According to data I was privy to this week, Fox News has lost at least 20% of its audience/influence among Iowans who are confident they’re caucusing in January. And while the importance of that fact can’t be overstated in terms of its short-term ability to impact the Overton window that governs the next election, it is even more important for the long-term ability of conservatism, the Republican Party, and conservative media to grow and prosper.
As we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt because of the exodus of Tucker Carlson from Fox, there were an increasing number of no-go zones that the powers that be there placed on its on-air talent. Narratives were everything, George Orwell, and some narratives were better than others.
It’s a situation I knew well from my days at WHO Radio in Des Moines, where my desire to shatter the Overton window of GOP establishment hacks was met with significant pushback from politicians and donors alike. Which is why I get asked a lot these days about how the heck we ultimately overcame such pressure to change Iowa from a purple state to one that is now redder than Texas in roughly a decade.
Names like Bob Vander Plaats of the Family Leader, Gov. Kim Reynolds, and President Trump come to mind as vital cogs in this pursuit. They helped us take ground through clear and unapologetic messaging (Vander Plaats), force of will in the face of controversy and propaganda (Reynolds), and an ability to expand the base with timely policy and the breaking down of bureaucratic barriers (Trump and rural voters).
My major role from my previous perch hosting afternoon drive for WHO Radio was very early on in the transformation, when I used the most prominent and thus unavoidable platform in our state to hit/question Republicans from the right. This metamorphized and radicalized the political environment in Iowa and likely helped set the stage for what was to come from Vander Plaats/Reynolds/Trump.
And if that sounds familiar to you, it is because that’s exactly what you saw Tucker Carlson do last week while hosting the Family Leadership Summit on BlazeTV.
You may remember it as the time Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson publicly lit themselves on fire, never to be taken seriously again. I know, it gets me a little weak in the knees, too, just thinking about it.
But as entertaining as that was, the real victory was for one of my rules of political warfare: Always and only attack from the right.
You see, there is a reason the GOP only wants enemy media to moderate Republican debates or forums. Because when its preferred stooges, er, I mean candidates only get hit from the left, it therefore makes every Republican look like a hero for the mere act of thwarting the hostile advances of scary hacktivists like Jim Acosta. Yes, we sadly expect that little of our champions. “Just be ‘better’ than the people trying to tear the country down” is all we’ve asked of Republicans collectively for a generation now.
It’s how Pence could somehow be indistinguishable from Trump or Hutchinson indistinguishable from Ron DeSantis. It simply didn’t matter who won Republican primaries when the primary standard was “just be better than the Democrats.” In all honesty, we simply haven’t known or cared what any aspect of the so-called conservative movement has truly stood for, with few exceptions, since Reagan.
Tucker blew up that paradigm last Friday by hitting presidential candidates from the right and before that by hitting Fox News posers/self-anointed gatekeepers from the inside, thus exposing the fact that they increasingly had bedroom eyes for the way the media machine of the left had long conducted its business. This is what I figured out a long time ago: The only party that hates us more than the Democrats is the Republicans.
When that’s the game, the only way to win is never to play by their weak and deceptive rules again. Never? Never. Because it isn’t really about them anyway. It’s about us. And we are taking our country back.
So when given the chance in your purple state, use and/or develop your prominent platforms to only hit from the right. This will go a long way toward making certain that effective and truth-centered narratives are the rule instead of the exception. If you are interested in true RINO hunting, this will create a target-rich environment.
Always remember – and Fox News recently proved it – that Team GOP and enemy media want the same narrative. They may be on different sides of that narrative, but they want the same narrative nevertheless. Therefore, we have to do to that narrative what Sherman did to the Confederacy – torch it. With extreme prejudice.
Always attack from the right. No matter what. Forever, world without end. Amen.