Open Mic

Open Mic

"Blogosphere" boom launches Pundit Review hosts into global talk radio

By Gerry Boyle '78 | Photos by Tracy Powell

"If we pulled out, I think this place would fall apart,— Yon said. "The government is just not ready to stand on its two legs yet.— But morale of U.S. troops is very high, he said, though news reports of violence and attacks can be discouraging. "The news is almost creating its own news by fomenting more violence,— the embedded reporter said.

Said Whalen, "It's a sad state of affairs when Al Qaeda and the Democrat Party have the same agenda, which is to erode support for the war.—

Gregg Jackson ‰90
Photo by Tracy Powell
Back to the phones, Lorraine from Chicago said she has e-mailed Yon often, is honored to talk to him. Jessica in Florida identified herself as "a Deuce Four wife,— referring to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry unit Yon is following. "I want to thank you so much for doing what you do and being the eyes and ears for so many military families. Everything you did would just calm me down, letting me know what's really going on over there.—

Denise from Nevada thanked Yon for providing "truthful coverage.— Jackson interjected a question, asking whether troops would get a boost from a visit by President Bush. "I doubt they'd even notice,— was Yon's answer.

Eugene in Massachusetts wanted to know what part of Iraq was least secure. Anbar Province, the Wild West on the Syrian border, Yon said. Jackson noted a Newt Gingrich book that describes the war on terror as "the long war.— Jackson asked if it is a dangerous perception to think that Iraq is the only front in the war.

"Dangerous and very wrong,— Yon said. "This is just one footprint on a long path.—

Steve from Massachusetts was the first caller critical of the show's perspective, saying Yon seemed to be echoing "talking points for the White House. . . . You're painting a rosy picture. . . . Two thousand men—that's a damn shame.—

"I don't pay much attention to what's coming out of the White House,— Yon countered, sounding irritated. "I pay attention to what's going on on the ground, and morale is very high. . . .

"This is full-on combat. Don't kid yourself. But walking away from it is not going to make it go away. Next week you might have more planes smashing into your buildings. This is not a joke . . . . It will follow you home.—

With that the hour was nearly up, just enough time to promote the next week's show, a debate on gay marriage. Whalen is for it, Jackson, who describes himself as a Christian who is also Jewish, is opposed. "We have a good yin-yang going,— Whalen said. "Gregg's really passionate, Type A. I'm more mellow. He's more conservative and I'm more of a typical Massachusetts Republican—kind of squishy.—

Howard Dean-school liberals might fail to see the distinction. Jackson is self-publishing a tome called Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies. Whalen lambastes the GOP Congress in a recent post for what he says is its failure to stick to the conservative principles that brought about a Republican majority. Recent Pundit Review guests include Michelle Malkin, Michael Medved, and Ann Althouse, all weighing in from the right. The blog links on the Pundit Review site include 32 labeled conservative, only six categorized as liberal.

But Whalen and Jackson see this as simply trying to correct an existing imbalance in the mainstream media. "We don't feel we're being adequately nourished from the mainstream media in terms of coverage of these issues,— Jackson said.

As he does often, or at least every Sunday, Whalen chimed in. "It should lead to a more vibrant democracy,— he said. "The more thoughts, opinions, and beliefs, the better. It's the democratization of the news.—
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