Friday, April 12, 2013

Mike Gallagher: Talk Radio’s ‘Happy Conservative Warrior’

Mike Gallagher
“I think you can be conservative and fight for what you believe in without being mean-spirited or bash people or be ugly about it,” the popular conservative radio host told POLITICO’s MacKenzie Weinger during a recent interview in his New York City office. “I’m a genuinely happy guy.”

“Believe me, I bash liberals for being mean-spirited and angry, but there are plenty on my side who are the same way,” Gallagher added. “That just doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to go home at the end of the day just spent and exhausted that I’ve been screamed at or I’ve screamed at someone for three hours. It just doesn’t work for me. Life’s too short.”

It’s a talk show philosophy that isn’t often found in a hyper-partisan media world dominated by epic shouting matches. But for Gallagher — who’s been in the radio business for 35 years and nationally-syndicated with Salem Radio Networks, which dubbed him the “happy conservative warrior,” for over a decade — it’s a style that works. And each week, about 3.5 million people tune into Gallagher, according to Talkers magazine, which ranks him as having the fifth biggest talk radio audience in the country.

Gallagher, who is a Fox News contributor in addition to hosting “The Mike Gallagher Show” every day for three hours, says he’s happy he’s been able to carve out a spot in the world of conservative talkers that not only fits his easygoing personality, but saves his voice.

Gallagher talks about everything from his personal life to his political views — he’s pro-business and focused on the country’s economic problems, but also thinks the Republican Party needs to have some big discussions about hot-button social issues rather than simply skip over them — with his listeners.

The radio host has long been known for his cheerful persona, but he also credits his wife Denise, who died in 2008 from endometrial cancer, for pushing him to adopt an even more good-natured style both on-air and off.

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