of years ago. >> thank you very much for that answer. one of my concerns is whichever candidate wins is one issue i get very political about is my support of the first amendment. without the first amendment, we don't have this thing called america. free speech is not always clean. it's not always tidy. it's not always pleasant. and it's not always right, but it's by far the best thing that we have. i'm concerned about the future of the first amendment if hillary clinton wins or if donald trump wins, and i want to ask each person on this panel -- i usually don't do one question for everybody, but i think this is the core of this election campaign from the media perspective. so let's start with thom. tom, are you concerned about the future of the first amendment as it stands right now per this election regardless of which way it goes? >> i am. specifically because donald trump has praised the model of
the u.k. where it's perfectly legal to sue the press. there is no first amendment in the united kingdom. and has suggested -- well, he's suing "the new york times" right now. at least says he is. i understand libel and slander and all that, but there should be this first amendment protection. and he's outspokenly said he would do that. i've not heard that kind of language from hillary clinton, although the clinton campaign has done a very good job of manipulating the media is almost too strong a phrase. >> are you concerned that hillary clinton doesn't do a lot of press conferences? >> yeah, i am. i would like to see more transparency. >> let's go to hugh. hugh, how do you feel about the first amendment right now as it stands and the purview of this
campaign? >> very concerned. we could put you and vince and our program director and replace all five of us and know more about talk radio. >> you're very kind. >> i think it is very wonderful you would include a ham operator like larry on this panel. fir it's begun with religious freedom is my concern that secretary clinton's appointments will deeply and quickly abridge the federal courts, the free exercise of religion in the united states. i'm deeply concerned. i do believe by executive order she'll attempt to institute local content rules that will vastly impact. i'm worried about the first amendment as it applies to
religious freedom and the dire threat she poses to it. >> thank you. what are your thoughts on this subject? >> well, they're similar to hugh's, but we have a campaign and the nominee with hillary clinton, who has actually been given veto power over what the press is allowed to cover according to the e-mails that were revealed by wikileaks, so i think the press has done to itself more to damage their creditability than either of these candidates will ever do. and i think as a member of the media i'm more concerned about where we're going than what they're going to do to us. >> do you think there's a cleansing process that could come out of this that the media might come out better than it was before as a result of the discussion in this campaign? >> i certainly hope so. it can't be anymore degraded. >> joe madison, what do you think? >> no, i'm not afraid of it at all. wake up. young people are so far ahead of
us on this. you've got social media. you've got snapchat. you've got -- you have every young person in this room -- and all of you are nodding your head on that one -- that has an iphone that can right now tweet anything you want. you can communicate anything you want before we even leave here. you can express yourselves to the entire globe by using your phone. i'm not afraid of it at all. at all. this is an era we live in in which communications right now is at everybody's fingertip and no one can walk in and tell us what we can say or can't say. might disagree with each other, but by the time we have already got out on the street millions
of people will already have heard what you have to say. >> thank you for your point of view. i'm going to get back to that when it comes to the state of the media in the fractionalized paradigm of social media, but let's go back to larry. larry, your thoughts on the first amendment. >> i agree social media allows for a wide open free expression, but the question is about the first amendment, which covers more about free expression as my colleague, mr. hewitt -- can i still call you mr. hewitt? >> professor hewitt. >> honestly, i'm so honored to be with you on this panel. since i was a very young child, i've listening to your program. it >> that's why i'm not afraid of the first amendment.
b >> but freedom of religion is part of the first amendment. there was a time in our country where we, the people, did not fear an executive action to do away with a law. that's not how it goes. he can't do that unless he behaves like our current chief executive. however, as professor hewitt points out, what hillary clinton could do with regard to local control through the fcc, that can be done through the executive branch and our representatives in congress could have nothing to say about it, and that is a fear. >> i find it generally stunning and how outright people are offended by free speech today. we almost seem to be regressing in what terms of what we're willing to tolerate. it's interesting to me that people will talk about colin
kaepernick and him kneeling during the national anthem is a first amendment right, but it's not. it has nothing to do with private enterprise. it's kind of a selective outrage i would say that's growing towards certain kinds of speech, and that bothers me. i'd rather see a more consistent across the board application of the outrage. >> joyce kaufman, you and i had an interesting conversation which is published on "talkers" this week and the podcast. you're talking about a political class and how it is -- we should not worry about the fact that it's taken a tone that some people consider degrading, that it is really exposing people for what they are on both sides. would you elaborate on that? >> well, i'm trying to remember where we were going with that line of thinking, but i'm convinced that the politicians had gotten all together too
comfortable and that the press had stopped holding their feet to the fire. so i think what ended up happening is the people took back radio and took back through social media, as joe points out, a lot of their voice from us. and they're demanding more answers and they're tired of being told what to do and how to think whether it's on the left or on the right. so i think that truly it's been good for the political process. this is not supposed to be a lifetime appointment outside of the supreme court, and i know congressmen who have been sitting in their chairs for 40 years, longer than that, and it's become very untouchable, very unapproachable. i think it's a good thing that we're all yelling at them right now. >> you answered it exactly the way i had hoped you would. you're right on target with where i was coming from. forgive me if i was vague. one of the things that marks this election -- and again, i
view it from the media lens. the media lens is that it is a commercial enterprise. people want to get ratings. they want revenue. they want to keep their listeners happy. there's a lot of preaching to the choir that has gone on in talk radio, but this year it has been difficult because there have been civil wars among the choir. many hosts have found themselves faced with the decision of whether or not to speak their minds and go with their hearts and their core values or to cater to what seems to be maybe a majority of what used to be a unilateral spectrum of positions. hugh, i'm going to go to you with this. before i do, i haven't pigeon holed anyone here as a trump supporter or a hillary supporter yet. both parties have seen a level of civil war that we haven't seen in the modern era.
there are parts of american history where they've actually shot each other in duels, but this is a contentious time. hugh, it's been fascinating watching you as a conservative dealing with donald trump. we've seen it on television. we've seen you go up and back with him. what is the status of it, and how do you feel at this point in supporting or endorsing or neither of this candidate? >> personally, i wait upon events until the end. i note up here the kirby center has maintained the picture of the framing. this is the constitutional deliberations in philadelphia in 1878 leading up to the ratification in 1789. there was quite a lot of suspense of the outcome from both the convention which concluded in september and the ratification which ended a year and a half subsequent. they waited upon events, so i'm
waiting upon events. i find it remarkable despite the amount of give and take on the republican side, the conservative side of the aisle and the dial, it has not been that way on the left side of the aisle and the dial when in fact there is proof positive -- i think reince priebus ran a fair game. i think the room was fair. the approach was fair. mr. trump won the nomination. people can deal with that. on the democratic side, it was a rigged game. it was a rigged game from the beginning. i don't know if thom was bernie or not. i don't know if you were with bernie or not. if i were with bernie, i would realize i had been played for a fool and he never had a chance. w i just don't understand how on the left the bernie people can abide this when they've been
played for fools. >> let's go to thom hartman. wonderful segue. thom, how have you been dealing with all of this? >> i was a bernie supporter. my audience was very familiar with bernie as well. yeah, i was very disappointed by these revelations. frankly, a larger concern is what happened in our media. this is where i was astonished to hear two of you you're concerned that local control of media might be coming down the road, which is called competition. right now the largest radio stations are owned by two companies, which have an ideological bias. if you look back at coverage in the media, abc was the most egregious. but in 2015, trump got -- you
probably know these numbers better than i, hugh. bernie got less than a minute or a couple of minutes. trump got eight hours. to the extent the democratic party were trying to grab this thing and succeeded in doing it, i don't disagree, but i would say the media was even worse frankly in the way they treated that candidacy. it was a serious candidacy, and i think if he had gotten equal treatment in the media, he may well be the democratic nominee for president right now. that's an issue. that's one of the things where i i think frankly local control of media is actually a good thing because it encourages diversity of opinion or competition. >> have you had the opportunity to interview or speak with in recent times hillary clinton? >> no. >> is there a reason for that? >> she is not generally available to the press. we discussed this earlier. >> keep in mind that this man is
one of the leading spokespeople for the progressive movement. >> when i endorsed bernie at the beginning, i said i'm endorsing bernie, but i'll support either candidate. >> i have already interviewed hillary clinton. she has been accessible to my show, so i totally disagree that she's not accessible. look, it's interesting, and i'm going to speak from a different perspective. i'm looking at the same great iconic or constitutional picture you're looking at, but i'm seeing something entirely different. there's something missing in that picture. black people and women.
