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Hugh Hewitt: Arrogant Shill

Most days I love to read and hear what Hugh Hewitt has to say. His columns and radio show have a lot of perspective and news on all the day's political events. But Hewitt can get a bit full of himself at times, and when he does the results are not good for Conservatives. As an example, today I am writing about Hewitt's inexcusable conduct regarding the Presidential race.

Those who follow Hewitt know he's a big support of Governor Mitt Romney. No complaint there from me, I have looked up Romney's record as Governor of Massachusetts and his work as CEO of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002, as well as his position statements, and he'd make a good President, I think. The problem comes when someone other than Romney is considered. Again, I have no problem with anyone explaining why they think their guy is better, but Hewitt does not stop there. Instead, Hewitt has been waging a campaign of sliming every candidate not named 'Romney', and casting their credentials falsely and, frankly, showing a crude and hostile attitude that sure sounds to me like he is afraid of anyone matching the candidates up on their actual work and positions. If you check his blog, for example, you will see a number of entries designed to whack John McCain. For instance, about halfway down the page there is an entry which Hugh read on-air Wednesday afternoon, to the effect that an endorsement by Domino's pizza mogul Tom Monoghan represents "an effort to save the GOP from capture by the anti-conservative John McCain and the neopopulist Mike Huckabee". By that logic, the top runners should really push to grab that all-important 'Jared' nod from Subway, to be sure they have that demographic covered. I won't guess at the value of the Jack-in-the-Box and McDonald's endorsements, even though they would appear to represent a huge part of the country, because we are already too aware of well-known clowns in close contact with politicians. But Hewitt is using the pizza schtick to sell attacks on McCain and Huckabee. Hey, I agree that neither McCain nor Huckabee would get my first choice of vote, but Hewitt has been treating them rather nastily. The reader will also note that Hewitt deals with the campaigns from Mayor Giuliani and Senator Thompson by simply ignoring them.

What annoyed me was not that Hewitt has a horse in the race, but that he wants to snipe at the other jockeys. He made an on-air statement Wednesday afternoon to the effect, that if you did not vote for Romney, you were wasting your vote, that only Romney was an acceptable GOP nominee, and that only Romney could win in the General Election for the Republicans. Because I consider Mr. Hewitt to be a well-educated man who is fully informed on the candidates' positions and records, I'd have to call that a rather rude and arrogant lie, a deliberate malignment of men who deserve much better from a purported man of integrity who claims to honestly report the race as it is, but who instead is painting over the picture to show what he wants rather than the true condition. We get enough of that from the Left and properly call it out when we see it, and so I must cry 'foul!' here.

Maybe it's because I wanted Condi to run, that I can see the existing candidates a bit more impartially than Hewitt does. There are good and weak qualities to every one of the Republican candidates, and while I have my own preferences, I don't pretend that I could therefore lie about other Republicans in order to make my guy look better. Maybe it's that I recall Reagan's 11th Commandment a bit better than Mr. Hewitt seems able to manage (and no, taking a lying commentator to task is not the same as maligning the Republican leaders and candidates), or maybe it's that I can see that whoever the GOP selects for its nominee, it will necessarily be better than the opposing selection from the Democrats, and as such the GOP nominee must be supported by Conservatives because, like it or not, the alternative would be far worse. We have a critical strategic situation in the Middle East, which no Democrat can be trusted to direct. The immigration question must not be decided on the question of how many new voters your party can add by letting illegals vote. Taxation cannot be left in the hands of people who think of tax revenue as belonging to the government, or who do not understand that more government is by nature damaging to the power of the economy. The nomination of federal judges and SCOTUS justices cannot be left in the hands of people who think the Constitution can be manipulated to suit the mood of the present culture. The power and influence of the United States cannot be left to the whims of people who claim we must suborn our sovereignty to the preferences of other nations. Any Republican is, by definition, more desirable for the welfare of the United States and more committed to the ideals of her Constitution than any Democrat, as things stand today.

