There are two competing views of what the party should do. Some strategists favor a more direct approach to discrediting irresponsible members of the conservative press. Others hope Trump’s looming likely defeat will convince listeners and viewers to walk away on their own accord.
Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist and president of the Potomac Strategy Group, favors the former approach. He acknowledged that while conservative talkers continue to “have an audience, there’s a limit to what you can do,” but offered ideas to apply some pressure.
“You can put pressure on advertisers and corporations that run them,” he said. “You can directly or indirectly limit the access of elected officials to them. We need to get to a point where Hannity only has paid contributors on. He doesn’t need to have elected officials on.”
“Someone needs to be making sure that if you want to go open $50,000 [in ads] on Breitbart,” he added, referring to the pro-Trump, alt-right website, “that there is, that you get a phone call that follows that up and makes clear you’re not helping.”
Stu Burguiere, co-host of “The Glenn Beck Program,” one of the highest-rated talk radio programs in the country, expressed optimism that market forces would come into play after the election and eventually resolve the issue.
“We sort of operate under the idea that the audience is filled with rational people,” he said. “I think the play is that in the longterm the audience rewards you for telling the truth.”