they're not up there. they don't represent me. they don't represent my interest. as i listen to what happened inside the democratic party or what happened, i think many of us are old enough to remember republicans played a lot of games in the past too when it comes time to decide who is going to get the nomination and who is not going to get the nomination. i'm of the opinion the only reason donald trump -- not the only reason. one of the reasons donald trump, one of the reasons he's gotten t the nomination is billions and billions of dollars worth of publicity, of attention that he got. you even had the candidates on the republican side say so. my god. if you mentioned bush's name or
other candidates' names as much as donald trump, who knows who would have won. when it comes to civil war within political parties, be very careful, everybody. the democrats have had a lot of civil wars. the kennedys and the carters. 1968 in chicago. this is the nature of political parties. and i think part of the problem we have in the media today is too many -- and it's not the people on this panel. this is a very distinguished group of thoughtful individuals, but too many young journalists, too many people in the media, have no institutional history. i swear to god. if i had said this in journalism school, i would never major in
journalism. i'd major in politics. i'd major in economics. i'd major in history because journalism has come to be nothing now but pretty faces and fear, fear that if i ask the wrong question to a candidate that maybe popular or to a personality that maybe popular, once again the social media will start tweeting and i'll lose my million dollar job. it is absolutely embarrassing to listen to journalists who don't know the basic question, the basic position, the basic lesson you learn in journalism that the next question is always based on the last answer instead of having a freaking list of questions that you've got to go through. >> the art of the follow up is definitely to be talked --
>> i have to get to those questions. >> i'm going to get to chris. >> that's ti'll close with this. we have to learn to appreciate each other's different perspectives. perspective is based on what? experience. my perspective is different than hugh's. >> to add to that -- in the 1780s the hughs were digging potatoes in ireland. >> and in 1787 my ancestors were on a slave ship that didn't ask to come here, okay? >> but the ideas they talked about represent all of us because they're ideas of liberty and ordered liberty. slavery is in fact part of the legacy of half of those men. the ideas they debated that are coming to office. >> but their ideals didn't apply to me, hugh.
it didn't apply. >> ordered government and liberty -- >> hugh, we had a civil war. now let's quit this. >> the 14th amendment was necessary, absolutely. >> wait a minute. i'm sitting here and i'm listening to someone tell me whatever your ancestors were doing, they were free. they didn't have shackles. they didn't have shackles. >> let's set aside the ancestors at the moment. >> why? >> because they're creating a system of government. isn't that same system of government that allowed president barack obama to be president? >> 200 years, after jim crow. i'll give you that. >> doesn't that prove the system of government they created does. >> yes, it does. >> endured all other things that had to happen to reach this point. >> it never should have happened
in the first place. >> let me jump in at this point. joe, please. you said you were finishing it up. >> they kicked my ancestors' freedom down the road. >> let's move on. joe, the benefit of this is i'm going to ask another question. chris, i'm going to get to you. joe, within the african-american community which your channel is depicted as serving, the urban view channel, obviously you're dealing with controversy and a wide spectrum of opinions as well. here within the context of this panel you're the only african-american on the panel and you speak on behalf of african-americans and women, which are certainly valid considerations, but in the microcosm of your world where do
you stand and what are the issues that are being debated about this election among black people? >> by virtue of you asking that question means you don't listen. i say this because if you listen you would know. we get this question all the time. what do you talk about on, quote/unquote, urban view. everything. everything. but from our perspective, which is based on our experience. we literally talk about everything. today we talked about dianne feinstein's comments. today we talked about the syria and yemen. i have people who listen to me who are generals at the d.o.v.
i have the secretary of the navy -- >> yeah, but you're not answering my question. it would be rude to me -- please, joe, give me a break. let me do my job, joe. >> okay. go ahead. >> it would be rude of me to come up here and say i listen to him, here's what he does. i'm giving you the opportunity to express what you do. where do you stand among the conflicts that exist among african-americans? what is your position and what are those key issues that you've had to take a position on? it's a valid question. >> no, it's not a valid question. first of all, i don't speak for all african-americans. >> i indicated that. i said there's a spectrum of opinion among african-americans. how as a talk show host do you deal with it --
>> and you also said -- run the tape back, you speak on behalf of african-americans and women on this panel. >> don't mess with me. i'm going to be able to hold a toe to toe. i don't want to debate with you. i want to give you a chance. >> first of all, i'm glad i have your permission. >> i am the moderator and you do have my permission. >> do not pigeon hole me because i'm an african-american. we talk about every freaking thing that white folk talk about. everything. >> we all do morning shows and it's now 11:30. we've been up since 3:30 in the
morning. this is -- i don't know about you -- usually my nap time. >> this is when i come on the air. i have to chime in here because i'm a hispanic. i'm a woman. i'm married to an african-american. i have biracial children and grandchildren, and they don't have a home in urban talk radio because they're conservatives and they're republicans. i think that's important that who is being served by urban radio is not all black people. some of them actually listen to the conservative hosts because that's where their ideological home is and they feel very -- actually, they feel very ostracized when they listen to steve harvey or someone like that where it is so completely one sided in terms of the politics that they don't have a home there. >> they should come home to sirius xm channel 126 where we
do have armstrong williams. we have everybody, but my god. you could say that about a lot of radio stations. hell, michael, i was at a radio station -- we're having fun with each other. i was at a radio station in philadelphia literally wwdb. i was fired because i was told i shouldn't talk about black people, and i was the only black person on the air. midnights to 5:30 in the morning, by the way. >> the problem with dealing with you, joe -- [ laughter ] >> -- is when i address you as somebody who can talk about african-american issues, you always say why me? if i ignore the fact that you're
african-americans, you say i'm not including african-americans. >> why don't you repeat your question? here's what i'm trying to say is. what i'm trying to say is i think part of the problem we have with media is that we fail to realize in 2016 we all are extremely diverse. i'm not doing radio in 1910 where there were race records. >> but race is a major component of this year's election and race is a major issue. >> i want to know why you think you have more access to hillary clinton, for instance, than any other host that i know. >> because i'm a damn good talk show host. >> i'm a damn good talk show host too. >> would you like to respond to
that? >> joe is a damn good talk show host. >> chris, who was trying to get up earlier with a follow-up question -- >> i'm very comfortable speaking on behalf of all the fat, bald, middle-aged white men in the country. i speak on all of their behalves. >> chris, do you see yourself as speaking on behalf of a certain segment of the public and who are they? >> while this has been a very frustrating primary, the conservative talk radio audience is so diversified. are there problems and is it ugly and are we watching how the sausage is being made?
