Salem Media Group Vice President of News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup joined The Mike Gallagher Show Monday to detail recent dealings the broadcast company has had with the Associated Press, and its perceived biases against conservatives.
Tradup noted difficulties Salem has had with the news organization began last year with the Virginia gubernatorial election. He said “they have a bias that is unbelievable. Last year when Glenn Youngkin was running against Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia, Mike, hot race, everybody in the country was interested in it, and (the) AP covered it like crazy. Until there was suddenly a surge for Glenn Youngkin and it looked like he might actually win this thing.
“When we reached out to them to confirm that they would be covering election night at both headquarters, I got a note from them saying ‘Well, we’re planning on having cameras at candidate election night party barring any unforeseen emergency news event’. Which is kind of like if you’re Channel 2 in Biloxi, Mississippi, ‘Yeah, we’ll cover the Governor being in town unless there’s a fire down the street’.”
After saying the AP was unhappy with a column he wrote for TownHall.com about the inherent biases inside the news gathering organization, he brought up a more recent example.
“We wanted to know if they were going to feed us audio from President Trump last Wednesday speaking as the keynoter at the Hispanic Leadership Conference in Miami. They’re always calling him Mr. Big Lie and Mr. Border Wall, implying that Hispanics don’t like him. Well here he is addressing the Hispanic Leadership Conference, and all of the sudden the AP hemmed and hawed ‘We might, we might not’ and I said I need some answer. It ping-ponged back and forth to umpteen people in New York and Washington and our AP representative in Chicago and at the end of the day, no, they decided not to cover it.
“They sent me this — I just have to read this little portion of it — bizarre explanation they wouldn’t be covering it because of ‘AP Standards. As with all stories AP covers, our editorial discusses and evaluates to ensure they are held to AP standards. For Trump, this is important because we want to be sure we are putting out factual information. After the 2020 election especially, Trump has been known for spreading falsehoods about the US election results, which we want to be careful with’. So, in other words, they don’t want to cover Donald Trump speaking at the Hispanic Leadership Conference because he might spread falsehoods in AP’s world.
“I said to them ‘Ok, what happens if he announces he’s running for President again. Does that mean you’re just not going to cover his campaign?’ This is absurd. It’s gone on forever with the AP, and they just don’t like it when someone calls them out. In fact, our representative for AP — I feel bad for the guy because he gets trapped between me and the bigwigs in New York, he has to convey my dissatisfaction as a client to them — he’s basically saying ‘Hey look, we’re trying our best, but we can’t always do what you want’, but that’s not the point.”
Tradup did admit Salem Media Group needed the Associated Press, saying “we can’t be everywhere at once”.
KNX News Launches ‘LA’s Afternoon News’
“They bring enormous reporting experience, perspective and humanity to the news that impacts our lives every day.”
KNX News has announced the launch of LA’s Afternoon News, which will feature Rob Archer, Karen Adams, Brian Douglas, and Charles Feldman.
The new show will be heard weekdays from 2:00-7:00 PM, beginning Monday, January 30th.
“Rob, Karen, Brian, and Charles are the perfect team to take afternoons on KNX News to the next level in 2023 and beyond,” said Audacy Southern California Regional President Jeff Federman. “They bring enormous reporting experience, perspective, and humanity to the news that impacts our lives every day.”
Rob Archer is no stranger to Los Angeles listeners. He’s been heard on the airwaves in the city since 1999, joining KNX News in 2015. He previously anchored the station’s weekend morning news.
Karen Adams has anchored afternoons KNX News since 2019 after working as a street reporter when joining the station in 2017.
Brian Douglas has served as the station’s traffic reporter since 2016, both as an anchor and in the air. He previously had stops in New York, Chicago, and Phoenix during his radio career, as well as a nationally syndicated show with Westwood One.
Finally, Charles Feldman has served as the Investigative Reporter at KNX for several years and is the co-host of the station’s program KNX In-Depth. Before joining KNX, Feldman was an investigative correspondent at CNN based in New York and Los Angeles for two decades.
