Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity on top as Kennedy era fades for Irish Americans

Time was that Irish America was defined by the Kennedys and Tip O'Neill , the Berrigan brothers, Jimmy Breslin and other flaming liberals as the right would have it.

Now the big names are Mike Pence, Christine O'Donnell, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity. With the retirement of Senator Chris Dodd, the last East Coast liberal senator has left politics.

Ironically it was another Irish American, Ronald Reagan who brought about the transformation.

O'Reilly and the others, worship at the church of Reagan.

In another era it might have been John F.Kennedy who inspired them to get into the political and media business. Not any more

Congressman Mike Pence who spent a year working in Ireland, won a straw poll at the weekend from a Christian values group as their favorite for president.

He too is a true Reagan believer .

Meanwhile with the death of Ted Kennedy, the retirement of Dodd and the passing of the Tip O'Neill era, it is much harder to identify Irish American leaders on the center left.

Ronald Reagan and John F.Kennedy are the two poles of American politics these days.

All leaders since have been in their shadow and pay homage to their impact on them.

At the moment it seems clear that the Reagan legacy is in the ascendant. The Irish voices in the media are those of O'Reilly and Hannity

It shows how much times have changed. Irish American leaders in the media and politics now lean right.

It seems the Reagan legacy continues.


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