you bet. the wound was gaping and it is wide open for all to see. we have what we have, but i'm awfully proud to be part of a movement, an ideology, or an audience or whatever that has the freedom of thought to not march like lemmings. maybe that's polly anna and maybe you don't win elections that way. but i don't know, the idea of unifying in lock step behind a nominee, republicans are not good at that. >> i think democrats are worse at it. >> really? >> in general, are democrats an easier to talk to as a choir and assume they all have a similar point of view? one of the things people always ask me is why are there more conservatives on talk radio than liberals is the card carrying conservative over the last 25
years is much more of a unified cultural mind than necessarily those that would vote for a democratic candidate. that's just my observation. you may disagree, but one of the problems that conservative hosts face today is something liberal hosts have faced for years. they're not necessarily talking to an easily targetable audience at this point. thom, you have an expression of wonderment on your face. any response to that? >> the democratic party -- what's the old saying? republicans stand up and say yes, sir, but the democratic party is like herding cats. there's a will rogersism. >> i don't belong to an organized political party. i'm a democrat. >> i'm actually more fascinated with the republican party right now because you have the standard bearer of the
republican party, donald trump, standing up during the primaries and saying george bush was the worst president in the history of the united states, the invasion of iraq was done for political purposes and was a terrible, terrible mistake, the so-called free trade deals, every single one of which 100% has passed through congress with the majority of republicans in the house and the senate and opposed by the majority of democrats. and he says he wants to do it with a capital gains tax and cured interest. >> so are you supporting him? >> this was a real challenge for me on the radio because i kept going on the air saying, oh, my god, donald trump took one of the talking points out of my show and my books. i've been saying this for years and years and years. he beat the entire field of
republican ideologues using republican talking points. now he's shifting back to the corporate talking points. maybe we don't need to do away with the capital gains. we'll renegotiate trade deals rather than just blowing them up and going back to a tariff-based trade system. i just find it fascinating. i think he's blown a hole in the side of the republican party that's going to take awhile to fix. people are running around trying to figure out what is this trumpism thing. >> couldn't you say bernie did that to democrats though? >> you could argue that. but if you go back to the franklin roosevelt administration and you go through his list of things essentially, in particular his second bill of rights which he
never rolled out, there was not a single position that bernie took that was not a classic fdr position or arguably a classic lbj position outside of the vietnam war. so no, i don't think bernie was an outlier. i think bernie was a classic big "d" democrat. the democratic party has drifted farther and farther to the right to get these so-called middle voters. >> i think you reinforced chris's point here. if you buy into the idea that the majority of listeners for conservative talk radio are right leaning conservatives, then -- >> i don't buy that point. >> then this season certainly illustrates there is a diversity of opinion amongst that audience as chris pointed out. by donald trump utilizing some populist, protectionist, and isolationist rhetoric, he was able to win the nomination. you can look at the perot voters
and the buchanan voters and the rand paul voters and there's a little bit of their message in what you just described. >> yeah, i don't disagree with that. my take on that is particularly when you look at things like trade basically the republican party sold out to large corporations and billionaires with the reagan administration and has been basically the party of billionaires and corporations ever since serving the interest of the 1%. the democratic party has been serving the interest of the top 10%. >> didn't both democratic party presidents push those trade programs through like nafta and tpp? >> yes, you're absolutely right. clinton signed it, but it was opposed by the majority of democrats in the house and senate. the republican party has been running a scam on their own voters for 25 or 35 years saying
abortion, abortion, guns, guns, gays, gays, god, god. because it's all about the money of at least elected republicans. >> once a democrat becomes president, they then change their positions or defy the party that put them there. >> no, what i'm saying is donald trump pulled back the curtain and he exposed the scam that is the republican party and the republican voting base. you're saying the base is, quote, conservative. i'm saying they're not. >> no, i didn't. this is a very diverse body. >> i think most republicans want dwight eisenhower back. my dad was a dwight eisenhower republican. dwight eisenhower and hillary clinton are not that far apart on most issues. >> what will happen after the election if mr. trump wins? there will be a continuing tension within the republican party. if secretary clinton wins, everyone is going to be back on
the constitution side against the government because we are the party where we believe we have to rule the government and the democrats are the party of the government to rule the people. >> that is not right. >> when i get up in the morning and i'm on from 6:00 to 9:00 in the morning, i'm competing with npr. it's staffed by leftists. i worked for pbs for ten years. that's why they can't get going. npr has all the leftists, mike. as long as the government subsidizes leftism on the radio, it's all for me. >> playing devil's advocate with you, hugh, at what point does a person stop being a conservative and become a leftist? where is that line? >> when you believe that 50% of the government gdp is okay. by the way, thom just agreed with me about why -- >> it's not the only reason. >> joyce, i see you have
something to say. >> a large piece of is it who is going to advertise on a program where the host spends the predominant time talking down to businesses and claiming businesses are what's ruining this country. >> i don't know any left wing hosts that have said that. i've made millions of dollars. i'm pro-business. what i'm opposed to is monopoly. if there are monopolies out there that want to advertise on my program, it's not going to happen. >> larry, are you concerned -- >> i work for one of those companies, by the way. i've never seen any ideological
bias from the top of the company to my own program director. >> look at your programming. >> but that means it's successful programming that appeals to an audience. >> we were in miami. clear channel took us off the air when somebody lost an election. i believe this was after -- they flipped to sports that's never beat half its share. i was beating rush limbaugh. they flipped it off into sports. it's never pulled the same kind of ratings, but it is ideologically to the right. >> let me jump on that. i do not believe that there is an ideological basis to any of these companies in terms of broadcasting, but rather their belief in ratings and revenue. >> yeah, they belong to the green party. >> i remember when rush limbaugh was on the rise and there were far more owners of radio than there are today. many of them said to me i don't
agree with a word this guy says, but he's making the phones light up. he's creating a buzz. as long as he's good for my business, i'm for this guy. and i'm troubled by the fact spoken word radio is not completely fair all the way across the spectrum. that would be lovely if business were to support that thing, but i do believe that most of the captains of industry in the radio business are not ideological ideologically driven but rather concerned about ratings and revenue. some of them have appeared to be incompetent in executing that. what happened in miami might have been incompetence. a lot of what happens in corporate america and we're seeing in the radio industry is that corporate america tends to find something they think works. that's the only thing that works. they duplicate it and build it
up and stick with it. they won't even talk about certain types of talk radio because they already have a predetermined decision that it won't work not because they're against it. they would put anything on. and we're seeing that. as a matter of fact, one of the problems with the discussion in the media today about this election and how low it is gone in terms of highest and lowest common denominator has been the networks and the big time media thrilled they're getting such attention and such ratings. they have sold out the soul of the country for the sake of the buck. i don't believe that these radio companies have some type of political motive. they're not that virtuous. >> michael, i would add not only do they not have an incentive. it's been my experience with guys like rush limbaugh in the line up it's extraordinarily difficult in a lot of markets to sell that guy. there are what we call no buy, no rush edicts.
most companies are very familiar with door knocking to make a pitch and being told, no, we're not spending money on rush limbaugh. now what's very real out there, you want to talk about a chill to free speech, people who are terrified to spend a dollar on rush limbaugh's show no matter what they think of his politics. they know they could reach a lot of people if they did it, but they choose to not because they're terrified of the backlash they'd receive if they did it. i think that's a terrible place to be. >> i absolutely agree. that is wrong. >> there's an analogy. all of broadcast, it's all spoken word. it's all one big mall. i'm sports chalet. i like being sports chalet. all of broadcast has won this year. we have all won because of this. i'm not sure the country has won. next year is going to be the real challenge.
next year is going to represent a great deal of buyers' remorse no matter who wins and a great deal of disgust no matter who wins and keeping the require a think of cross id logical pairing. >> well said hewitt, hugh. hugh, i want to point out something to you. i want to modify something i said. when i talked about corporate radio, obviously different companies have different levels of virtue and commitment. your company, salem, i do believe having observed it has an id logical -- i get that feeling. itis only fair to mention that. >> i'm going to jump in on this and say that personally, i miss the fairness doctrine. i miss being -- again, i tell
you why. when i first started in talk radio 30 years ago, it was -- i had a responsibility that i had to address both sides of the issue. if i interviewed a republican, i had to give equal time to a democrat. and i had, as a broadcaster, i had to be able to argue both positions or at least address both positions. i think when that fairness doctrine went away, it signaled, here is what we can do. we can strategize, we can put the conservatives over here and the liberals or progressives over here. but, i miss the days when the walter cronkites or individuals and the barbara walters whether you want to call them -- or the bernard shawls, they were men and woman who could argue and discuss both sides of the issue.
i miss the old tv show they used to have, point counter point. >> cross fire. >> cross fire. i really do miss that. >> i have a question. >> yeah, yeah. >> what is better served, my debating justice as i did for two hours about what that meant or you interviewing two smart lawyers? >> i would hope i would have a better -- i wouldn't interview two dumb lawyers let alone two smart lawyers. why would you change lawyers? i would want to interview you and justice briar. that's where i think -- >> you are better served when they clash. >> but, again, how about a justice briar and clarence thomas in the same studio and then that means you and i or whoever is doing it, we have to be able to address both sides.
