A conservative voice draws an audience in heavily Democratic Philadelphia

A conservative voice draws an audience in heavily Democratic Philadelphia
Charles Mostoller

Millions of women nationwide marched in opposition to President Donald Trump over the weekend, attracting a swarm of media attention for days.

But in Philadelphia, one conservative talk show host wasn’t so impressed.

“There were countless women who would love to have marched with their ‘sisters’ over the weekend but weren’t welcome. Pro-life women, for starters,” said Chris Stigall, who hosts a morning talk show on 1210 WPHT Philadelphia. (A pro-life group was dropped from the march’s official list of partners, but some pro-life advocates reportedly did attend anyway.) “Couple that with Madonna’s ‘blow up the White House’ rhetoric and pussy hats/vagina costumes, and to me, you have a movement that doesn’t look unifying or inclusive. It looks unhinged and partisan.”

Sure, he’s just one person in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, but Stigall, 40, has an audience. The Missouri native who now lives in Philly blasts out his views during the morning commute, drawing a large audience, and a modest following on social media.

It’s the kind of voice the people in Philly want to hear more of, said Joe DeFelice, executive director of the Philadelphia Republican Party.

DeFelice said Philly’s media has been “extremely liberal,” unlike the perspectives of Stigall and long-term Philly staple Dom Giordano, another conservative personality who broadcasts on 1210 AM.

“Sometimes they’re writing for themselves instead of the people,” DeFelice said, referring to the local news media. “Even after this election, even after Trump did what they all thought he couldn’t have done, they kept up that tone-deafness and doubled down on their liberalism. I think it’s a tremendous, tremendous disservice to the region.”

With the election of Trump, media coverage focused on Russian influence and the rise of the “alt-right,” which The Associated Press defines as “an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism.”

“I never understood what ‘alt-right’ was or what it means,” Stigall said in an interview via email. “It’s a made-up term to marginalize conservatives. If you’re a small-government advocate, you must also be a racist. It’s sick. Bigots, racists etc., are, have, and will always be among us, sadly. If some of those terrible people voted for the same guy I voted for — don’t conflate me or my motivations with them.”

As for fears that Trump will bring about the apocalypse? Stigall disagreed, and said fears of an “authoritarian” federal government are greatly exaggerated.

“We’re already in the middle of an authoritarian state,” he said. It just happens to be one in which they’re currently comfortable. It’s their authoritarian — Barack Obama. So that makes it OK,” Stigall said.”Most people didn’t want and don’t like Obamacare. Yet, it was literally forced on us anyway …Not everyone believes in gay marriage, but if you don’t and you own a business — be prepared for all hell to rain down on you.”

Agree or disagree with Trump in the White House, you might expect to be hearing a lot more of these types of views for the next four years. As for Trump, Stigallis hopeful but waiting to see if the new president fulfills his promises.

“I voted for him hoping to see a positive change in our economy, a stronger national defense and a reined-in judiciary,” Stigall said. “I’m assuming, guaranteeing and betting on nothing.”