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Tony Katz: Facebook Should Act Like a Platform, Not a Publisher

Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that the government is partnering with Facebook to quash misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines.

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If you have ever been censored, throttled, or banned from Facebook or any other social media platform because of your political beliefs, it’s likely that you will agree that we are witnessing the erosion of our right to free speech.

Big Tech has gone out of its way to censor conservative voices. The most prominent example, former President Donald Trump who was banned from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter following the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement several months ago accusing Trump of undermining the “peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor.” A bold assertion from a man whose company routinely allows content to be published that depicts things like underage sex, self-harm, fake news, and anti-police rhetoric.

While some prominent conservatives like Candace Owens, Tucker Carlson, and Charlie Kirk have pushed back against the obvious bias being carried out by Big Tech, censorship continues at a rampant pace.

Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that the government is partnering with Facebook to quash misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines. Psaki’s statement sent shockwaves through the conservative talk community, fueling speculation that Silicon Valley is just an extension of the mainstream media dominated by liberals.

Award-winning Indianapolis radio host Tony Katz spoke to Barrett News Media this week about the Facebook platform. Tony Katz and the Morning News airs weekdays on 93.1FM WIBC. He also hosts the Midwest syndicated Tony Katz Today radio program.

Ryan Hedrick: Do you routinely make use of Facebook to promote your show?

Tony Katz: Yes. Facebook.com/tonykatztoday

RH: How should Facebook decide what’s allowed on its social network?

TK: Facebook should act as a platform, not a publisher. Outside of overt calls for violence, child endangerment or flagrant pornography (what one could consider accepted standards), Facebook should stay out of editing content.

RH: How aggressively should Facebook monitor and remove controversial posts?

TK: With the poor job they do of defining “controversial,” the aggression level is immaterial.

RH: Have you experienced being banned or warned?

TK: Once we had a post that got a warning

RH: Is Facebook good for democracy?

TK: It’s not as good as a free press that is more interested in journalism than narrative, but it doesn’t hurt.

RH: Do you feel Facebook has become a monopoly?

TK: Popularity is different from monopoly. Still time for people who can write big checks to invest in tech companies that will embrace free speech. Same with investing in film, TV, and publishing.

BNM Writers

Identity Politics Are Hurting Democrats At The Ballot Box

The constant efforts by Democrats to divide Americans by race and ethnicity is clearly coming back to bite them at the ballot box.

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Chirp, chirp.

Those are the ever-increasing sounds of the “canary in the coal mine,” foreshadowing the ongoing shift of Hispanic Americans away from identity pandering and toward the Republican party.

A few days ago, radio talk-show host Erick Erickson discussed this phenomenon on his program, detailing the shift that began being noticed a few years ago and continues in full force.

Texas Monthly did a big story, and it turns out that Hispanic voters in south Texas if you force them to identify as a race, as opposed to an ethnicity, they identify as white,” Erickson began. “And they’re embracing what the media views as “whiteness,” which is they’re voting Republican.”

Erickson details how the increase in Hispanic voters is, contrary to Democrat predictions, making Texas, among other states, more Republican.

“Now there’s this, from of all places, NBC News. Here’s the headline… Democrats Warn of Canary in the Coal Mine for Latino Voters in California Recall,” he quoted. “Here’s the subtitle… While California voters voted to keep Governor Gavin Newsom in office, they did so by a smaller margin than Democrats have won in the past.”

Erickson continued to quote the story, saying “Donald Trump got a historic number of Latino votes in 2020, and you can claim it was because of this or because of that, but it’s not like Larry Elder broke through for these folks. There is something else going on,” said Michael Trujillo, a Democratic strategist based in Los Angeles, referring to the leading Republican candidate in the failed recall attempt.”

The article from NBC reported that California voters sided with Newsom and against the recall 60-40. This is a slightly smaller margin than Newsom and California Democrats have enjoyed in the past, as Newsom won 64% in his previous election. In contrast, black voters broke 83-17 for Newsom, while Asian voters picked Newsom by a spread of 64-36.

“It looks like Latino voters, even in California, are drifting away from the Democrats,” Erickson noted. “Now, not at such an alarming rate as they are in places such as Colorado, and in Texas, and in Florida, but they are. And it presents a problem for the Democrats.”