i'm just saying that's one of the things i miss. i would add one other thing, that is this argument of what's going to happen after the election. if you listen to donald trump, he says what's going to happen if he doesn't win. it's a conspiracy. he's already -- this is what i don't understand with the folk i'm up here with. he's already condemned all of you. all of you are part of the corporate media and he said yesterday, you guys are conspireing to bring him down. so, i don't understand how you can sit here and talk about what's going to happen after it because if donald trump wins, hell, he wants you fired. >> how do you feel about that? >> i don't have a problem with fairness. that's an individual broadcasters responsibility, not the government telling me i have to be fair. if i interview the republican
candidate for congress, i invite the democrat candidate for congress. they seldom will come on the show. their feeling is they are not addressing their voters, so why waste their time. the same is probably true as to why hillary clinton would go on radio stations that cater to a particular demographic that she was looking to get to vote for her. i mean, you are a great radio host but trust me, if you were a great conservative radio host, you would have a lot of trouble getting hillary clinton to come on your show. they are opposed to having an ideological debate because they lo lose them. >> i don't want to be a great progressive radio host or great conservative radio host. i want, maybe this is the corporate in me, hell, i want everybody's money. i want efbd to listen to me and be a critical thinker. now, i know what currently
exists, michael. this is where we are now and there's not much i can do about it. but, there are very few middle of the road folk out here. tough get hard because you either are a conservative or you get hired because you are -- >> that's part of the pre-existing bias that exists in corporate media. you have to have an opinion, stick to it and don't suck. >> have you invited justice thomas on your show because i would love that interview. >> again, for the reason you say hillary won't come on your show, he won't come on my show. >> really? >> excuse me, do i look like i'm not telling the truth. >> i'm not accusing you of lying. my hypervolatile reaction was not a suggestion you were not being forthcoming with the truth. >> no, no, no. >> since most of the people -- >> donald trump won't come on. the last time i had -- let me
tell you what happened. last time i had, who was it that walked out of the studio? glen beck. glen beck came on -- glen beck didn't want to come on. glen beck walked on the studio of siriusxm. i said come on, we're on the air. he came on. the first question i asked him is why did you call president obama a racist? you know what he said? oh, i never did. >> yes you did. >> no, i dnlt. i said play the tape. he said i was confused on his liberation theology. oh, okay. he goes back outside and tells his staff people don't tell anybody we were on the joe madison show. we've already broadcast it but, this is what's going on.
i'm telling you, it's crazy. but, it's selling. let's be quite honest. donald trump may have something going for him. he's absolutely right. corporate america has bought into this until something else pops up and it will change all of us, again, and we'll adjust or be out of work. >> larry, are you concerned -- do you support trump on your show? >> i have made it a point not to -- i have a strange opinion about my role. >> we were just talking about this. >> we literally had this conversation last night. >> it's funny, you raise glen beck. i get uncomfortable with radio hosts putting themselves in a position where they are telling their listeners what they should do. and putting themselves in a position where if you don't listen to me and agree with me or follow me, our country will be destroyed. it makes me very uncomfortable.
i openly wear my politics on my sleeve, unlike the liars on the main street media. my listeners know i'm a republican and i, during the primary process, i did not support any of the candidates. i don't think that serves our audience. i very specifically said, however, i'm republican. i'm going to support the republican nominee, which is what the republicans who were running as president pledged to do. that maintains -- >> you made a lot of news yesterday. first time for everything. tell me about that. that was actually an extraordinary 4.5 minutes. >> jake tapper or -- i made news twice. oh, jake. we had jake tapper on from cnn. we asked him about the wikileaks revelation that his former colleague delivered one of the questions for a town hall to the clinton campaign. she originally, exactly during
the primaries. she originally said that was not a question from the debate and the next day the question penned by rowan martin proved it was verbatim word for word. jake tapper was outraged this happened that it happened on his watch. >> i still can't believe. >> you have done debates. >> i can't believe -- is there an alternative explanation? >> before the second e-mail came out, i gave her the benefit of the doubt. i said we have all been on television, is it possible it was a question she had to answer? we saw quite the opposite. i don't see what the alternative explanation is. let's not forget, everybody is talking about the media aspect and she was a member of the media and given advanced information. to put it back to thom hartman, she was on the board of the dnc. her predecessor got drummed out
of the position she holds because she was in the tank. why are they not drumming donna brazile out. one other follow up question, if i may, mr. hartman, it stuck with me. earlier you said you were disappointed in the media and the networks for not having a fair playing field for the democrats primary. why do you hold the immediamedi a higher standard than the democratic party. >> i prefaced my remarks about the media saying the democratic party was not playing fairly. >> then you said, what bothers you more -- >> it does. the democratic party has very little control. you know, they are supposed to -- >> they have proven they are in control. >> they demonstrated more control than they should have. in terms of the by law of what's getting out there is not their law. >> their job is to run a fair primary, which they didn't do. >> i agree.
>> larry, don't you agree the media plays an extraordinary amount of influence, has amazing influence? >> they do. one thing, joe, i'm so glad to meet you. i have been a fan, not as slong as i have been of hugh but one thing you said rubbed me the wrong way. you said rhetorically the reason donald trump has the nomination is because of the media and publicity he got. see, i don't believe that. maybe this is controversial, but i think that by saying that you also said, by the way, we need to do our best to appreciate different perspectives. i think it's important we appreciate the different perspective of the republican voters. he's the nominee because the voters voted for him. i think it's insulting to the voters to suggest they only voted for him because they saw him on tv a lot. he had a message. you may not have liked the message or the way he delivered
the message. a liberal very clearly identified the support that donald trump got. he did get the nomination not because of publicity, but he was delivering a message in a way that had not been delivered before and in the way we hear often on talk radio. finally, someone is saying what i have been thinking and haven't been putting it in words. again, you can argue with the message. to say it was publicity -- >> i'm not -- let me correct myself. i'm not saying it was just that. there's no one thing that existed. i agree with you, you are absolutely right, i mean, he was at one point, i mean, i'm listening to him rail againlsag you know, team pete looking at thom saying you have to vote for this guy. you know, he's on your side. >> really does seem closer to you than hillary does.
>> but then, so, it's never one thing, but, again, i was just sharing quite candidly what the other, i don't know, candidates -- >> i believe the final count was 38. >> what the other ones were saying. that's the only thing i was -- >> i just -- >> i was stating what they were saying. >> they were repeating the same message they have heard from the republican party. carley fiorina aside. >> joyce step in. let joyce -- please. >> here is the question, michael that no one is answering. what do you guys and ladies, what are you going to do now that your candidate has attacked you? he's attacked every person up here. he said it yesterday, as clear as i'm sitting up here, that all of you work for corporate media. i work for corporate media.
we are his enemy. now, what do you do if he wins? >> can i just jump in for a second? let me jump in. talk radio loves to -- talk radio, joe, loves to play the role of not being the mainstream media. >> mainstream media treats us like -- >> i don't know what the mainstream -- i don't know if there is such a thing as mainstream media anymore. the institutions that are under the umbrella of mainstream media are the ones suffering the most in terms of disintegrating in the face of social media and digital era. >> remember what he said? he's changed it. it's not corporate media. >> it's actually media. he says media. >> no. >> to a certain degree, then we'll get to joyce. it may have been a different soundbyte that you heard and i heard. there are a lot of soundbytes. we'll get to joyce in a second. i also found talk radio loves to be attacked by politicians.
