Soon after Donald was elected – for the last time, yes, it really happened – I bought subscriptions to both the New York Times and the Washington Post. I figured the enemies of the people could do with a little support from the rest of us, even though they were our enemies, and dared hope, in those early, innocent days, that Trump might be brought down by some latter day Woodwards and Bernsteins.
Both of these publications are what we in Canada would think of as reasonable, middle of the road news sources, but they have to peddle their papers in Murrica, where Barack Obama was labelled “socialist” and only radical leftists on a par with Karl Marx think people shouldn’t die because they can’t afford a family doctor, so both of them employ right wing opinion columnists to supply “balance”. They seem to think that this will stop Fox News devotees and MAGA types from decrying their supposed liberal bias. At the Times, the in-house so-called conservative is infuriatingly smug never-Trumper Bret Stephens, whose main schtick is to whine at the Democrats for not being Republican enough, and deny that he and his kind did anything at all to lay the groundwork for Fat Donny in the first place. At WaPo, they’ve taken it up a notch with a hard-right pundit named Hugh Hewitt. This is he:
If I hadn’t told you, you would have guessed he was a GOP-lovin’ Trump Thumper, right? I bet you would have guessed that.
Well, Hugh comes on all reasonable and journalist-like, but when you get right down to it he’s a lunatic who espouses the sort of views that make people like George Will sound like Bernie Sanders. His main gig is a conservative talk radio show that floats all the usual ideas and invites all the usual suspects to come flap their gums, Donald frequently among them. It’s not InfoWars, but it sure as shit ain’t NPR either.
I’m not sure why WaPo thinks they need this guy, when they have Max Boot, who makes sense even though I sort of hate his guts, and Jennifer Rubin, an actual conservative, as that term is properly understood, whose work is impeccable. How much non-liberal balance do you need? But there’s Hugh sharing column space with the other op-ed writers, pumping out dreck like this:
As if writing for Breitbart instead of the paper that brought Nixon down, Hewitt carries water not just for the GOP generally but Donald in particular, to the point that he once opined that the Mueller Report proved that Trump was innocent on all counts. That’s our Hugh! So today I stumbled across his latest, trying to click my way unmolested toward something by Eugene Robinson:
Remember that long lawyerly note from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone that was delivered to Democratic House leadership a couple of days ago? I blogged about it. If you skipped that one, I didn’t like the letter very much. So today, there’s Hugh praising the eight page screed, which was the worst piece of purported legal reasoning ever produced by a lawyer who makes seven million a year in the private sector, and amounted to little more than a whine that it’s not fair while describing the current impeachment inquiry as unconstitutional. Hugh thinks Cipollone isn’t just correct, he’s brilliant, and singles this passage out for particular praise, it being indisputably true:
Finally, the White House counsel adds: “It is transparent that you have resorted to such unprecedented and unconstitutional procedures because you know that a fair process would expose the lack of any basis for your inquiry.”
It get’s better. There’s this:
Similarly, the fix appears in with the House’s so-called impeachment inquiry. Hashtags are no longer as powerful as they once were, but President Trump might want to try out #KangarooCourtImpeachment, because the House “inquiry” is just that: a kangaroo court.
The “kangaroo court” horse manure is a GOP talking point that they were all spewing in the halls of Congress this week, dutifully following the script, with one of them, a dum-dum named Gaetz, apparently thinking that the term originated in the old kids’ show Captain Kangaroo.
God only knows where he might think the term “palm tree justice” comes from, if he ever heard it. Gilligan’s Island, maybe. There was no topping the response of Senator Chris Murphy, who issued this challenge to a colleague:
Now, as my avid followers will already know in their bones, I’m not the excitable type. I let things be. I pause and reflect. Things
stick in my craw like porcupine quills lodged in a dog’s muzzle roll off me like water off a duck’s back. However, after failing to look away before seeing Hugh Hewitt jump on the kangaroo bandwagon with his idiot GOP pals, I actually wrote a letter to the editor. For real! Like Hi WaPo, long time reader, first time writer, how are you? Here it is:
From: Graeme Coffin firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: October 11, 2019 at 11:03:04 AM EDT
Subject: Democracy and what kills it
I’m a Canadian subscriber. We have enough of our own problems up here to distract me, heaven knows, but like most Canadians I pay closer attention than most Americans to what goes on in your country, and I pay happily for your publication because I’m inclined to agree that democracy dies in darkness, just as your catchy slogan insists. I’m writing to suggest that democracy also dies in the blinding glare of the arc light of imbecility that is Hugh Hewitt.
Balance and tolerance for opposing viewpoints are terrific and all that, but there’s something to be said for stroke prevention too, yes? I can’t be the only one of your loyal readers who just about pops a brain aneurysm every time he or she so much as reads the title of a Hewitt column. Indeed, I bet you’d get a lot more letters like this, save that so many who would send them drop dead, or lose their capacity for language, before they’re able.
No, I’m not going to cancel my subscription, or even keep writing, if you insist on publishing more of Hugh’s, er, thoughts. I support you on principle, and will keep sending you money even if it’s too risky to peruse the opinions section. Do you think that if I ask nicely, Jennifer Rubin might send me her stuff direct?
Sent from my iPad
I’m expecting this to be very well received, and I’m hoping to leverage their delight into an offer to write my own column as a sort of counterpoint to Hugh’s. Stay tuned.