Erickson says his theory is different from what the media is pushing as the reason for this shift. His belief is that “Latino voters are historically immigrants to this country, surprise. And as immigrants to the United States, they are focused on America and being an American. So when you have Democratic candidates who try to treat them as Latino voters, you are treating them as something other than an American voter.”

As he continued, Erickson detailed how this covert racism against Hispanic Americans is creating a boomerang effect from the very people the Democratic party has been talking down to.

“They want desperately to have the American dream. Here come Democrats, telling them that they are oppressed by white people and they can’t have the American dream,” Erickson opined. “Meanwhile, the Latino voters are thinking, I can have the American dream.”

Erickson says Hispanic voters want politicians to pay attention to them not as Hispanic voters, but as Americans. At the same time, he believes the Republican party has often erred with phony outreach toward the Hispanic American community. 

“It’s some white dude in his 20’s, who learned Spanish from Rosetta Stone and shows up and says “Hola Mi Amigos.” Nobody wants to pay attention to that guy. Just treat them like Americans,” he said. 

Erickson, backed by the data from recent elections, pointed out that the right approach is by talking to all groups simply as Americans, based on shared concerns and common-sense solutions.

“That was the secret of what Donald Trump did,” the one-time “Never-Trumper” pointed out, citing Trump’s ability to improve conditions for all Americans, rather than cherry-picking based on race, gender, or ethnicity. “Donald Trump did not go talk to Hispanic voters as Hispanic voters. He didn’t even talk to them in Spanish. By and large, Donald Trump just talked to these people as Americans. As people who were hard workers. As people who needed a job. As people who saw loved ones go to jail. And it worked for him.”

Erickson summed up by saying the constant efforts by Democrats to divide Americans by race and ethnicity is clearly coming back to bite them at the ballot box.

“So keep on playing identity politics, Democrats,” Erickson concluded. “It’s amazing what happens when you divide up people by the color of their skin. They think you’re racist and don’t like you.”

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BNM Writers

Viewers Turn To Fox News For 9/11 Memorial Ceremonies

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Memorial
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Ceremonies commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 at the memorial sites of the World Trade Center area in New York, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania were covered by multiple networks.

On the cable front, Fox News Channel led all in coverage, well above their cable news competition. As the following is noted, FNC was ahead in each hour according to key figures tabulated by Nielsen Media Research:

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.258 million total viewers; 179,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.369 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.314 million total viewers; 48,000 adults 25-54

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.891 million total viewers; 339,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.479 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.524 million total viewers; 58,000 adults 25-54

9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.771 million total viewers; 306,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.616 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.640 million total viewers; 59,000 adults 25-54

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.770 million total viewers; 285,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.704 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.733 million total viewers; 77,000 adults 25-54

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

FNC: 1.411 million total viewers; 198,000 adults 25-54

CNN: N/A

MSNBC. 0.862 million total viewers; 78,000 adults 25-54

12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

FNC: 1.242 million total viewers; 230,000 adults 25-54

CNN: N/A

MSNBC. 0.813 million total viewers; 74,000 adults 25-54

History Channel aired 9/11 programming throughout the day, highlighted by the premiere of two new two-hour specials; “Four Flights” (1.166 million viewers; 370,000 adults 25-54) and “I Was There” (1.054 million viewers; 400,000 adults 25-54) — both were cable’s top non-sports telecasts of Saturday, Sep. 11, based on 25-54.

Within a four-week span, HBO aired Spike Lee’s eight-hour documentary “NYC Epicenters 9/11 —> 2021½“, with the conclusion on Saturday, Sep. 11. Its original airings’ figures were, as follows:

Part 1 — Sun. Aug. 22: 212,000 viewers; 90,000 adults 25-54

Part 2 — Sun. Aug. 29: 163,000 viewers; 73,000 adults 25-54

Part 3 — Sun. Sep. 5: 200,000 viewers; 77,000 adults 25-54

Part 4 — Sat. Sep. 11: 237,000 viewers; 120,000 adults 25-54

Note: The above data does not reflect the cumulative viewership of the episodes’ re-airings on the various HBO network and streaming platforms.

Over on the broadcast networks, NBC’s special telecast of “Saturday TODAY” (with Savannah GuthrieHoda Kotb and Lester Holt) easily bested ABC’s “Good Morning America Saturday” in both total viewers — 1.71 million vs. 1.24 million — and in the key 25-54 demo, with NBC nearly doubling ABC: 438,000, to 243,000. (Data for CBS and the Fox broadcast network were unavailable.)