The new launch of LA’s Afternoon News comes on the heels of previous afternoon anchor Mike Simpson moving to mornings after the retirement of Dick Helton, who spent 24 years with the station.
Mike Gallagher: Congress Should Investigate DirecTV After Dropping Newsmax
“You can make the argument ‘They’re a private company’. Nope. No, no, no. There’s all kind of government subsidies and tax breaks.”
“They’re trying to come after all of us. They’re trying to figure out a way to stop every single conservative outlet in America,” Gallagher said. “First, it was One America News. Now it’s Newsmax. AT&T and DirecTV refuse to pay Newsmax the carriage fees which is crucial to these TV networks. They refuse to pay these fees they pay everybody else, and Newsmax said ‘Enough. You’ve gotta be fair here. You’re not being fair, and you’re not paying us all these carriage fees you’re paying all these others.’
“Newsmax is the fourth news network right now in the country, behind Fox, and MSNBC, and CNN. ‘Nope, sorry, you’re out.’ You can make the argument ‘They’re a private company’. Nope. No, no, no. There’s all kinds of government subsidies and tax breaks. Congress has to investigate this. It’s time to hold Congressional hearings for this absolute blatant effort to silence a point of view that a woke company like AT&T and DirecTV doesn’t approve of.”
Representatives Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) and Michael Waltz (R-FL) each appeared on Newsmax Thursday, and discussed the possibility of Congressional hearings on the matter, with Van Drew saying “I’m certainly going to push for hearings and discussions about this. I think it’s more than necessary.”
DirecTV continues to contend it removed Newsmax after the cable channel demanded a carriage fee, which the satellite provider was not interested in paying. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy claims the channel is in the top 16 most-watched outlets on the service provider, warranting a carriage fee.
However, DirecTV countered by claiming that because Newsmax streams its programs for free on platforms like Roku, a carriage fee was not on the table.
With its removal from DirecTV, Newsmax’s reach has now decreased by 13 million homes.
Keith Olbermann: Republicans Threatening Hearings Over Newsmax, DirecTV Spat Are Hypocrites
“For some reason, Representatives like Van Drew and Waltz keep leaving out one little detail here: Newsmax has always given its 24/7 brainwashing feed for free.”
Newsmax is no longer found on DirecTV, and that decision has led to outcries from Congressional Republicans of “de-platforming” and “demonetization” of conservative voices. Podcaster Keith Olbermann believes those stances are poppycock.
Thursday, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) told Newsmax that Congress has “a number of questions…that we’ll demand answers for”, adding that proceedings could go “as far as having public hearings”. Later in the day, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) told the cable outlet “This is about freedom, it’s about America. It’s about the right to have discourse and discussion about ideas and visions and the future of the country.”
“I’m certainly going to push for hearings and discussions about this,” Van Drew added. “I think it’s more than necessary — it’s absolutely important for the future of our nation.”
“For some reason, Representatives like Van Drew and Waltz keep leaving out one little detail here: Newsmax has always given its 24/7 brainwashing feed for free to carriers like Roku and DirecTV but suddenly it has demanded DirecTV pay Newsmax for Newsmax,” Olbermann said.
“DirecTV said ‘No, thanks’. So Waltz and Van Drew want Congressional hearings about one company deciding not to buy another company’s product, in America. Which, I believe, is called ‘communistic, socialistic, anti-capitalist terrorism!'”
The removal of Newsmax from DirecTV is the second time in a calendar year that the satellite provider has removed a conservative cable channel from its lineup. In April of 2022, OAN was removed.
After removing Newsmax from its channel lineup, DirecTV replaced it with The First, a conservative video platform that features the likes of Dana Loesch, Jesse Kelly, and Bill O’Reilly, among others.
“DirecTV values different viewpoints and perspectives and will always work to preserve expansive choice among a wide variety of entertainment and information services to appeal to the unique tastes and interests of our diverse customer base,” DirecTV Chief Content Officer Rob Thun said while announcing the addition of The First.