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Dave Portnoy…The Silver Lining

The opportunities for reaching new heights and setting new goals is a Barstool reality as the company has continued to flourish with the Barstool Fund and helping small business after small business, with their team rallying to spread the word about their efforts.

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Photo "Dave Portnoy" by Zach Catanzareti Photo CC BY 2.0.

Among a year of chaos, division and political unrest there has been an unsung hero that emerged from the most unlikely of places. Dave Portnoy, Founder of BarStool Sports, has given hope to many small businesses who have lost so much during the past year’s Covid lockdowns.

Taking a moment to analyze the foundation of the company itself, Barstool Sports was founded by Dave Portnoy who still remains the Chief Content Officer and his Chief Executive Officer, Erika Nardini, who happens to be an incredibly accomplished executive with a track record of building, developing and growing businesses on a grand scale. Erika Nardini’s background and the foundation that makes up the Barstool that I have always loved—is an authentic and unapologetic space to discuss sports, comedy, current events and more. Since Nardini’s hiring in 2016, the dynamic between her and Portnoy seemingly became an effortless symbiotic relationship, which in and of itself speaks volumes but also lends credence to the facts Kayce Smith shared with me last year about Barstool’s culture.

Portnoy and Nardini’s commitment to content creation as upper level managers, in a hands-on fashion, has separated BarStool from others, as it is unique from any competition. Making way for the idyllic duo with the shared vision of not pandering to, cowering to or straying from their core beliefs as to what Barstool means to them, Nardini and Portnoy are continuing to dominate despite the haters and trolls who don’t seemingly consume the content Barstool is known for.

Rather than focusing on the abysmal behavior and incredulous accusations being made across social media and news media sites in a smear campaign against Barstool and Portnoy, I want to highlight the good work and empowering messages from Barstool’s employees, who’ve promoted the efforts to help small businesses stay afloat.

The opportunities for reaching new heights and setting new goals is a Barstool reality as the company has continued to flourish with the Barstool Fund and helping small business after small business, with their team rallying to spread the word about their efforts.

If you are a small business that needs help staying in business because of the Covid lockdowns email us your story to barstoolfund@barstoolsports.com. We will try to help as many people as we can.

3:51 PM · Dec 17, 2020

In a video that now has close to 3 million views, posted by Barstool founder and Chief content Officer Dave Portnoy just a month ago, he explains the hopes for the Barstool Fund and outlines their goal.

“We’re going to donate a half a million dollars- half a million dollars. We’ve come up with a plan; is it the best plan? No. The best plan is the government getting off their ass and issuing relief, billions of dollars, to these small business owners who are losing their livelihood and have no recourse, no way to save it through no fault of their own.”

The criteria for being included in the fund?

To qualify you have to still be paying your employees.

And you need to disclose: what do you need money for? How much do you need to get to the next month—as a rental leave tax relief? What can we do to make sure you stay in business until this pandemic is over?

“We’re going to help as many as we humanly can and try to keep all the small businesses alive. So, that’s the plan. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s better than nothing. Barstoolfund@barstoolsports.com – If you’re a small business owner and you need help: reach out. Hopefully, we can help you.”

It’s been modeled around Frankie Borrelli, who’s been the longtime cameraman for Dave’s “one bite everybody knows the rules” pizza reviews, that have certainly become my guilty pleasure over the years.

Frankie’s father, owner of a restaurant in Long Island is the perfect example of the type of business they wanted to save.

“Dave, I really want to thank you for starting this fund. Do you know what it means to us? This started in April, we had our doors closed, and we made it through the summer. We built an outdoor patio, we’re breaking even through the end of the summer. I’ve got my staff; they’re all being paid. I said, ‘we’ll make it through Christmas.’ January, February, March I was planning on closing. I didn’t say anything to my staff. This is going to help so much. You don’t know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And my staff, with their mortgages, families. You don’t know how many people you’re helping. Thank you.” Coming from the most heartwarming video Frankie posted of a video reaction of Dave’s announcement of the Barstool Fund.

Dave, who’s been a champion of the small business owner, receives criticism from others in the broadcasting, sports and journalism industries, not to mention the relentless social media trolls.  The false narratives involving the culture for women employed by Barstool or the content involving females on Barstool’s platforms has been dispelled by Kayce Smith in a one-on-one Q&A she graciously allowed me in 2020 about her experience with the company. This unfortunate and shameful narrative has not been called out by others in the media world, especially as Barstool Sports has expanded their role in broadcasting to encompass finance, current events and news. I think it’s essential to point out a few of the significant facts that conveniently get cut from stories about Portnoy and Barstool Sports because the facts simply don’t align with the narrative they want to perpetuate.

