PublicationsJune 21, 2007

Talk Shows React to Immigration Redux

The impassioned debate on the talk airwaves wouldn’t go away last week as the once-imperiled immigration bill appeared to get a new life. And that had some conservative hosts putting former GOP allies on their enemies list. The talkers were also more interested in HBO’s gang wars than the Hamas-Fatah battles.

PublicationsJune 14, 2007

Did Talk Hosts Help Derail the Immigration Bill?

The race for the White House was the most popular talk show story last week and Paris Hilton’s unscheduled release from jail was also a hot topic. But the big news may have been the Senate’s failure to pass an immigration measure, an event that seemed like a victory for a number of talk hosts.

PublicationsJune 7, 2007

Talk Hosts Opt For Politics Over The ‘TB Traveler’

The cable and radio talk shows were buzzing about Hillary Clinton, Fred Thompson, and even Michelle Obama last week. And they were still on the offensive on the new immigration bill. But for all its many angles, the saga of the young tuberculosis-infected lawyer attracted only tepid interest.

PublicationsMay 31, 2007

Talk Hosts Score the Big Fights

The debates over immigration policy and Iraq war strategy were the most popular topics on cable and radio talk shows last week. The 2008 presidential race also attracted lots of attention, again. But two nasty political tiffs got on the talkers’ radar screen as well.

PublicationsMay 25, 2007

Talk Hosts Blast Immigration Deal

If Capitol Hill was divided over the compromise agreement on a new immigration bill, the talk show world seemed to answer with one unified voice. And that answer was “Boo!” Meanwhile, there’s continued unease about the makeup of the Republican presidential field, and Jerry Falwell’s death wasn’t that big a story.

PublicationsMay 17, 2007

Is There a Litmus Test for Talk Topics?

The Fort Dix terror plot, the Attorney General’s Congressional appearance, French presidential elections, and the Iraq debate all seized top space in the universe of talk media last week. But what you heard, or whether you heard anything at all, depended on who was doing the talking.

PublicationsMay 10, 2007

GOP Debate has Talk Shows Buzzing

The talk shows were not shy about picking winners and (especially) losers at last week’s Republican face-off in California. And while the sex scandal involving a D.C. escort service managed to divide the talk hosts along ideological lines, a former CIA director’s book tour actually achieved the rare feat of bringing them together.

PublicationsMay 3, 2007

Iraq and the 2008 Campaign Lead the Talk Parade

The biggest news stories were also the most discussed topics on America’s cable and radio talk shows last week. But the talk hosts often bring their own angles to the main story lines—and that can often involve finding a scapegoat or villain. Plus Imus, Rosie and Alec Baldwin all get play, mostly on the cable airwaves.

PublicationsApril 26, 2007

Talk Shows Consumed by Virginia Tech Tragedy

It’s probably no surprise that the college campus massacre proved to be the biggest talk show topic of the year. But while there were plenty of subplots to talk about, radio and cable hosts managed to seize on some of “hot button” issues to emerge from the worst shooting spree in the nation’s history.

PublicationsApril 19, 2007

Imus Becomes a Proxy Issue for Talk Shows

To say Don Imus’s controversial words were a big topic on the talk shows last week is an understatement. The Imus story ruled the talk airwaves like no other since the Index began, taking up 61% of the talk time. But often Imus was less the subject of the talk than a way to take on other people and issues.