Mike Shanin, a veteran Kansas City newscaster of more than two decades, likes to say that he was "conservative before conservative was cool." For most of this summer, the St. Joseph native was the cool-headed substitute daily host in 980's morning slot after marble-mouthed Tom Bekka left the station. To the delight of right-wing listeners, Shanin proved that he wasn't afraid to voice his distinctly "Goldwater Republican" principles, including his belief that America should have stayed in Vietnam until it won that war. "That's not just my opinion," Shanin tells us, "but the belief of many military and political figures I have interviewed over the years." Interestingly enough, Shanin is the son of two staunch FDR Democrats. He got his political awakening while studying political science in college in the mid-1960s, thanks to the Goldwater campaign. Shanin notes that callers to the more topic-driven Sunday Edition With Mike Shanin
, from 9 to 11 a.m., are less aggressively conservative than during the daily show (which is followed by Rush Limbaugh's syndicated program). But then, Sundays don't usually incur the wrath of angry liberals, either.