Some talking points for the people who refuse to consume any of the content Barstool produces on a daily basis has been condensed below to cancel the “cancel Barstool culture” and instead, focus on the incredible work they have done and continue to do, particularly in the vein of small business assistance.

Stuart Varney of FOX Nation and FOX Business, as well as Tucker Carlson of FOX News, have hosted Dave Portnoy to discuss his work to breathe life back into the small business owners and encourage the hard working individuals who want to continue to come to work every day and earn a check for the work they’ve done rather than be handed a check from the government to tide them over.

“Kid Rock, reached out unsolicited, Guy Fieri‘s been a big help, Tom Brady, we’ve had Dana White donate one hundred grand, so we’ve had a lot of big celebrities but we have over 160,000 individuals, so they’re just everyday people. The people who like Barstool, the people who care about what’s going on, and that may be the most moving part of it.” Portnoy shared on FOX Nation.

“I keep saying it: no amount of money will ever be enough. This is a government issue if the money is involved but they’re not getting involved.”  Said Portnoy.

“So how about coming back for a Townhall on Fox Business to talk about all the businesses you’ve saved, maybe surprise a few people, live during the special and just tell him, ‘hey, we rescued you.’ Do you want to do it?” Varney proposed to Portnoy earlier this month.

“I’m aiming for the moon.” Portnoy replied.

Stuart Varney concluded the interview saying, “Portnoy, I think you’re doing great work. I really mean that. You’re a good man.”

“You’re calling out CNN because they promoted Beyoncé’s efforts to help businesses but they just left you completely out of it. They stayed silent about you.” Tucker Carlson said to Portnoy on his show.

Portnoy replied, “Yeah, so I mean I have no problem with Beyoncé. Any charity is good. I don’t care if you’re political, not political; everyone should care about this. And I’m beating the drum: I’ll go on any network anytime anywhere because the more publicity we get, the more donations we get, the more businesses we can help. So, I don’t know why CNN would not mention it, at least to help people, help small businesses. I have nothing against Beyoncé, mention Beyoncé, she’s famous and she’s doing good work, but we’re doing something too and I think it would help everybody the more publicity that we get.” 

A fair point that has been avoided at all costs by network news media with the exception of FOX and a piece done by the Today Show. Just two weeks ago, Portnoy joined Carlson again to discuss the progress made and what the latest response from the news media has been.

Tucker Carlson pointed out the elephant in the room and how Portnoy just decided ‘I’m going to do it myself, I’m going to raise the money and give it some people who need it.’ Kind of an amazing story and you’d think it would be everywhere: it isn’t. It’s been pretty much ignored, the Barstool Sports Fund by the media, but this week some of the press start taking different approach—they’re angry and they’re trying to destroy Barstool Sports.”

Airing one of the lovely success stories and video reactions, “My whole body is numb right now,” says the recipient crying through her gratitude to Portnoy. “You guys are angels, we’ve been feeling so abandoned and so scared about the future. Thank you so much for taking care of the people that have seemed to be forgotten.” she finished.

Tucker Carlson isn’t here for it. He airs the video and then says, “The San Francisco Chronicle, for example, is a garbage paper, wrote that the woman you just saw was ‘not aware of Portnoy‘s history of making racist and misogynist remarks or the accusations of sexual harassment against him.’ because no good deed goes unpunished, apparently.” 

The claims of misogyny, sexual harassment continue despite the fact the female CEO of Barstool Sports  Erika Nardini, the female employees of Barstool and former interns have shared experiences that couldn’t differ more from the unsubstantiated claims expressed in The SF Chronicle.

The petty infighting between journalists has also continued due to a perplexing inability to focus on the sheer magnitude of the charitable contribution Dave has taken on. Dismissing the chance to report on the incredible and historic efforts made by Portnoy and his team to help provide relief for business owners who have lived in fear of making payroll or next month’s rent since the shutdown started.

The opportunities for reaching new heights and setting new goals is a Barstool reality as the company has continued to flourish—with The Barstool Fund and helping small businesses, the team has rallied to support these efforts.

One of his supporters and teammates Liz Gonzalez, Portnoy spoke of just yesterday on his podcast. “Liz is one of the purest people we have at Barstool and that’s a high compliment for me to give somebody.” Portnoy said on Tuesday’s episode of The Dave Portnoy Show with Eddie & Co.