As much as I normally respect and applaud Hugh Hewitt on his thoughts and opinions, in this case he is doing Governor Romney no favors, as he is showing himself a shill in behavior and arrogant in character, and feeding the greatest weakness in the Republican side of the election, the sense that if the preferable candidate does not gain the nomination, that the Republican nominee should be abandoned. Hewitt is doing the DNC's work for them when he forgets that any Republican is better than any Democrat in this election, and that while it is right and good to support your man, you must not do so by tearing down the good qualities of other contenders.

Hewitt owes apologies to all of the Republican candidates for President. To Giuliani and Thompson for his silence on their qualifications on the issues he pretends only Romney has addressed, to McCain and Huckabee for refusing to balance their credentials in the light of actual positions and for overstating their errors and missteps, portraying each as an enemy of the Republicans rather than simply less desirable from his point-of-view. To Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Alan Keyes, for treating them as not worthy of mention simply because they do not lead in the race. And to Mitt Romney, for being a distinctly uncivil partisan while presenting himself as a supporter. Friends like Hewitt are doing Romney no favors.


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Comments (25)

Hugh Hewitt is to Mitt Romn... (Below threshold)

Hugh Hewitt is to Mitt Romney

as

Alex Jones is to Ron Paul

I listened to Hugh last nig... (Below threshold)
Minturn:

I listened to Hugh last night. He is a disgrace. Going on and on about how Tom Monoghan endorsing Romney was equivalent to Moses coming down from Mt Sinai. I didn't know who Tom Monoghan is and I certainly don't care if some low rent pizza merchant is endorsing Romney.
Yesterday I think Byron York was on Hugh show and everytime Byron said something that might be construed as remotely positive about another candidate, Hugh would get apoplectic. I rcall one exchange where Hugh was touting Tom Monoghan's endorsement as the most important endorsement in the history of republican politics.
What a douche. I can't wait for Romney to lose, just to hear Hugh backpedal. He's got to be on the Romney payroll.

There's been a lot of shill... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

There's been a lot of shilling like this going around. Imho, Thompson supporters are the worst as they see their candidate polling low so far. I think they feel the need to assassinate the weaker competition (except Paul he assassinates himself quite nicely) to make room.

I think you overstate Hugh'... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

I think you overstate Hugh's position. He'll support any nominee but Ron Paul; he has said so many times.

His attacks on McCain are well placed. McCain is, for me, a totally unnacceptable candidate. He voted against tax cuts and is buddy-buddy on policy with Ted Kennedy. Huckabee is worse, since he is just a liberal with conservative social policies. It is fair to say these things, particularly when the media isn't.

That being said, Hugh is going a bit far. I came to this post from Hugh's blog having just said to myself, "yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you Hugh but it's getting old."

Forgot to say that I'll vot... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

Forgot to say that I'll vote for the Republican nominee, whoever that is, unless it's Ron Paul.

It won't much matter, since I doubt a Republican can take California....

Not sure I agree with all t... (Below threshold)
jeb2:

Not sure I agree with all that you said, but you said it very well. That is, you gave credit where you thought due, provided perspective by stating your own preferences, and resisted the temptation to go totally over the top in condemnation.

Of all the candidates in both parties, I believe Thompson would make the best President. Sadly, the chance that I will get to vote for him in the general election appears very slight right now.

Ideologically, Romney/Thomp... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Ideologically, Romney/Thompson is the best possible ticket we can have on the Republican side. I can wipe my nose and vote for McCain/Thompson ticket for example.

I am not a Mitt fan but wou... (Below threshold)
chris:

I am not a Mitt fan but would vote for him before McCain,

I have actually become much less likely to support Mitt due to HH over-the-top support/derision.

Once a regular listener, I find I now turn off the radio when it is obvious the subject for 15 min., 30 min., even the hour is going to involve praise of Mitt and slagging of others. This happens almost every day now and isn't entertaining, enlightening or worth my time.

I was an avid and regular H... (Below threshold)
Dallas:

I was an avid and regular Hewitt listener until his rabid support of Romney (whom I really like)...it's much better, since he set himself up as a pundit, to be open to all candidates until the primaries are settled. Since he jumped in from the getgo with Romney...he takes every thing personally. It hurts his radio program, gets rid of at least one listener..me, and takes away his credibility.

