NEWS AND OPINION:
It is indeed a political and cultural moment. Talk radio kingpin Michael Savage has been in the nation’s capital this week — a man on a mission, and then some. Mr. Savage, who has not been in Washington for three decades, arrived Sunday and has been broadcasting his daily syndicated show to 10 million listeners via a studio in Washington.
He has been a guest at the White House, not only at a West Wing breakfast, but for the state luncheon honoring visiting French President Emmanuel Macron. Mr. Savage had a noteworthy conversation with President Trump in the Oval Office on multiple topics, he says, and another with Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican. Much more talk is likely Wednesday when Mr. Savage goes to the Capitol, he says, to meet with “leading conservatives.”
Like many visitors to Washington — the proverbial city on a hill — he has had a significant experience so far. There’s some patriotism involved, and a profound and immediate sense that yes, this is it — this is the real deal. Mr. Savage says that seeing the authentic, historic sites in person, visiting the National Cathedral or examining the actual Colonial-era paintings he remembers from the school books of his youth — well, they’ve had a positive effect, possibly a palliative one.
“I’m in awe of our great nation,” Mr. Savage told his listeners, following his experiences.
“Washington is much more beautiful than the media would lead you to believe,” he said, also advising that the battle is on for the “soul of the nation.”
On Friday, Mr. Savage heads back to his home base of San Francisco. His take on it all?
“I was called to the mountain,” Mr. Savage advises.
WHAT THE LEADERS MAKE
Do we care about the salaries of the presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of the world? Maybe. Curious researchers with 247WallStreet.com consulted the International Monetary Fund and other sources to reveal the annual compensation of the world’s elected leaders.
“Leaders of absolute monarchies and of a number of constitutional monarchies are generally among the wealthiest people on the planet. However, they were excluded from this list because incomes of sultans, emirs, and kings are frequently not available,” the researchers note.
All that said, here are the 10 highest salaries.
In first place is Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of Singapore, whose annual salary is $1.7 million.
In second place is Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, $578,320, followed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, $409,981; Swiss President Alain Berset, $401,929; President Trump, $400,000; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, $345,385; Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, $340,000; Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, $330,396; Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, $326,767; and Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, $273,809.
Mr. Trump, incidentally, donates his salary on a quarterly basis to the federal government, most recently to the Department of Transportation to boost infrastructure programs, the National Park Service to shore up fragile battlefield sites, the Department of Education to fund summer camps, and the Department of Health and Human Services to combat the opioid crisis.
COMEY HAS A TOWN HALL
Comey-mania in the press has subsided somewhat, though new author and former FBI director James B. Comey will continue on a national tour through the end of May, promoting his book “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”
The book has now sold 600,000 copies since its release on April 17, and has landed on USA Today’s forthcoming bestseller list. Mr. Comey’s work is currently No. 2 at Amazon, bested for now by “Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering,” a cookbook by HGTV host Joanna Gaines.
Meanwhile, one cable news network still has much in store for Mr. Comey. On Wednesday, the author will journey to Williamsburg, Virginia, to appear at a CNN town-hall meeting, moderated by prime time host Anderson Cooper and staged at the Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall at the College of William & Mary — Mr. Comey’s alma mater.
On the agenda for the live programming, according to CNN: the author’s FBI career, his public firing and legal cases of note.
Fox News Channel marks its 15th consecutive week as the No. 1 network in the entire cable realm, according to Nielsen Media Research. Yes, Fox News is still tops MSNBC and CNN as it has done for 16 years, drawing 2.4 prime time viewers, compared to 1.9 million for MSNBC and 947,000 for CNN.
Fox News coverage of the passing of former first lady Barbara Bush and her funeral also topped the competition. Thirteen of the network’s programs were in the top 40 of all cable telecasts.
Fox News host Sean Hannity, by the way, has been named to Time magazine’s list of the “Most Influential People of 2018,” a wide-ranging roster that also includes President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Newt Gingrich provided the review of Mr. Hannity for the list.
“His fans listen to him and learn from him. One of his biggest fans is President Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker,” Mr. Gingrich wrote. “Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state. He has made and is making a difference.”
In the meantime, Fox Business Network continued its reign over CNBC for the 10th straight week, with a 38 percent ratings advantage. “Varney & Co.” has been the most watched market forecast and analysis program across the entire airwaves according to Nielsen, while “Lou Dobbs Tonight” remains the No. 1 news program in business TV.
POLL DU JOUR
• 60 percent of internet users are “extremely concerned that online companies will not properly secure their personal information; 27 percent are “moderately concerned.”
• 52 percent of the users are extremely concerned the companies will keep copies of their files, even if the user deletes them; 30 percent are moderately concerned.
• 47 percent of users are extremely concerned the companies will track their locations through their cellphone; 32 percent are moderately concerned.
• 42 percent of users are extremely concerned companies will use their personal photos or information in marketing campaigns; 29 percent are moderately concerned.
• 15 percent say they always or frequently read privacy policies before accepting social media apps, 22 percent sometimes read them, and 60 percent say they “hardly ever or never read them.”
Source: An AP/NORC poll of 1,140 U.S. adults conducted April 11-16.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.