The Media and Election 2004

By Blanquita Cullum


First of all, I have to tell you that I would do anything for Morton and Helen Blackwell because they’re probably the two greatest people in the conservative movement.

They’re not in the conservative movement to try and gain their own prestige and their own power. They’re in it to empower. I have such great love and respect for them; they are what the conservative movement is all about.

I’ve been in radio since 1973 — since I was 20 years old. One of the great things that happened to me during President George W. Bush’s first term is that he asked me to be one of the members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. I’m one of the first radio talk-show hosts to ever hold a position that high in the history of our broadcasting industry. We sit as CEOs overlooking the U.S. government’s international broadcasting which includes Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and other broadcasting entities around the world.

It was such a heartening experience on Election Day to see the American people not be conned by the Michael Moores. I think talk radio played an important role in this by getting the truth out. We also saw bloggers take on the networks and fight CBS and Dan Rather. They got Dan; they caught him in a lie.

The network anchors thought they were Father, Son, and Holy Ghost –- Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and Dan Rather. Oh, how they patted themselves on the back. They thought they were smarter than the rest of us, that knew more, and that they understood what the people really thought.

They believed their own press reviews. You have seen them for the last time in the position they thought they were. They are dinosaurs. They are gone.

You’re going to see the networks get a grip on the fact that they are no longer in control of what people think. The people have a voice. The people have more alternatives to get information.

Yesterday I was getting a lot of the exit polls just like a lot of the mainstream press, and I looked at them and said, “Wait a minute. These are the people who laughed in the face of those who said “The Passion of the Christ” wouldn’t make it. These are the people who made it the number one movie. These are the people who gave Mel Gibson a number one movie.”

The press and the polls didn’t have a handle on the minorities. They didn’t get it that the biggest minority group that did not support same-sex marriage was African Americans. They didn’t have a handle on the Mexican-American community that has a significant number of Congressional Medal of Honor winners. They also forgot that Hispanic families — regardless of whether they’re from Salvador, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico -- they believe in God and family and they don’t like same-sex marriage.

Sometimes people will ask why conservatives don’t fight harder. We like to fight with a more gentlemanly type of rules because we still believe in the respect and dignity of human beings. Sometimes we get criticized for it, but, on the other hand, it’s nice to know we have a gentleman in the White House.

I also predict that this will be the last election where you see the American people have the stomach to suffer the Democrats saying “I was robbed.” There is a point where people are going to say, “Get over it. You’re losers.”

I believe that the president understands there is a divide in this country. And I believe he will try to bring up some sort of reconciliation of the parties. I believe, frankly, it’s going to happen on its own anyway.

It’s interesting to see what’s happening in the press. We have seen blatant and real corruption of the fourth estate. CBS attempted, on not only one occasion but on two occasions, to try to unseat a president. Then ABC sent out the memo about how they needed to be harder on President Bush than on Senator Kerry. This is the pollution of the fourth estate.

That’s why places like the Leadership Institute are so critical. I have a 501(c)(3) organization, the Young American Broadcasters, and when I was first starting it, Morton allowed me to come over here and train the kids here. Now one of those kids, Ben Ferguson, has gone on and spoke at the Republican Convention this summer. Ben Ferguson is one of our Young American Broadcasters. I couldn’t have done that without Morton because he knew it’s all about trying to get these young people involved.

Can you imagine how wonderful it would be if in the next 10 to 15 years we could look to any major media outlet -- whether its internet, radio, TV -- and know that someone trained by the Leadership Institute is working there?

I was very concerned if the president had not been re-elected there would have been a real problem with Radio Marti’, which is broadcasting into Cuba. It’s something that [Broadcasting Board of Governors] Chairman Ken Tomlinson and I have fought hard to protect. The other side doesn’t understand the importance of Radio Marti.

Conservatives have been fighting tooth and nail to protect our broadcasts in the Middle East. One of the programs I’ve worked on is a television program that goes into Iran every single day. It’s a 30-minute live television news show. And as much as they’ve tried to jam us, 13% of the population is watching that show. Think about that. Let’s compare that to even Fox that has, maybe, a five-percent share.

We’re also striving to make sure programs on Radio Farda, which goes into that same area, and Al Jura, which is our new Middle Eastern network carry news like the president’s State of the Union addresses.

When I was in Bosnia, I met with a journalist who had his legs blown off while trying to cover stories for Voice of America. This makes you realize the importance of American broadcasts around the world. It’s an important thing that we’re doing.

It is good to celebrate our conservative election victories. But I’ve got to tell you the vermin is still out there. The dissenters are still out there. They will still try to wreak havoc. They’re going to try to mess with conservatives. They’re going to try to work the media. They will try to discount the victory. They will try to discount the fight that the president is dealing with.

For a long time, they’ve tried to make anyone who believes in the principles of conservatives seem crazy. And if you think they’re going to stop even though we’ve had a victory, they won’t. It will just be worse.

Don’t stop working for this movement -- not for one minute. Have a glass of champagne today, but tomorrow you’ve got to work again. You’ve got to protect the country. You’ve got to work hard and fight longer. It’s a battle -- not just for our lifetime, but for our kids’ lifetime and for their kids’ lifetime.

It’s going to be a long war -- not just in Iraq with the terrorists who aimed and targeted this country, but the internal terrorists who hate everything that we stand for. The people who think it’s a disgrace that we want to protect the flag, who think that it’s disgusting that we want to have the Ten Commandments on the wall, who think it’s a crime that we want to say marriage is between a man and a woman and who think that it’s noble to kill a baby. I’m telling you the battle is not over.

But congratulations today, we should celebrate our victory.