Hugh Hewitt

The 100 Days of Obama Tour opened last week in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The Salem Radio Network's nationally syndicated talk show hosts --Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and me-- are appearing in some combination of three to discuss President Obama's start on governing and to take questions from what have been large and very enthusiastic audiences. This week we move on to Los Angeles, Sacramento and Phoenix, the following week to Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis and Cleveland before finishing up in Philadelphia and Atlanta on May 18 and 19 respectively.

I and most others inside the world of talk radio already knew that audience growth for conservative talk was large and growing since the election of President Obama in November. I wrote at length on why this was occurring for NationalReview.com a few weeks back.

The difference between knowing that the audience is growing and experiencing the commitment of the audience to the renewal of the conservative movement in America and the rebuilding of the Republican majority is the great advantage of the tour.

At each stop last week I asked the audience to do two specific things to help advance the cause of conservative renewal in 2009: To subscribe to Townhall Magazine and to join TalkPac.com.

Townhall Magazine is the journal that focuses more than any other on talk radio and on the cutting edge issues that are drawing conservatives together rather than dividing them. Each month it provides a comprehensive overview of the key issues developing across the dozen talk shows that matter in the culture while providing original reporting on key controversies and debates. Its growth since the Fall's elections reflects the overall growth that conservative forums of all sorts have enjoyed since November 2008.

TalkPac.com is a political action committee founded last month to defeat the many forms of assault on conservative talk radio, from frontal charges like the Fairness Doctrine, to flanking movements like localism rules, and backdoor, camouflaged attacks such as the Performance Tax which would cripple music radio but in so doing would weaken all radio companies by shifting huge revenues to the big record companies.


Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.