“Liz is uniquely Liz and I respect her for that. There’s nothing fake about Liz, ever. Liz is Liz. She doesn’t care what people think.”

Liz Gonzales, blogger and host alongside PFT Commenter (Eric Sollenberger) can be heard on SiriusXM Channel 85 weekdays from 11-2.

I wrote a profile on Kayce Smith and the culture at Barstool, stemming from the years of the same inaccurate, asinine narrative about the foundation of the company.

Kayce Smith held nothing back in speaking with me about the freedom, safety and support she has around her at Barstool: “as a woman in this company, I feel very safe and have never been treated better. So that whole ‘Barstool treats their women employees poorly’ narrative is just flat out incorrect.”  The entire article can be found here: https://www.barrettsportsmedia.com/2020/08/04/kayce-smith-has-never-had-more-freedom/ I know the last thing that Dave Portnoy needs is me as his bodyguard, but I think it’s time to put the petty and unnecessary hit pieces aside and acknowledge the great work Dave continues to do with Barstool Sports and most recently, his philanthropic efforts for The Barstool Fund.

BNM Writers

Bring Back the Art of Debate

In small doses and in the proper situation, it’s well worth your time to have your own ideas, along with the audience’s, challenged. 

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The last few weeks I’ve thought a lot about a quote I recently heard from Bill O’Reilly. I believe it was in a recent interview he appeared in with Glenn Beck, and O’Reilly was discussing his years as host of “The O’Reilly Factor”, the most-watched cable news show in the history of the medium. He was discussing how he went about booking his guests and said, and I paraphrase, “I tried to book the smartest people who could challenge me.” 

That’s one of the reasons that O’Reilly’s show was so successful. He did that on a nightly basis for over 20 years.

Unfortunately, that premise has gone by the wayside, in favor of echo chambers across the media landscape, including talk radio. 

But that doesn’t mean it can’t come back in some capacity and it doesn’t mean the host has to compromise their values. 

Each week on my morning show on KCMO Talk Radio, I interview Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. Lucas is a Democrat, who has certainly angered lots of conservatives over the last 18 months on issues of COVID lockdowns, masks, and policing policy, just to name a few. One can debate how far left Lucas is on the “liberal spectrum”, but he will be the first to tell you he is a proud Democrat. 

Shortly after the pandemic began, I spoke with his office about doing a weekly hit to update the city on what was happening on the COVID front. The interview has continued ever since, every Thursday morning at 7:30, but has touched on any and every topic relevant to Kansas City.

And while every listener, plus Lucas himself, knows I have disagreed with much of his policies over the last 18 months, our conversations are challenging, but cordial, respectful, and informative for the audience.

However, like clockwork, after each weekly conversation, there will be a barrage of calls, texts, social media messages, and e-mails saying that I, as the host, “let him off the hook”, “am too soft”, and all the usual criticisms that come from a portion of the audience. These individuals insist they are done listening to our weekly conversations.

But you know what, something funny happens when I look at the KCMO Talk Radio streaming numbers each day or look at the ratings at the end of the month: Thursdays at 7:30 end up being one of our most-listened-to and highest-rated segments, by far. 

Then, when I go out in the real world, people tell me how much they appreciate the weekly conversations with the mayor, despite how much they may disagree with him. They think it’s important that our audience gets to hear from him, even if we aren’t his “based” constituency. 

To Lucas’ credit, he comes on my show, despite our differences. That’s a lost art for most politicians, left and right, who only want to go on media that is sympathetic to them and their beliefs. 

And then on the flip side, hosts on TV and radio have gone too far into the echo chamber, where they don’t want to hear from those who disagree with them. They also believe that the small portion of the audience that “wants blood” (theoretically speaking, of course) from their opponents, are the majority of the audience.

My research shows that’s not the case. And to reiterate, none of this requires a host to compromise their beliefs or become “squishy” on their opinions.

Granted, I wouldn’t spend hour after hour with guests who are disagreeable or don’t align with the audience, but the right guest in the right spot has real potential to create an excellent conversation and really good radio. 

There’s no doubt it’s harder than ever to book these guests, based on the aforementioned reasons, but in small doses and in the proper situation, it’s well worth your time to have your own ideas, along with the audience’s, challenged. 

And while hearts and minds are unlikely to change given the divisive climate we find ourselves in, you created a moment that connected with the listener, either good or bad, that will be memorable to them and keep them coming back for more. The loud-mouth haters be damned. 

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BNM Writers

FOX News Remains Go To Network For Noteworthy Events

“Fox News’ special “A Gabby Petito Investigation with Nancy Grace” drew 1.78 million.”

