Good afternoon Hewitt fans. I interrupt your Hugh-blogging to tell you that Hugh is being kind enough to let me invade his space for a while over here. My name is Mary Katharine Ham. You may remember me from such blogs as Townhall’s C-Log and an extended guest appearance at Wizbang! I’ve recently taken a new job with Salem Communications, the radio company that distributes Hugh Hewitt and a bunch of other great conservative talkers (Bennett, Medved, Gallagher, and Prager), which is why I’m here now, blogging between the venerated red columns of HughHewitt.com.
I’m working with Hugh and others at Salem to create a bloggy conservative activism Web site that will serve the great fan bases of all of Salem’s conservative talkers, and be a great tool for bloggers, too. The new site, BeyondtheNews.com, is set to relaunch with all its new features next year, but until then I’m a bit of a homeless blogger. Not as homeless as this blogger (let Smantix explain it because I can’t) but I need a couch to crash on, so to speak. Hugh has been kind enough to lend me one.
I really appreciate the opportunity to blog here for you guys. I’ve been a fan of the site for a long time, and there’s plenty for me to learn from Hugh and, as every good blogger knows, plenty for me to learn from the readers. A little bit about me: I’m Red America credentialed-born in Alabama, grew up in North Carolina, and attended the beautiful, one-of-a-kind University of Georgia (cue the e-mails from Auburn fans). There is, as a result, some disagreement between Hugh and me as to which is the GREATEST conference in the HISTORY OF FOOTBALL, but we’re confident we can work together nonetheless (there’s no sense arguing with me; I believe it with the fervor that Mary Mapes believes in the 1972 version of Microsoft Word).
I grew up in a liberal college town and became a conservative after 13 years in inner-city, public schools convinced me that the welfare state tragically often hurts the very people it is meant to help, and that there had to be a more effective, more empowering way to help folks. A couple years, economics classes, and Thomas Sowell columns later, I’ll place my bet for prosperity on the free market and private charity any day over the demoralizing government programs I saw as a kid, and I spend a lot of time explaining to my liberal friends why I feel that way. That’s a very short version of my political journey, but that’s the gist.
I majored in Newspaper Journalism and English at Georgia and covered sports and features at a small daily newspaper in North Carolina for about two years before deciding to give conservative public policy a try. Since then, I’ve worked at The Heritage Foundation, Townhall.com, and now Salem. Some folks ask me what the transition was like from NASCAR reporter to political reporter. It’s easy. In one, you try to explain to your readers the significance of grown-ups getting paid exorbitant amounts of money to go around in circles indefinitely, always turning left. In the other, you get to interview racecar drivers.
Thanks a lot to Hugh and you guys for letting me hang out with you for a while.