Our Long National Nightmare Is Over–Thanks to Blogs and Radio Talk Shows — A Powerful Alliance Has Saved the Middle Class in America

Mick Gregory

Michael Savage is picking up his Freedom of Speech Award from Talkers Magazine tonight.

Congratulations, Dr. Savage!

Our long national nightmare is over.

The failure of the Senate immigration bill, called “stabbed and bleeding on the floor,” made shock waves in Washington DC, Thursday night and Friday morning.

I can boil it down to this — the bill would have instantly made 12 million (more like 20 million) illegal immigrants, new super citizens with more rights than the average American. The 12-20 million would have rights to free legal support paid for by the middle class American citizens who have to wait months to get a passport. The new super citizens’ children will get a place ahead of Americans in line at college admission, then, later for prestigious jobs at top PC corporations.

A New York Times report found out something that bloggers and talk show fans have known for quite a few years now, blogs and talk radio programs, not only Rush’s giant voice and the Free Republic blog, but now Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Dennis Miller and ManCow have garnered millions of loyal listeners. But that’s not the half of it; the citizen journalists on blogs such as Grassfire, Michelle Malkin, Matt Drudge and the smaller, prolific blogs such as Nuke Gingrich, Scott Allen, Patriot Lighthouse, Let Freedom Ring, and (several more linked to this site) have made their mark.

Voters like Monique Thibodeaux, highlighted in the Times’ article joined a nationwide campaign to derail the flawed bill.

Thibodeaux, an office manager at a towing company in suburban Detroit, became a political activist. Guided by conservative blogs, she made calls and sent e-mail messages to senators across the country and pushed her friends to do the same.

“These people came in the wrong way, so they don’t belong here, period,” Mrs. Thibodeaux, a Republican, said of some 12 million illegal immigrants who would have been granted a path to citizenship under the Senate bill.

“In my heart I knew it was wrong for our country,” she said of the measure.

Supporters of the legislation defended it as an imperfect but pragmatic solution to the difficult problem of illegal immigration. Public opinion polls, including a New York Times/CBS News Poll taken only last month, showed broad support for the bill’s major provisions.

But the legislation sparked a furious rebellion among many Republican and even some Democrat voters, who were linked by the Internet and encouraged by radio talk show hosts. Their outrage and activism surged to full force after Senator Jon Kyl, the Arizona Republican who was an author of the bill, suggested early this week that support for the measure seemed to be growing. The assault on lawmakers in Washington was relentless. In a crucial vote Thursday night, the bill’s supporters, including President Bush, fell short by 15 votes.

“Technologically enhanced grass-roots activism is what turned this around, people empowered by the Internet and talk radio,” said Colin A. Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a conservative group.

“The opposition to the amnesty plan is so much more intense than the intensity of the supporters,” said Mr. Hanna, speaking of the bill’s provisions to grant legal status to qualifying illegal immigrants, which the authors of the legislation insisted was not amnesty.

In the end, supporters conceded that they were outmaneuvered by opponents who boiled down their complaints to that single hot-button word, repeated often and viscerally on talk radio programs and blogs.

“It’s a lot easier to yell one word, ‘amnesty,’ and it takes a little more to explain, ‘No, it’s not, and if you don’t do anything you have a silent amnesty,’ ” said Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, a Democrat who backed the measure.

I can boil it down to this — the bill would have instantly made 12 million illegal immigrants, new super citizens with more rights than the average American. The 12 million would have rights to free legal support paid for by the middle class American citizens who have to wait months to get a passport.

Two Parties on Mondays in San Francisco–One for the success of new media at WordPress, the other about 100 layoffs of old media at The Chronicle

By Mick Gregory

It is the best of times for citizen journalists; and it is the worst of times for the old media.
Monday, Bloody Monday, As Axe Swings At SF Chronicle

The first of 100 job cuts took place at the SF Chronicle on Monday. The axe fell swiftly. Several managers were the first to receive news they no longer have a job.

Some had worked there for decades, making quite a bit over scale. Some in the six figures.

“You know times are bad when executive editor Phil Bronstein gives the boot to men and women who have been his colleagues for years — some all the way back to his early tenure at the Examiner,” writes Frances Dinkelspiel. Managing editor Robert Rosenthal left on Friday. By Monday, nine other top newsroom managers — including deputy and assistant managing editors — had been let go. They are: John Curley, Leslie Guevarra, Steve Cook, Jim Finefrock, Paul Wilner, George Judson, Laura Impellizzeri, David Tong, and Hulda Nelson.

Next in line are 85 reporters. Many have been there for decades. Many have had “tenure,” and thought they had a job for life. Many will be slugging down shots with Guiness chasers the next four weeks. The SF Chronicle will have made one of the largest newsroom cuts of any major newspaper in the modern era.

It was a somber scene Monday evening at The Tempest, the bar on a seedy side street, that serves as a favorite watering hole for the SF Chron workers. The higher paid editors visit the posh “M” on the more fashionable corner of Fifth and Mission. Phil and Rosey have even been seen in the “W.”

The Tempest is an ironic name for a bar catering to the local print media.

Meanwhile, at a cool spot in Potrero Hill, WordPress citizen journalists had a different celebration; one million blogs have been created by the highly successful new national media. And Craigslist.org has cleaned the Chron’s clock when it comes to employment advertising.