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Several noteworthy news events occurred during the week ending September 19, most of which Fox News Channel was the leading cable news outlet in its coverage viewership.

On Sep. 13, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was the first Biden administration official to testify publicly to lawmakers since the Islamist militant group, the Taliban, took over Afghanistan. His appearance before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee   was tabulated only for MSNBC by Nielsen Media Research, to a delivery of 542,000 total viewers (from 2:16-4:00 p.m. ET). On the following day (Sep. 14), Blinken’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee aired on both Fox News and MSNBC. Fox News was the clear victor, more than doubling MSNBC in total viewers (1.576 million vs. 0.648 million) and nearly quadrupled in the key 25-54 demo (257,000 vs. 66,000).

The California gubernatorial recall election on Sep. 14 that resulted in Gavin Newsom remaining as governor was extensively covered for four hours on CNN: 

10-11 p.m. ET: 1.049 million total viewers; 309,000 adults 25-54

11 p.m.-midnight ET: 1.013 million total viewers; 344,000 adults 25-54

midnight-1 a.m. ET: 0.846 million total viewers; 283,000 adults 25-54

1-2 a.m. ET: 0.575 million total viewers; 185,000 adults 25-54

Fox News covered the election results only in the 11 p.m.-midnight hour, averaging 2.05 million total viewers and 411,000 adults 25-54 — no doubt, assisted by its highly-watched prime time lead-in.

MSNBC spent only 26 minutes of live coverage in late night, resulting in 659,000 total viewers and 93,000 adults 25-54 (from 1-1:26 a.m. ET). 

MSNBC was the lone cable news outlet to air testimony by American female gymnasts before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the morning of Sep. 15. Gold medalist athletes Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman relayed to lawmakers how the FBI and U.S. gymnastic and Olympic officials failed to stop the sexual abuse that they, along with hundreds of other athletes,suffered from former doctor Larry Nassar. From 10:43 a.m. to 12:06 p.m. ET, MSNBC averaged 753,000 viewers and 62,000 in the key 25-54 demo; the gymnasts’ press conference from 2:10-2:30 p.m. (also on MSNBC) drew 813,000 viewers and 95,000 adults 25-54.

On Sep. 18, Fox News covered SpaceX’s return of its Crew Dragon spacecraft from orbit, with the capsule carrying the four members of the Inspiration4 mission back to Earth after three days in space. It was the furthest humans had traveled above the surface in several years. The capsule Resilience splashed down off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida in the Atlantic Ocean. From 7-8 p.m. ET, Fox News posted 1.155 million total viewers and 141,000 adults 25-54. SpaceX is owned by Elon Musk.  

Lastly, on Sep. 19 at 10 p.m. ET, Fox News’ special “A Gabby Petito Investigation with Nancy Grace” delivered the highest-rated cable news show in the 25-54 demo of the entire weekend with 317,000 viewers. In total viewers, the live special drew 1.78 million.

Here are the cable news averages for September 13-19, 2021.

Total Day (September 13-19 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.483 million viewers; 238,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.767 million viewers; 86,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.587 million viewers; 125,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.194 million viewers; 60,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.140 million viewers; 34,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.137 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.135 million viewers; 18,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.084 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (September 13-18 @ 8-11 p.m.; September 19 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.659 million viewers; 417,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.375 million viewers; 156,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.799 million viewers; 177,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.206 million viewers; 63,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.203 million viewers; 65,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.163 million viewers; 25,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.151 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.046 million viewers; 6,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.776 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.574 million viewers

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.528 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 9/13/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.343 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.294 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.274 million viewers

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.202 million viewers

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.171 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 9/17/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.151 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 9/13/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.121 million viewers

17. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.611 million viewers

127. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Wed. 9/15/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.209 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top  CNN and MSNBC programs with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.629 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.621 million adults 25-54

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.568 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.544 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 9/13/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.542 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.538 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.514 million adults 25-54

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 9/17/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.510 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.491 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.479 million adults 25-54

29. CNN Special Coverage “California Governor Recall Election” (CNN, Tue. 9/14/2021 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.344 million adults 25-54

36. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.315 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Pivoting to News/Talk Was A Natural Move For Steve Malzberg

“Censorship from management is something that you just need to put up with. If you don’t like it, you can leave.”

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RT America host Steve Malzberg’s accomplished career began in sports but deep down he always had a passion for politics. Even before right-wing commentators were accusing the woke sports media of pandering to a specific base, Malzberg saw the hypocrisy in some of the day-to-day coverage.

