Contrary to the extreme and unfortunate claims by Mississippi Republican Senator Trent Lott that talk radio is “running America” and that “we have to deal with that problem,” the fact remains that the entire new media, of which talk radio is such a dominant part, really is making a difference in the American political landscape—an overwhelmingly positive difference.
The recent resounding defeat of Congressional efforts to push through a bad immigration reform bill stands as proof that although talk radio may not be running the country, it is certainly capable of moving and mobilizing grassroots America. It also explains why the liberal left is also anxious to require the FCC to reinstate what Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence has rightly called the “Un-Fairness Doctrine.”
However, the force of talk radio can also be illustrated in other ways, such as the remarkable true story of a young Egyptian Christian whose life was literally spared because of talk radio.
In September, 1999 my on-air guest on “The Don Kroah Show” was Mr. Nagi Kheir, a passionate spokesman for the American Coptic Association and one of Washington’s most ardent voices on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world, with special concern for those in his native country of Egypt.
In fact, on this particular program, Nagi was recounting the tragic story of an Egyptian Christian by the name of Adly Shakir from the city of Beni Suef in Upper Egypt.
On March 6, 1997 Mr. Sahkir’s then 13-year-old sister Teresa was kidnapped by her eighth-grade school teacher who was a Muslim. She was forced to convert to Islam in the local police station in the village of Wasta near Beni Suef. However, pressure on the Egyptian government from human rights groups succeeded in returning Teresa to her family in March of 1998.
Horrifically, in November of that same year, Mr. Shakir came home to find most of his family members murdered—his parents and young brother, age 12, shot to death. His 17-year-old sister Nadia was severely wounded by gunshot, and Teresa was also dead, brutally murdered in a gruesome ritualistic method said to be used by the extremist Islamic group al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya for those it accuses of apostasy.