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Conservative Bias: How Jesse Helms Pioneered the Rise of by Bryan Hardin Thrift

By Bryan Hardin Thrift

Conservative Bias examines essentially the most infamous figures of recent American politics: Jesse Helms. Thrift indicates that Helms was once no longer purely a right-wing demagogue yet relatively a super media mastermind who equipped a countrywide flow from a bit tv soundstage in Raleigh.”?Neil J. younger, Princeton University


“In this cautious, considerate, and carefully researched research, Bryan Hardin Thrift offers the 1st entire learn of Jesse Helms’s lengthy profession as a conservative journalist and tv ideologue sooner than his lengthy tenure as a U.S. senator from North Carolina.”—William A. hyperlink, writer of Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the increase of contemporary Conservatism


“Traces a little-known, yet pivotal, part of Helms’s pre-senatorial profession and explains how the longer term New correct chief used the facility of neighborhood tv publicizes within the Sixties to forge a brand new ideology that moved the state to the right.”—Daniel okay. Williams, writer of God’s personal Party


Before invoice O’Reilly and Glenn Beck, there has been Jesse Helms. From in entrance of a digital camera at WRAL-TV, Helms solid a brand new model of southern conservatism lengthy ahead of he used to be a senator from North Carolina. As govt vp of the station, Helms introduced commentaries at the night information and directed the inside track and leisure programming. He pioneered the assault at the liberal media, and his editorials have been the various first pictures fired within the tradition wars, criticizing the impact of “immoral entertainment.” during the rising energy of the loved ones tv Helms verified a blueprint and laid the root for the trendy conservative movement.

Bryan Thrift mines over 2,700 WRAL-TV “Viewpoint” editorials broadcast among 1960 and 1972 to provide not just a portrait of a talented rhetorician and wordsmith but additionally a lens at the method a number of the, and now and then competing, parts of recent American conservatism cohered into an ideology couched within the language of anti-elitism and “traditional values.” many years ahead of the discovery of the web publication, Helms corresponded together with his audience to choose, refine, and sharpen his political message till he had transformed southern traditionalism right into a nationwide conservative circulation. The realignment of southern Democrats into the Republican get together used to be hard or inevitable, and by means of studying Helms’s oft-forgotten journalism occupation, Thrift exhibits how delicately and intentionally this transition needed to be cultivated.


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Extra info for Conservative Bias: How Jesse Helms Pioneered the Rise of Right-Wing Media and Realigned the Republican Party

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Pate remained in private life, and Governor Luther Hodges became John F. Kennedy’s commerce secretary. And in September 1957, a crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the passage of the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction stoked Helms’s deep fears about African American voting. Competition for African American votes between northern Democrats and Republicans made civil rights central to the 1956 campaign. After the election, the Eisenhower administration introduced a civil rights bill aimed at voting-rights violations in the South.

From a practical point of view he could do little to stop annexation or taxes, but Helms relished Free Enterprise, the Mainstream Media, and Southern Realignment in the 1950s · 41 defending the Frank Parkers of the world. His local income-tax proposal would have shifted the burdens of an expanding city to those who benefited from it the most and away from retired property owners such as the Parkers. The tax proposal also raised the possibility of shifting power from federal to local government.

44 All in all, Helms deserted the party of the Solid South reluctantly. He felt a special connection to Georgia senator Richard Russell, a southern Democrat and a conservative with national aspirations, whose style Helms emulated. He served as Russell’s media representative during his “ill-fated bid” for the 1952 presidential nomination. In 1955 Helms offered to form a “Russell for President” organization in North Carolina, but the senator declined. 45 The party’s rejection of Russell and McMahan, along with other signs of the national party’s rejection of conservatism, fed his desire for realignment.

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