it makes it special. if all the politicians were suddenly saying how wonderful talk radio was, what is left for this medium and the role it plays? joyce? >> that's perfect for what i was going to talk about. i have a lot of respect to thom. he shows up at event that is are largely conservative all the time as the only person broadcasti ining live. the fact you would support hillary clinton is stunning. our junior senator was one of the most highly favored candidates in the republican primary and he is -- to my audience. we can't stand him because of the bill. he lied on my radio program. i never forgave him. i will never support marco rubio. i'm not a republican, happen to be an independent. i don't know if anybody else on this panel is. i have to tell you, i could no more support marco rubio than i could support hillary clinton. i don't understand how she could have done and pulled off what she did against your guy and
you -- that's the lock step we are talking about. conservatives like me, we don't fall in lock step. look at hugh, one day yes, one day no. you never know. >> he is all over the damn place. >> there's something liberating by not having to be in lock step. >> thom, answer this. thom, answer this. >> i'm happy hillary clinton adopted 80% to 90% of bernie sanders agenda. you say until the election. that's going to be up to us, right? that's up to my audience and your audience, frankly. one of the things she has demonstrated, which some have characterized as a negative i think is a positive, is the ability to figure out the way the country is going and change your position on that. she did it with gay marriage and don't ask don't tell. she did it with the keystone pipeline. you can call it flip-flopping. i'm quite pleased with it as
long as she stays there. i am under no illusions she will not stay there unless we push the hell out of her. i think the american people would be very pleased to have a candidate who is responded to the american people. >> you admire the notion of i'll believe whatever you want to believe, just give me power. >> it's not what i'm saying. it's not what i'm saying at all. i can give you a list of issues. >> through the primaries, as per what joyce said. i was on the debate panel with cnn, now the red cross. all broken up. there's a key difference. i want to make sure i make this point. i never worked for cnn. salem sponsored the debates with cnn. zucker, tapper, blitzer and bash, it sounds like a law firm, but the four principle characters. they were fair. it's a revelation to me how fair
they were. priebus ran a fair game. the deepest amount of corruption in this cycle was in the democratic national committee which was corrupt to the core. the republican national committee was fair. donald trump won a fair game. he won 40%, not 60%, that's why it's a divide. there were too many candidates. it might have been better. cnn won a fair game. the democrats were corrupt to a core. i do not understand how a sanders voter can look past that. i could not vote for someone in a rigged game. i would never go to that casino again. >> you make a good point. and, what that means is that anybody who cares about the democratic party and shares an ideological alignment with the democratic party needs to get inside the democratic party. progressives need to do what tea partiers were doing in 2006, 2008 and 2010. i'm going to run for office. i want to be a part of this party. i want to change the party.
i want to participate in writing the platform. i want to be one who selects who the primary candidates are going to be. that's actually happened. yeah, the democratic party was, at least in this regard, corrupt in this cycle. i don't disagree with that and debbie wasserman schultz is out on her kiester. and the democratic electorate. >> one of the things you asked about was politicians la meanting talk radio. that's very, very real. i come from kansas city, missouri, originally. i host a show in philadelphia. i have a unique perspective i come from flyover country. that audience -- >> know professional sports. >> well, hey, listen, for two weeks i can wear this royals pin. you know, when i got to philadelphia and started making regular trips to this city, washington, d.c., and i spent time working for a congressman
for some time. what is so real and i have heard it and been invited to dinners, they talk, i'll speak for myself, i don't know about you all. they have spoken to me and my audience like we are a bunch of knuckle dragging idiots. they have uttered contempt for most talk show hosts. they don't think we understand the knew wanss of their parlor room discussions. quite frankly, just this morning, i interviewed john dickerson with "face the nation." i asked him, do you think the guy in fly overcountry watching your show in nebraska this weekend, does he understand that your pals, your cocktail party pals with the people you are covering? does he get it? i didn't mean to attack him, per se. he said well, we are more than that. in a lot of cases, our kids play soccer together. it's very insidious
relationship. it's quite frankly, gross. so many average americans don't understand that the people that are talking to us about the politicians that they cover are genuinely friends, social friends of theirs. and that taints and corrupts their coverage inherently because they are next door neighbors and pals. then the politicians have contempt for most of our audience and hosts, not in the beltway. not in the corridor that are out there because they think we don't understand their nuance. >> that's where i think we are. >> we may be totally wrong. i will say this, again, with the exception of people on this panel. i tell you one of the reasons i said this. when i watch hugh on tv and i have watched you deal with international issues, i can tell he knows what the hell he's talking ability. >> thank you. >> no, you really can. and i may not agree with his --
but i can tell he knows his subject. when i listen to thom hartman, i can tell thom knows what he's talking about because he's learned and studied. now, you just said, you worked for congress. you have a certain insight that -- that you know what you are talking about because you have seen it. i would imagine all of us have had that. i spent the 30 years i spent in talk radio, half of that was spent working with nacp, at the same time. i know race relations. i know my community. i know politics. i'll go back, once again, i think a lot of people in our business, michael, really, and i go back to this, don't know the subject. what happens in talk radio, too
often, and i have seen this. they think because the lines light up you are a good talk show host. i can light the lines up given out zodiac signs. >> that's true. it's true. it's a false sense of security. >> these are programmers and managers and oh the lines are lit up. all nine lines, all ten lines. i had a program director who when he auditioned a talk show personality, he had a button in the console where the lines went busy. and nobody could call in. he sat there and watched that talk show personality for a half hour. can you carry the conversation? talk radio is a misnomer. 97% of people have never called talk radio. if you think you can light those
lines up, all you have to do is talk about gun control, race, religion and those lines will light up. i would tell you, that's part of the problem that we have in this industry. we don't have enough people -- almost everybody on this panel, look at your -- i didn't know your background. >> you don't. i'm not a constitutional law professor. i didn't work for a congressman. i didn't work for a very famous activist group like the naacp. i'm a father of four who worked in the entertainment business in management. i have owned a company and i'm an average american voter and i have strong feelings about what's going on in my country and i'm on 105.9 fm and wmao on a.m. i'm mornings and afternoon.
i do an afternoon drive hour, 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. open your mind, joe, this is my point. this is my point. i think that the american people, many of the american people and i think much of the audience for talk radio came to talk radio because they felt alienated by what they saw on television and they were tired of being talked down to. i think they were tired of being lectured to. i think what makes hugh's show so fantastic is he doesn't lecture like a constitutional law professor. yes, he has that knowledge base, but he talks to us and i talk to that guy or mom or dad driving on the beltway stuck in traffic trying to get through the day. i get it. we care mags natalie about the country. because we don't have that advanced degree, our voice matters, too. that's what the listener hears. i think there's something
powerful in that. >> one of the problems is that attention deficit disorder is as dangerous a plague as the zika virus or other problems we face. there is the feeling in media that you don't want to talk above people's heads. there is the feeling in media you can say whatever you want but have to get it by the next commercial break that is always coming in two or three minutes, then eight minutes of commercials and you can't remember what you were talking about. it is en vogue not to keep a listener on the line over a commercial break. that's a no no. the problems our society faces are more complicated than any radio clock or television clock. television is more shallow. there's an epidemic of institutionalized shallowness in the public discussion. politicians know this. they deal with it brilliantly. it's very difficult to be a host
who really cares about the people and cares about the truth in this environment. it's a serious problem that our country faces and our democracy faces. joe? >> i resent this. politicians, it's on all sides, they want to use our show as public relations. that really ticks me off. you know, we were just coming up this stage. i'm listening to an obama administration official that deals with international affairs on, excuse me on c-span radio. i have been trying to get this individual on for over a year. i see him at functions. yeah, i'll do your show. as soon as you call, you have gate keepers. they don't want to come on when there's an issue all of us need to be talking about. when they have a news release, then they are knocking on the door. can i come on?