If one wants to campaign...then leave the airwaves and become part of the machine. Otherwise, give us a well rounded picture. I find myself gravitating towards those pundits who have not decided outloud about their choice and still give me a chance to think.

Dallas

I tend to agree with Dallas... (Below threshold)

I tend to agree with Dallas. Hugh isn't just a Romney supporter, he's the lead recruiter from the Romney Love Cult.

I've said in comments to his posts, too, that there is absolutely nothing Romney could do, or which could happen to him, which Hewitt would not see as a positive for the campaign.

If Romney stubbed his toe, Hugh would see it as gaining points with the "klutz vote." If he actually withdrew from the race, Hewitt would claim it as a strategic advantage since Romney could then stay "under the radar."

I don't care if conservative bloggers and radio hosts choose and support a candidate. Heck, the Media Wing of the Democratic Party has apparently settled on Obama, and they are every bit in the tank for whoever the Democrats nominate - but even they are more subtle about it.

It has gone far beyond "support" as we understand the normal meaning of the word. Hewitt is a Romney fanatic, and I will be shocked if it doesn't end up hurting him badly with his own public when this is all over.

I've never heard Hewitt. (... (Below threshold)
kevino:

I've never heard Hewitt. (I probably wouldn't go for it, anyway.)

Is he worse that Jay Sevrin [sp?] on WTKK?

I used to listen to Jay's show if it was on when I drove home, but he's stopped taking phone calls for the first hour while he rants for a solid hour about how Governor Romney is the his guy and all other candidates suck. It's sickening, and it's boring. I've restocked my supply of CDs in the car and removed the station from my programmed list.

I would vote for Fred or Mi... (Below threshold)
AngryMe:

I would vote for Fred or Mitt before McCain.

Illegal Immigration is the trump card ATM. Anyone who has had to go to an emergency room lately should feel the same.

What is with you republican... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

What is with you republicans? All you are doing is tearing your party apart. What happened to Reagan's 1st commandment?

If you think Hugh is bad, just look at what another republican is going to do to Huckabee tonight:
http://tpmelectioncentral.com/2008/01/new_antihuck_527_ad_stars_mother_of_one_of_dumonds_victims.php

Hugh is a big supporter of ... (Below threshold)
jbw:

Hugh is a big supporter of Romney, however he has actually said some nice things about Rudy. But he believes that McCain or Huckabee would tear up the Reagan/Bush coalition and lead to defeat in 08.

And actually I don't think that a democrat would be much worse than McCain. Perhaps a little but not by much.

You want to talk about going after McCain, then read Hugh's blog and what Rick Santorum had to say about during their time in the senate.

DJDon't ne so conc... (Below threshold)
benito ghouliami:

DJ

Don't ne so concerned about endorsements like Dominoes or Subway.

The MOST important endorsement that all the GOP candidates feverishly await is from the CEOs of Port-a-let and Kohler.
depp=true

Old Hugh sounds like a worr... (Below threshold)

Old Hugh sounds like a worried parent to me. He has seen the insanity of Republicans staying home rather than voting for their party and the subsequent Dem congress that has threatened the security of our armies in the field, seen its "leadership"(Pelowsi) visit thugs in the mideast, and backed by our "friends" in the media downplayed the biggest boom in recent history(economically). He is almost paranoid, (Cassandra-like) in his delivery to warn of the dire consequences to individuals that seem to veer crazily from one candidate to another without seemingly the slightest provocation rhyme, or reason. Hugh is a serious individual. He is proving to me that seriousness is appropriate in this the most important election I have ever seen unfold.

My college roommate's girlf... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

My college roommate's girlfriend wouldn't buy Dominos pizza or Coors because of the founder's/owner's support for anti-abortion groups. Struck me as odd, but no skin off my ass since Dominos is crap and free beer is free beer.

I'm just glad to know somebody, somewhere thinks that endorsement is impressive. Romney backers (Hewitt, KJLopez) certainly do seem to be the fellatingist bunch of shills though, don't they?