Here are the cable news averages for September 6-12, 2021.

Total Day (September 6-12 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.378 million viewers; 226,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.650 million viewers; 78,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.532 million viewers; 1177,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.200 million viewers; 65,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.131 million viewers; 32,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.129 million viewers; 18,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.127 million viewers; 28,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.076 million viewers; 9,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (September 6-11 @ 8-11 p.m.; September 12 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.268 million viewers; 359,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.101 million viewers; 138,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.715 million viewers; 169,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.223 million viewers; 66,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.188 million viewers; 61,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.156 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.152 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.044 million viewers; 7,000 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. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 5:28 PM, 32 min.) 3.688 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.139 million viewers

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.085 million viewers

4. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.073 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.013 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.003 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.971 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.962 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.958 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 9/10/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.938 million viewers

17. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 9/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.323 million viewers

139. The Lead With Jake Tapper (CNN, Thu. 9/9/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.991 million viewers

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

1. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 5:28 PM, 32 min.) 0.535 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.528 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.523 million adults 25-54

4. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.503 million adults 25-54

5. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.483 million adults 25-54

6. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.480 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.474 million adults 25-54

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.471 million adults 25-54

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.468 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.442 million adults 25-54

27. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 9/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.316 million adults 25-54

63. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Wed. 9/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.249 million adults 25-54

167. Forensic Files “Chief Evidence” (HLN, Wed. 9/8/2021 12:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.149 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

How News Talkers Can Beat Sports Talkers at Their Own Game

Despite the fact that News and Sports Talk are considered different formats to many, oftentimes they intertwine more than the casual observer would believe.

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On Air
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Despite the fact that News Talk and Sports Talk are considered different formats to many, oftentimes, they intertwine more than the casual observer would believe. First off, both formats are under the “talk” umbrella, and there are many News Talk listeners who consume Sports Talk, and there is some, albeit less, of that vice versa. 

However, while News Talk can dabble into the sports realm ahead of a big game or a cultural issue, usually, the Sports Talk station/hosts will still be considered the “experts” on the topic. 

But what if there’s a situation where that isn’t the case? What if the News Talkers can beat the Sports Talkers at their own game?

That’s possible and doable. 

This can happen when the issue of sports and business overlap. For example, in Kansas City, a hot topic this week has been the possibility of the Kansas City Royals looking to move to a downtown ballpark and leaving Kauffman Stadium when the lease runs out in 2031 (or perhaps earlier). While it’s likely ten years away, anyone who has followed these types of situations knows the planning needs to begin years in advance. 

That always brings up the next batch of questions: Where will they go? Would they threaten to leave the city? And most importantly, who is paying for it? 

While the Sports Talkers will undoubtedly have some insider information into what the team is thinking, News Talkers might have even more valuable insight to share with the audience that the Sports Talkers can’t access. 

Why? Because we are more likely to be very familiar and have strong relationships with the politicians, bureaucrats, local commissioners, and business power players, who play just as much of a role, if not a bigger one, in a monumental move and decision like this.

Within 12 hours of the Kansas City Royals owner holding a press conference discussing this potential move, I was confident, after talking with politicians/business people in the know, I could bring my audience inside information in a way no sports talker could. 

Beyond just what is convenient for a team’s ownership group, there are plays for land, parking lots, zoning requirements, permits, and yes, dirty politics, that all get involved in these types of moves.

That’s our lane in the News Talk business. We deal with these issues on a daily basis, and we know who exactly to contact, depending on the situation. 

So whether it’s the Oakland Raiders leaving for Las Vegas, the St. Louis Rams bailing for Los Angeles, or the Seattle SuperSonics heading to Oklahoma City, these are just a handful of examples of where the News Talkers can beat the Sports Talkers at their own game in a story that has mass appeal to both audiences.

And the beauty of all this is you don’t even need to be a “sports expert” to own this story if and when it comes to your town (or rumors start to swirl). You need to simply work the connections you already have, which are highly unlikely to be had by your sports counterparts, do some digging and cross-referencing, and you can own a story like this in your city in no time. You might even be able to draw new cume to your show and station by being the authoritative figure on the topic. 

And then, when it all inevitably comes back around to breaking down pitching changes and hit-and-runs, leave that to the jocks. That’s boring stuff anyway. 

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