can i come on? you wouldn't come on when there's a hot issue that everybody is talking about. so, we are sort of caught between a rock and a hard place. >> they don't answer the question. they are masters at that. they don't answer the question shamelessly. joyce? >> back to larry's point about what it is that keeps us motivated. i happen to be a destination radio program. i'm not on in morning drive or afternoon drive. people have to deliberately turn to my radio program to hear me. they do not turn to my radio program to hear my listeners. they don't turn to it to hear my guests. i was told once by the late, great neil rogers talk radio is a stew. i'm the meat. the guests are the potatoes and the listeners are actually salt and pepper. you don't want to use too much salt and pepper. you want mainly meat. i don't listen to thom hartman
to hear his callers or guests. i want to hear them. >> now i'm hungry. are we serving lunch? >> one other thing i would like to point out if i may jump in. thank you, michael. one of the things along these lines, it is getting increasingly difficult to get callers. this may not be the case with every show. there are fewer callers per capita at this time than five years ago, ten years ago, 15 years ago. the reason for that is a lot of the listeners feel that way. they don't want to hear what joe from brooklyn thohas to say. oftentimes, they derail a program. the other problem is, we are in a society where people have facebook, twitter and social media. there are people living -- it's actual lay psychological syndrome. a lot of people are living in this reality show psychosis that their life is a reality show being lived on facebook. they have their own pardon the
reference, they have their own peanut gallery and go through life being stars. when i used to do talk radio in l.a. between 75 and 85 on a rock station, i walked in the studio and all the lights were lit. i didn't have to have a monologue. i surfed the calls. how i handle this is all i have to do. i didn't have to provoke calls or get it going. today, being on the radio is not that big of a deal as it was. they are less likely to call. >> one subject an hour is the rule. >> breaking news, now dominates everyone's day. insist upon knowing what is happening that minute. they need to know what you are telling them is true. there is an incredible appetite. we all make bone headed mistakes. a director for salem called me up and i decided to talk about my fantasy football draft for a day. he called up and say, you know, hugh, there are a lot of great
sports stations in america. if a listener wants to listen about fantasy football, they are probably going to dial espn. ding. that light went on. what they want is breaking news presented in form and discussed from a point of view that makes sense. the people who are winning, i think thom could win on the left if npr did not block. i want to go back to this. >> great point. >> npr blocks it development of center left radio because it is center left radio. it is actually way left radio. the bbc exists and sirius is going to block it. how you made your way is admirable. god forbid the fairness doctrine comes back. that is the hand of government telling people what they want in the case of what i give them, breaking news wrapped up with analysis and guests is not what they get. the government will make the choice for them. that will be a disaster.
well said. you deserve that kudo. who thom hartman has done is amazing. he created his own platform and has a critical mass of listener that is makes a difference in an industry that is not fair. of course, i don't want to see the fairness doctrine come back, joe, because the other side of that point, and i do have to answer it because nobody else did. when there was a fairness doctrine, there wasn't such a thing as a talk radio industry. there were a few talk shows here and there and most didn't talk about politics for fear an irrational government hand is going to step in and tell them what they can or cannot do, fine them or worse yet, take away their license. it chilled -- >> michael, you could speak to this, michael. every year you annually host a talkers convention and we gather in new york and talk about the industry. there are a lot of people in our industry right now that are sitting on the sidelines of talk radio trying to make the sale that all of us are making
mistake discussing politics at all. >> that's another issue. i'll address it. there's nothing wrong with talking about politics. there are so many lousy signals without ratelings and business. why can't they talk about something else. why only politics? again, this one dimensional thinking is people talking about politics should stop and talk about something else. no! you can't talk about politics too much. it's an important topic. it will never go away. people that say people are tired of politics, they don't know history. politics is forever. only sex is bigger. politics is huge. but, when you think about all the frequencies out there and all the possibilities out there and even within your own shows, the diversity you can bring as human beings on the air within your show, as larry pointed out. it's a shame there's no other kind of talk radio than politics and sports right now. >> the great thing about this
particular election, it has politics and lots of sex. >> oh, yeah! >> i want to say one thing, then i'll stop. i'm trying to talk as little as possible. but, have you noticed, we haven't talked about sex? >> the fairness doctrine thing. i'll be open minded about it and, again, it's just the -- i'm not looking for government. i don't want it to be misunderstood. i just enjoy that critical thinking. i just enjoy, you know, listening to both sides. i enjoy being able to debate both sides of it, being able to understand both sides of it, then coming to a conclusion. i just miss those days when -- if programmers want to do it voluntarily, that's fine. i really mean that. but, you don't hear that now.
it just doesn't exist. >> joe? >> you can tune into the show because i think now, i may be wrong, i tune into this particular person because they think like i think. not that they think differently. >> it's like sports radio and homey's. homey is a sports talk show host extremely supportive of the local team especially if they are paying him or her for the job. we have a lot of homeys on talk radio and political talk radio. here is the problem, in my opinion. we have developed a culture which we seek victory at the sense of truth. think about that. we seek victory at the expense of truth as a posed to seeking truth at the expense of victory and that's why debates and discussion and left and right for the sake of a compelling, productive result has gone out of style, because nobody is listening to anybody who says
something other than what they think. so, i have a question for each of you. coming down toward the end. i have one question for each of you. give it some thought. start with thom. i'm going to bounce around. i'm not going to do it in order. you don't know where it's going to go. be ready. if the election were held today, do you think the result would be different than if it were held six months from now, one month from now or two weeks ago? do you think there is an undecided group in this country this time around that makes a difference and that any of this discussion, all these debates is having any impact? thom? >> yes, i did. i don't think this undecided group is an undecided voter. i think there are within the republican and democratic constituencies. the evidence is what happened since last friday with the sex tape with donald trump. now we have not just republican voters, but elected officials running for the exits. itis not impossible.
something similar, not similar sexually, but equally news worthy would be the word could come out about secretary clinton or somebody in her campaign. it's possible worse is coming out about donald trump. i mean, three weeks, you know, the old cliche, a week is an eternity in politics. i think it's true. >> i think it's historically been true. i don't think it matters anymore. i think we have heard it all. >> i hope so. >> we have national debates in which the commentators tell you what is going to be talked about and what the candidates should say in order to win. it's like sports. if tom brady has a good day throwing a ball, they make more points. hugh? >> i'm waiting because if it turns out to be the case, secretary clinton's private e-mails are appearing in public, it is a disqualifying moment. there could be other major events in the next month. it could change two or three
times. >> chris? >> i agree with hugh on that. i wouldn't have thought a major presidential candidate could be caught on tape seizing and then lifted into a van three months ago. i thought that was devastating. it's all but forgotten. >> i agree. if secretary clinton has another public health episode, it could be a game changer. anyone trying to predict what is going to happen in this election cycle is playing the fools game. i have made one prediction this entire time early on in 2015 when i said on the air jeb bush would not be the nominee. all the polls and all the money said he would. by the way, back to that quickly, if he hadn't been seen as such a giant front-runner early on, i believe mitt romney may have gotten back in. i think he thought jeb locked up that establishment money and he
wasn't going to be able to compete. had mitt romney come back and run, i think this would be over already. >> interesting choice. >> unchartered territory. i agree. i don't think you can make a prediction and be accurate, yet. on the other hand, we have never had so much early voting going on. in many ways, we get to tabulate those results, it won't matter what happens in two week ifs you have already cast your vote. i'm opposed to early voting for that reason. >> joe? >> the same. i think i heard someone say it's really overnight can be a lifetime in politics. overnight. so, we all would agree that it's the event, no question. someone told me yesterday that they believe the opposite side of hillary clinton. something is going to come down. it may change everything. that's just the way it is. overnight can be a lifetime in politics. here is what i predict.
i predict donald trump win the popular vote and hillary clinton is going to win the electoral. >> that would be pretty. >> excuse me, then all hell is going to break loose because donald trump is going to argue that it was a conspiracy that all these guys were involved in. i won't be -- >> all right. sit tight. i want to introduce a gentleman who is extremely important in this whole thing happening. he is an up ant coming captain of industry in our radio industry. i wish there were more like him. he is the ceo and founder of bold media group based out of pennsylvania into new york state and eventually the world. he that has bold gold media foundation, which i'm proud to be on the board of directors which has raised money to support student broadcasting and study of the constitution in that regard.
he's a great broadcaster. we owe him a debt of service, a debt for his service. that is vince benedetto. vince, would you come up and say a few words? [ applause ] >> well, i want to thank the panel. that was great, wasn't it? what do you think? [ applause ] >> really, a debt to michael harrison. there is no greater defender of our industry, radio, than this man right here. please give him a round of applause. [ applause ] >> i also want to thank him for making today here one of my worst nightmares come true, which is having to speak after six great radio talk show hosts. i love radio. you know, in full disclosure, i have never been on the radio, probably should never be on the radio. i'm an investor in radio.