Compared to what Medved has... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Compared to what Medved has to say about Huckabee, Hewitt is anti Romney. If you do not like what Hewitt has to say about the other candidates, tune him out. But you will not find he is lying about other candidates. Medved misrepresents nearly any criticism of Huckabee as lying and a misrepresentation. Romney has pointed out some of the facts about other candidates as it seems the media is unwilling to do any background on the people running for the highest elected office. Concentrating in polls instead of informing the public causes one to question the validity of freedom of the press.

Baghdad barney - "What ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney - "What is with you republicans? All you are doing is tearing your party apart."

Yeah... and the Dems, highly placed ones, are the paragon of virtue and fairness in dealing with their own. (not to mention all the backstabbing and sniping among the Dkos Kiddies)

Marc, I have to agr... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Marc,
I have to agree with Barney that the liberals/dems are united on their agenda of "killing babies, not terrorists" big government agenda. There is no leading Republican candidate who is on board completely with the "killing terrorists, not babies" small government agenda.

#18 -- Spot onHewi... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

#18 -- Spot on

Hewitt's support of Romney is nothing like the consistent love fest Medved holds for Huckabee.

It would help your argument... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

It would help your argument against Hugh if you didn't start out by calling him names and then make innacurate claims.

Instead, Hewitt has been waging a campaign of sliming every candidate not named 'Romney', and casting their credentials falsely and, frankly, showing a crude and hostile attitude that sure sounds to me like he is afraid of anyone matching the candidates up on their actual work and positions.

This isn't in the least bit true. Sliming every candidate?

You must be a Mccain guy and since McCain won N.H., he's "every candidate".

At least at the end of your rant you admit that Hugh hasn't slimed every candidate, as in Thompson and Guiliani's case, he just doesn't "Shill" for them as much.

Good grief!

I have to agree with Baggi ... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

I have to agree with Baggi on this one.

Based on this post, you are every bit as guilty as what you accuse Hugh Hewlitt of being.

(Disclaimer: I have never heard Hewlitt's radio show and haven't decided on a candidate yet. I just dislike blatant hypocrisy.)

Reading comprehension's a r... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Reading comprehension's a real problem for you, huh Baggi/Ohio Voter? Every one of Baggi's claims were wrong, and you'd have avoided those blunders if you'd paid attention to what I said.

Hewitt HAS been sliming everyone but Mitt, or hadn't you noticed? And as I observed, calling him out on that in no way is the same thing as using a national radio show with millions of listeners to sell one candidate by trashing fellow Republicans. Kinda silly for you OV, to say I'm doing what Hugh did when you yourself admit you're clueless about what Hugh said.

Yes, I have a preference and said so plainly, and no it was not McCain. Did you read what I said about McCain? Obviously not. Did you read who I said I would prefer for the GOP nod? Since you think I'm a McCain drone, again you obviously missed that part.

Do yourself a favor and do more than post without thinking next time.

Reading comprehension's ... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Reading comprehension's a real problem for you, huh Baggi/Ohio Voter?

Of all the internet insults, this one has got to be my favorite. Why? Because inevitably the person making the claim demonstrates that their reading comprehension is the one that is suspect.

Kinda silly for you OV, to say I'm doing what Hugh did when you yourself admit you're clueless about what Hugh said.

That, of course is untrue. I never "admitted" that I was "clueless about Hugh said".

What I actually said:

"I have never heard Hewlitt's radio show and haven't decided on a candidate yet."

One doesn't have to listen to Hewlett's show to know what he has said. You can read his blog and his columns - and I have done both.

I simply have no vested interested in supporting Hewlitt or any candidate that he may support. I was willing to concede that Hugh has reacted exactly as you (DJ) had claimed that he had in the statement that I ACTUALLY made. Your original post DOES stoop to the same type insult that you damn Hewlett for using - IN MY OPINION.

Whether or not you (generic "you") believe Hewlitt has slimed other candidates is also matter of OPINION. I am not so arrogant that I have to demand everyone else share my opinion as "fact".

For example:

Every one of Baggi's claims were wrong, and you'd have avoided those blunders if you'd paid attention to what I said.

And speaking of "silly":

And as I observed, calling him out on that in no way is the same thing as using a national radio show with millions of listeners to sell one candidate by trashing fellow Republicans.

Are you really claiming that right and wrong is determined by the size of the audience?

As Baggi said - "Good Grief!"




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