The liberal bent fueled Malzberg’s creativity and desire to be different. Topics like race in sports often gave him fodder for his nightly shows in New York City. Years of railing against liberal opponents eventually made switching to news/talk full-time, seamless.

Malzberg’s unique skill set has translated well in both radio and television. Following a lengthy run at iconic WABC Radio, he was hired at WOR Radio and was eventually replaced by New York’s former governor David Patterson.

In 2013, he was hired by Newsmax TV to host the Steve Malzberg Show. Last year, he inked a deal with RT America to host a media commentary show. Now, very content and with plenty of creative freedom, Malzberg offers his expertise on media bias to millions of people. Malzberg recently sat down with Barrett News Media to discuss his path to success, his job at RT America, and how the death of Rush Limbaugh rocked conservative media to its core.

Ryan Hedrick: How did your career start?

Steve Malzberg: I started in sportsfor the first ten years or so of my career. I hosted the New York Yankees pre and post-game shows for a year, Jets pre and post-game shows for four years, Devils pre and post-game shows for a year. I had the honor of going to Super Bowls, Stanley Cups Finals and everything else you could imagine.

RH: Was the news/talk format one you envisioned moving into?

SM: I always had politics in me. My career took a different turn the night OJ Simpson was driving around in a Bronco. That event led to me switching. I was supposed to cover the Knicks who were playing the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden in the NBA Finals.

My program director asked me to stay around, come on after the game and cover the OJ story. He invited me to come on the very next day and provide live coverage of the OJ saga and after that I started filling in for other hosts doing political talk and more in the realm of current news events.

RH: One of the biggest challenges for transitioning from sports talk to news/talk is finding your voice. Did that come naturally to you?

SM: Yes. I used to love covering Jesse Jackson when I was doing sports. He would protest that athletics needed more Black coaches. I remember Filip Bondy and Harvey Araton wrote a book on the NBA. One of the themes was how hard and how terrible it must be to be a Black NBA player and deal with white public relations people, that irked me.

RH: You were the first-ever host of Newsmax TV. Are you still a viewer of the network? If so, what are your thoughts on how it’s developed?

SM: I am not going to say anything bad about my former place of employment. Chris Ruddy who runs Newsmax TV was always very hands-on. I am sure he’s just as hands-on now. I know after I left, they brought in a lot of people with hard news experience. I think they have a great mix of talent there, but I can’t say that I watch so I don’t have much to say about the programming.

RH: You’re currently hosting for RT America. What role do you believe you and your network are playing in educating conservative news media moderates push back against cancel culture?

SM: On RT America I host Eat the Press which is kind of a play on Meet the Press, but it’s not aimed at the show by any stretch of the imagination. What we do is really devour the press and their bias. I have the freedom to present examples of media bias every week and I think I do my part of trying to hold the media accountable.

I also have wonderful A-list guests who continue to come on with me. Great conservative Hollywood people join the show such as Robert Davi, Kevin Sorbo, and Maria Conchita Alonso. They buck the trend in Hollywood.

Conservative media is doing a great job getting the word out there. Shows like Fox & Friends are blowing away CNN and MSNBC in the ratings. However, the media is still dominated by the left, and with the advent of social media and the ability and willingness of Big Tech to cooperate with the government and in some instances ban conservatives, we have an uphill fight!

RH: What role do you feel social media plays in helping conservatives get their truth out?

SM: Social media is where it’s at. If we are limited then we are losing. We can’t put doubts about the vaccine or questions about a third shot or any topic without the liberals at Facebook and Google monitoring us and taking us down.

RH: As a host with strong opinions, are you ever concerned about being censored or canceled?

SM: Censorship has existed in one form or another in broadcasting throughout my career. I could go back to any of the stations or networks I have ever worked at and tell you that I’ve been told what not to say, not so much what to say.

Censorship from management is something that you just need to put up with. If you don’t like it, you can leave. I always found that my censorship was carried out in my passion or support of Israel. At RT America, we have a meeting. I come up with the guests and ideas and book the guests and there’s only been one disagreement with a guest. I have never been told what to say or how to say something.

RH: What type of impact do you feel the death of Rush Limbaugh has had on conservative media as a whole?

SM: I was fortunate enough to know Rush and be there when he arrived at WABC in 1988. I knew Rush for many, many years. Limbaugh is irreplaceable. His death set conservative media back. No offense to the people that have taken over for Rush, but I don’t listen. It’s not the same and it’s not appointment radio. I just don’t see how you fill the loss.

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