i got out of the air force in 2003 and put a company together to start to acquire radio stations. i'm a believer in the medium, the medium of talk radio. i believe it's the modern day town hall. i think it's where americans gather to listen about the issues of the day. it is the ultimate example of free speech and why it must be preserved. i also believe that it has fantastic future. we are living in the golden age of audio. the average consumer is consuming audio at a record clip. the pie is growing and people are consuming more information and audio every single day. this is radio's principle wheelhouse. it's what we do best, create content at the end of the day. as they say no bold gold media group, radio is on air, online, mobile, social, live and local. it's got a tremendously great future.
the talk radio medium is uniquely important. it is the most demanding medium news and talk formats. it's the hardest to have the greatest hosts. it needs a bench. i'm a believer of young people in this medium not just entrepreneurially like i did, but young people aspiring to want to do what the great folks on this panel have done. i have been honored to work with hillsdale college to get their first campus in michigan, 101.7 wrfh. we have two great students here in the program if you would raise your hand. raise your hand. up, up, up. you are why we are doing it. all of this is for you. we have the general manager, scott, acknowledged earlier, but he's teaching them radio. we need that bench. we need it to continue to fleurish for the sake of the country and the sake of the medium. i'm proud to have been part of
that. i want to thank all of you for coming here today. thank you, michael. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, vince. thank you. thank you all. thanks to hillsdale college and thank you to this panel. i'm very proud to have moderated this panel. thom hartman, hugh hewitt, joyce kaufman, joe madison, larry o'connell and chris stigall, we made it through 90 minutes of our time. the election of 2016 and we took the very high road and i am so grateful to all of you and so proud of our industry. proud of this audience. proud to be associated with hillsdale and wish you all well and that concludes this conversation. thank you all. >> thank you, michael. [ applause ]
z. watch c-span's live coverage of the third debate between hillary clinton and donald trump wednesday night. the preview starts at 7:30 p.m. eastern. the briefing for the audience is 8:30 p.m. and the 90-minute debate is at 9:00 p.m. stay with us following the debate. watch the debate live or on demand using your desktop, phone or tablet at c-span.org. listen to the coverage on your phone with the c-span radio app. download it from the app store or google play. >> former nba all-star and hall och famer, kareem abdul-jabbar
spoke of race relations. here is a portion of his remarks at the press club from yesterday. >> it's not often at our podium we have a major celebrity, a star athlete and accomplished journalist. today, we do. kareem abdul-jabbar is known to the world as the greatest basketball player of all time. he led ucla to three championships and burst into the nba in 1969. with his trademark, sky hook, he dominated the lead, winning six championships and being named an all-star 19 of his 20 years as a player. he hasn't played in 30 years professionally, he remains the nba's all-time leading scorer. that was enough to invite him here today. since he left basketball, he's become a best selling author of a dozen book that is range from a world war ii history to a
graphic novel about sherlock holmes. his latest work is beyond black and white. he writes regularly for "the washington post" and "time" magazine. he praised san francisco 49ers quarterback colin kaepernick who published protest by taking a knee at games during the national anthem. he converted to islam and has become a leading thinker for the rights of americans and activists in the united states. through his skyhook foundation, working to improve the lives of kids bringing education into their community. if all this wasn't enough, he appeared in several films, including the 1980 comedy, "airplane." abdul-jabbar wants his new book to start a dialogue about social injustice in america. we hope this lunch today will be part of that conversation. give a press club welcome to the
tallest man to stand at this podium, kareem abdul-jabbar. [ applause ] >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you very much. thank you for that great introduction. i guess a lot of people are curious to know why i wrote this book. usually they expect me to write about hoops or one of my other favorite subjects that goes through my brain. but, i had to do this book because it was very important to me because of what i seen going on in our country. it's interesting i got a chance to talk to my good friend eric holder about these issues because it's something that has affected our nation for such a long time and we just now at the
point where we can talk about these things and try to find a solution. that's really my motivation, solution. i have several suggestions in the book about how we can deal with some of the issues that i talk about. i talk about all types of things, race, aging, a little bit about hoops. and, just how we have gotten to a point where we can't speak to each other and i have been inspired by the founding fathers and the way they were able to come to a consensus and figure out how to leave us with a document that enabled us to have this great nation that we have. we have to keep this in mind because unless you can listen with an open mind or express
yourself without bitterness, you can't have a communication. you can't have that dialogue. that's the one thing we need. have too many people talking past each other and giving into all of their emotional issues and the things that drive them crazy. but, they don't have the ability to listen to the other side as to what their issues are and the things that drive them crazy. so, that's what my book is about. i have been getting great response to it. i'm thankful for that because we need to continue to do the work that -- that's been left to us. dr. king, dr. martin luther king said we had work to do and he really defined it before he left us. you know, all of the issues having to do with economic inequalities and the denial of
political and civil rights to simp different segments of our society. this has been a problem for us since the origin of our republic. we are getting to the point where we can talk about it. so, my book is here to encourage us to start this conversation. you mentioned colin kaepernick. i had a chance to talk to him before he did something really crazy. i think he handled it the right way. he is now as much of an inspiration as he was annoying people with what they thought was his disrespect for this country. that's not how he feels. he wants to make our country a better place for the same reasons i do. he's going to get there. he's going to do what he feels is necessary to get people to start thinking about these things. i'm really happy to see that the movement is spreading throughout
some of the other professional sports leagues. the nfl, definitely and the nba is getting in there. if you saw the espn awards, lebron and dwyane wade and carmelo anthony and chris paul all had something to say about the same issue that is colin kaepernick is talking about. they are doing it in a way that invites discussion and a reasonable conversation as oppose zed to making people angry. that's what i want. i'm very happy to see that's how it's worked out. if you have copies of my book, that is what you will be reading about. i hope you enjoy it. i hope you get something from it and get encouraged from the people to speak their mind on these subjects and let's get to work on solving these problems. i want to thank you all for your attention. [ applause ]
>> thank you, sir. let's continue that conversation. dr. martin luther king spoke in this room in 1962, obviously trying to work in the civil rights movement and the federal government's help. it's been a long time, but we are dealing with racial issues. how do we move forward in this conversation. is it neighbor to neighbor? encouraging events like this? how do we get this conversation going? >> it has to be neighbor to neighbor. for people in minority communities, sometimes they don't understand who their neighbors are. one of the things i'm hoping for is that people in minority communities, instead of talking about the police, they get to start talking about our police. when they can do that, that means a bridge has been built. going from one side to the other. when the police departments and various law enforcement agencies
get to the point instead of talking about those people, they start talking about the people we serve and protect, that's another, another foothold for a bridge. those bridges can connect. i think that's what we want to get to, where we get people who need to be talking to each other to start that conversation. >> so, i think what you are telling us, if i understand it correctly, we have to stop the us versus them mentality. following in that question, it helps to understand and know somebody better, right? to start this conversation, it has to be a sit-down and i understand what my friend here thinking and we both have that conversation together, right? >> it's got to be about us. it can't be about my side and their side. it's got to be about us. we are all fellow citizens. you may have your own political point of view, but the people that you see every day and in
the communities where you live, they are your fellow citizens and you have to have a means to communicate with them to get to solve problems. so, it starts with the first conversation and it ends when the problems are solved. >> this is a question from the audience. how do you have an honest discussion about race when they are worried about looking like they are ignorant. >> we can't be afraid of being seen as ignorant. ignorance is what's driving this. people are not dealing with the facts, they are dealing with stereotypes. tamir rice is dead because of the stereotypes police officials in cleveland, ohio had about a young black man. a 12-year-old kid standing in the park playing like 12-year-old kids play and he ends up dead because the cop just got out of the car and heard there was a threatening
black person in the park, so he shot the first person he saw out there. this is horrible. we can't continue to have this, these things happening. but the mind set that the police instill sometimes in their officers really lends to this problem perpetuating itself. police officials need to think about a different way to train their officers so they don't overreact to innocent circumstances so tragically. >> following in that question, does it help to have police in the community and not just driving by in a car? cops used to walk the beat and get to know their neighbors. does that help to have the community police officers in the communities knowing who the residents are there? >> i think that is the essence of what we want to eventually get to. the police officers know the people in the communities they
