Friday, July 23, 2010

Conservative Republican Forum: One Year Later

Hard to believe it’s been just over one year already that I launched my first internet radio show, Conservative Republican Forum on BlogTalkRadio. It seems like yesterday I invited my friend and co-host Daria DiGiovanni, author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal to join me in this excellent adventure.

As I reflected on the experience, I first took note of the fun we’ve had interviewing candidates for public office – mostly for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate – giving our audience the opportunity to get to know them and their positions on the issues. We continue to offer many grassroots candidates who might otherwise be ignored by the media, a forum from which to reach out and connect with potential voters and contributors.

Then I began to reminisce about the many notable people we’ve had the honor and pleasure to interview and – in some cases – meet in person. Our first big name guest was Florida U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio, who we interview for the first time in June of 2009 – long before most pundits even considered him a contender for the seat. At last January’s Freedom Forum in Miami, site of our first and only on-location broadcast, we interviewed Rubio for the second time.

Two weeks later, we had the opportunity to interview author, columnist and regular ‘Red Eye’ guest, S.E. Cupp. At the time, she was busy promoting her book Why You’re Wrong About the Right. And that was when our show really started to develop a following.

Since then, we’ve spoken with such well known personalities as Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter; former CIA operative Mike Baker (who has become a true friend of the show); Kellen Giuda – a founding member of the NYC Tea Party and co-founder of; comedienne Ellen Karis (who has become a personal friend); wildly popular congressional candidate Lt. Col. Allen West; Greg Gutfeld, Andy Levy and Bill Schulz of Fox News Channel’s hit show Red Eye; author and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin; former Fox News Senior Military Analyst Major General Paul E. Vallely (U.S. Army retired); current Fox News Military Analyst Lt. General Thomas McInerney (U.S.A.F. retired); Michigan Congresswoman Michele Bachmann; and Iowa Congressman Steve King.

The fact that all of these influential Americans took time out of their busy schedules to talk with us and our audience is a testimony their generosity and character. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting some of them in person and each was just as nice face-to-face as on the air. In particular, General Vallely, S.E. Cupp and Ellen Karis spent a great deal of time with my friends and me when we had the opportunity to hang out with them.

In 2010 we initiated our “Grassroots Candidates Series”, expanding our format from one-hour to an hour-and-a-half. This series has allowed us to feature several congressional and senatorial candidates – from Hawaii to Massachusetts – in what we consider to be a public service to the nation in this crucial mid-term election year.

When we started the show, I never could have expected that so many high-profile people would willingly agree to appear on our little Internet radio show; I certainly never dreamed I’d have the opportunity to not only spend time with any of them off the air, but to actually call them friends.

I also want to thank my friend and co-host Daria for taking time out of her life each week to ride shotgun with me on the air. Her support and encouragement have made the show enjoyable, and to be perfectly frank, she’s also saved my bacon from time-to-time, particularly when we’ve experienced the always-unavoidable technical difficulties or had a missing-in-action guest who failed to call-in.

Looking back on this first-year anniversary, both Daria and I sincerely hope our guests have enjoyed being on the show as much as we’ve enjoyed hosting them. As for our audience, we cannot thank them enough for tuning in each week, and we hope they continually find something of value. With their continued support, it is our fondest wish to remain on the air for a long time to come.