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Senators Lott and Graham And Talk Radio

Tuesday, June 19, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Following the attacks on “talk radio” by Senators Lott and Graham, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Weisman called and asked to interview me about the senators’ outbursts. I agreed, provided that we conducted it on air, so that my listeners could hear the sausage of an MSM story being made. The transcript is here. The audio is here.

I am amazed that no reporter has followed up with either senator on the specifics of their complaint. Is it a particular host? Are they upset with the calls, letters and e-mails being generated, and if so, why? Do they believe any particular host is a bigot, and if so on what evidence? Or are they simply projecting their own anger at being unable to muscle a bill through on to talk radio and new media?

In fact new media has provided the public with an outpouring of sophisticated, in-depth, and fair reporting and analysis of the immigration debate. Here’s just some of the evidence just from my blog and talk show.

Here are my posts on the specifics of the immigration bill from the weekend after it was released.

Here are the amendments I have drafted as suggestions for the GOP staff and Republican caucus.

Here are posts one and two that I did on the counterterrorism implications of the bill.

Here tare the transcripts of interviews I conducted with Tony Snow (one and two), Secretary Chertoff, Rudy Giuliani, Senator Kyl (one, two, and three), Senator Sessions (one and two), Senator Inhofe, Senator Thune, and Senator DeMint. Here’s the transcript of my interview with talk radio host Michael Medved, a defender of the bill. That’s seven interviews with defenders of the bill, six with critics.

Here’s Tamar Jacoby defending the bill, and Mark Steyn blasting it. And here is Steyn dissecting the entirety of a Trent Lott speech on the bill. Here’s my post on Senator Lott’s “Are We Men or Mice” speech, complete with audio. (I suspect the reaction generated by the attention given Senator Lott’s speech is behind his upset with “talk radio,” which really ought to be upset with his own speechwriters.)

Here’s a long interview with the San Antonio News Express’ Todd Bensman on his remarkable series of articles on illegal immigrants from countries of concern because of their jihadist networks.

Here’s two scholars of the Constitution, Dean Eastman from the right and Profess Chemerinsky from the left, discussing the Due Process Clause’s likely impact on the probationary benefits bestowed on Section 601(h) immigrants.

All of this has occurred in the space of a month.

In short, in a far more careful and sophisticated way than any other media outlet, my show and blog has provided a forum for critics and defenders of the bill, and for reasoned argument.

It is the greatest deliberative show and blog in the world, and, I humbly suggest, the debate on the program and in the posts runs circles around the wheezes we hear from most senators on the subject of the bill.

Talk radio indeed. The senate would be so lucky as to have as informed a debate as occurs in new media.

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