police and understand that they are people. they are not statistics. they are not billy horton. they are people who have problems just like any other group of people. police are there to protect and serve these people. when they understand their job in that context, a whole lot of good things get done. >> you talked about colin kaepernick's protest during the playing of the national anthem. that's extended now to other professional college and high school athletes. do you believe this is a good thing and what do you believe they should do to push for more tangible solutions to problems they are drawing attention to? >> the only way to do that is get involved in the political process. i'm quoting president obama several times i have seen him and he says don't get mad, vote. so, we have to participate. we have to have people from
minority communities that are willing to run for public office and become lawyers and district attorneys and police officers or serve on a police commission. people from minority communities have to be involved that way. if they can't be involved that way, bad things are going to continue to happen. when they are involved that way, their voice is heard and the community gets the type of service they should get from the police department. >> question from the audience as well. why don't more athletes do what you did, what colin kaepernick did? is there too much fear about speaking out? >> a lot of fear for professional athletes. they think they are going to ruin their brand. we have the great and shining example of muhammad ali who sacrificed his career because of the fact we were fighting an
unjust and illegal war in vietnam. he had to make a choice. he made the right choice. people didn't agree with him at first. within a couple years, both the american public and the supreme court agreed with him. we did the right thing with regard to vietnam. it took some sacrifice. it took somebody with the courage to stand-up and this is what we have to deal with now. the issues are that vital and our country is sorely in need of people with that type of courage and vision. >> let's follow up on that. you talked about mohammed alee. do you believe over time this chanlged and became easier for stars to speak out because there's less of a price to pay? >> i don't know if there's less of a price to pay, but the athletes are starting to see their value and what they can achieve on the positive side is
worth the risk. so, my good friend michael jordan decided to commit. he's given money to the naacp legal defense fund and to some of the police organizations in north carolina. and i don't know if you remember several years ago, he just wanted to be -- to opt out of it saying that republicans by tennis shoes also. well, they're still buying his tennis shoes and he's able to involve himself politically. so it's not as bad as it sounds. you just have to have the courage to make a stand. >> you've been talking a lot about celebrities. let's talk about ordinary people. what does it take to get some people like the neighbor to neighbor conversations you're talking about to get out of their comfort zone and actually engage in those conversations? what can we do to have them step
out where they may not feel comfortable? >> that's -- i'm's wrong person to answer that because i don't have any choice. i feel that i have to do it. but other people, they might have some issues. something that you have to discuss. but if you care about your community and you are going to be silent, i think that's the coward's way out. i'd like to see more americans with the guts to speak their minds and find out what actually is going on and try to help activate some real remedies. >> a lot of questions flowing up here. let's go to the election for a few minutes. how does the current -- [ laughter ] i thought that was the reaction i was going to get. how has the current presidential election affected race relations in the united states and the ability of people with different beliefs to understand each other? >> i think the current election
has really pulled the scar off of the racial divide in america. mr. trump has said a number of things that really are disappointing from an american presidential candidate with regard to race and the value of various communities. what he has to say about muslims and people coming into our country as immigrants. he mentioned mexicans. but some of the things he has to say are just reprehensible and have really coarsened the dialogue here in our country. i think it's really unfortunate. but that's who the republicans chose so we have to deal with that issue. and we have to elect the right person. so i urge all of you to vote and vote your conscience. i won't tell you who to vote
for, but i hope you care enough about our country to do the right thing. >> here's another question from the audience. noting mr. trump has his campaign has brought out a lot of people speaking out in ways maybe they didn't before and the question from the audience is how do you engage with people who may hold some bigoted or racist views? >> the only way that you can engage with people like that is to point out how some of the policies that they are advocate, how they affect people. how they affect real people. not in theory, but in reality. i'm thinking of, all right, let's take the stop and frisk laws. those really only serve the purpose of making the lives of people of minority people in various communities miserable because these people are stopped dozens of times for no other reason than they live in a high crime community. and the police have made it
easier on themselves just to stop anybody for no good reason. probable cause really doesn't seem to enter into their thought process. and that's wrong. and there has to be a way that policing does not have to involve the cops just overstepping the boundaries and just saying, well, you live in this neighborhood. you're a person of color. we have to check you out. that's not what the constitution says. and it's illegal. it's wrong. and we have to find a better way of policing and to indulge in that. >> have you ever yourself had a personal experience with police officers that you found troubling? >> oh, yeah. i used to drive on the new jersey turnpike. and i stopped, got my car tossed a couple of times. >> can you tell us a little more about that? i mean --
>> well, i don't know. there must be a number of black men in here who have had a similar experience on the new jersey turnpike. i didn't get arrested or get them to write me a ticket. they just wanted to see what was in my trunk. i guess they thought i had a cannon in there. it happened a couple of times on the new jersey turnpike. >> let's go back to the election. it's laid bare a lot of racist and religious bigotry. as a black man and a muslim, how are you deal with the vitriol and what would you tell other men and women facing such bigotry. >> i would tell anybody deal with that bigotry that you have to confront it. you have to take people that want to react to you in a biased and illegal way. hold them accountable and complain to the correct authorities that you've been discriminated against. that's the only way that people
finally see the light and understand what they're doing is wrong. and it takes courage. i've been asked this by a number of muslims who are like frustrated. and statistics have said that hate crimes against muslim americans have increased at over 80% since the trump campaign started vilifying muslims to the degree that they have. so there's a problem there. and we have to deal with it. but muslims have to have the courage to stand up for their own civil and political rights and make sure that people who unjustly try to vilify them are dealt with. that's the only way of dealing with it. >> back to mr. trump. he told urban voters recently, what do you have to lose in supporting him because he
insists governing democrats tor blame for failures to crime, poverty and education? have democrats failed in at least part? >> all of statistics that are available say that violent crime is at its lowest level in america in like the past 60 years. and continuing to decrease. so, you know, what mr. trump is trying to say is a fiction. and when you realize that it's a fiction, you get an idea of what motivates him. so, you know, you have to go on and react to the facts and not what somebody wants people to believe because he's running for office. i don't think that's going to do our nation any good. >> since we're on the trump subject. you, obviously, have spoken even today about his hateful words on immigrants, african-americans, muslims. what's your reaction and take on
the issue now with women saying they were assaulted by mr. trump? >> well, i just find it odd that mr. trump for years bragged about assaulting women and now when these women materialize and say, yes, you did assault us, he's calling them liars. i wonder who is telling the lie here. i don't think it's the women. >> with a long, sad record of racism, african-americans were considered deplorables by politicians at various times in history. democrats in modern times reached out to african-americans to include them in the party. what can democrats do to reach out to a group of americans hillary clinton was labeled at one point the deplorables? >> well, you have to understand that even though they might be doing or saying things that are deplorable, they are your fellow citizens. and they have to be made aware of the pain they're causing for no good reason. if they have issues that need to
be dealt with, they need to discuss them in a way that enable enables all of the solutions that are at hand to be applied to it. and not to engage in distortions and lies about who and what is the problem. >> polls show the country is more racially polarized than it has been in a long time. you have a black man in the white house, a black woman serving as the top law enforcement officer and the military, a black man as the link between the president and nuclear button. culturally, black actors and music stars are some of the most popular and highest paid celebrities on the planet. how do you reconcile the difference between that? >> the difference between what? >> the fact we consider our country very racially polarized and yet some of the top elected leaders in the country, top serving officials are black and our -- many stars are. >> i think the fact that so many people of color have started to move up the ladder into the middle class and in some of them
become wealthy, i think that's alarmed certain people and made them feel that something is wrong with that picture. but there's nothing wrong with that picture. that's just the natural progression of people who heretofore had not had the opportunity to get educated and have the access to jobs and the powerful positions that they're in. this is something new and a lot of people are finding it hard to accept. but it seems that our country seems to be doing all right. i don't think there's been any problem there. it's just -- i mentioned michael jordan earlier. there was a tv commercial that was used in that campaign that michael refused to become involved in. and it showed a person's hands handling money.