FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The End of a(n) (Bad) (Thankfully Short-Lived) Era
That… was a lot of parentheses, and even as a journalist I have no idea if it was right or not. My saving grace is that so few in the journalism industry follow the AP Style Guide anymore that I think I am safe for the moment. Plus, no journalists will read this, so the black bag squad from the AP won’t break into my apartment and take me away tonight.
I used to be a news director at a small, AM news/talk station in my hometown of Natchitoches, Louisiana. It was a good job. I had regular newscasts I had to assemble and record as well as a morning talk show, where I spoke to what was actually a largely liberal black audience. The station itself was conservative. It was actually during this time I began to listen to Rush, Hannity, Boortz (later), and others (I do not count Moon Griffon as a positive influence, Louisiana residents) and slowly began to identify the conflicting feelings I had inside. I was a conservative living a liberal’s life (liberal arts college/degrees, Millennial young adult, journalist), and I rather enjoyed listening. I had libertarian tendencies, but I argue that we all do.
Anyway, during my time at this station, the whole Sandra Fluke thing happened. I listened to that segment, laughed, didn’t think much of it. The next day, however, all hell broke loose as the manager of the station informed us that this was the moment he’d been waiting for – advertisers were jumping ship and he had been wanting to get rid of Rush anyway. At around the same time, the “sensible, non-controversial” Mike Huckabee Show was set to launch on about 200 stations across America. And the station I worked for was going to pick him up, by God.
I listened to the show once or twice. I was bored out of my mind. The “sensible, non-controversial” show was perfect for what the money in the market I lived in, the one I was born and raised in. There wasn’t anything silly or borderline. The airwaves were down an egomaniac and up one good, God-fearing host who did interviews and had a mellow voice. It was insufferable. And I, a young 20-something, predicted the moment I first listened to it, that the show would not last a good, long time.
You see, by avoiding the controversy, offering opinions and never really diving into the meat of it, Huckabee wasn’t doing what is essential for radio hosts to do – entertain.
Now, as announced Thursday, his show is done.
He has hosted the “Mike Huckabee Show” on Cumulus Media since April 2012, but said that it takes up to nine hours a day to prepare. “As for the new endeavors, at this time, it would best for me to say, Stay tuned!'” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Supporters won’t have to wait long. On Friday, he is participating in a “Pastors and Pews” event in Little Rock, Arkansas, one of several politically-charged gatherings hosted by evangelical political operative David Lane and his American Renewal Project. Huckabee is also giving interviews to political reporters.
Lane told Secrets: “Huckabee is obviously gearing up to run. This is the most aggressive I’ve seen him since 2007.” That year, the former Arkansas governor ran for president.
I don’t really think this is going to mean much as far as 2016 goes. Not that I think he won’t run, but he can’t win. He’s been out of the game for too long and his only redeeming quality the last time he ran was that the late night talk shows had him on. And, despite that, the young right-of-center crowd still leaned toward Paul. But, it goes to show his nature, and it’s the nature that is currently afflicting the GOP in a very negative way.
He wants to be liked by everyone.
Appear on TV with John Stewart or on Saturday Night Live, have a “non-controversial” show, or whatever his next game plan is, he goes out wanting to be liked. The current GOP establishment wants to be liked and is willing to sacrifice their base to do it. Huckabee isn’t quite there, but in trying to get elected, I think he has the potential to cross that line. I just hope I’m wrong, though I take solace in knowing he will very likely not win.