Real estate is always about “location, location, location.” So is media – as a Huffington Post Live interview with conservative talker Hugh Hewitt just proved.
Although Hewitt came onto the show to talk about his new book, The Queen, interviewer Josh Zepps was far more interested in throwing paper darts at conservative media. Every time Hewitt tried to get at the truth of a given topic, Zepps shifted the conversation.
One of the longest lines of questioning involved the absence of liberal talk radio. Zepps asked why conservatives seemingly dominated the genre. Hewitt explained, “There is a liberal version of my show. It’s called NPR. The reason there has never been a successful liberal talk show is because NPR owns that.” He went on to add that nearly all of the journalists at NPR and PBS are liberals, which Hewitt can attest to since he worked at PBS for a good portion of his professional career.
Like a typical lefty journalist, Zepps didn’t take kindly to the criticism of his team. Right on cue, he defended liberal journalism. “The kinds of people that tend go into journalism and who tend to be intellectually curious tend to be further on the left than rigid, doctrinaire, right-wing ideologues, but that doesn’t mean that they’re just towing a political line the same way that Fox News tows the Republican line.”
Hewitt was incredulous. “There are so many false statements in that … let’s start with ‘intellectually more curious’. In fact, the Left is epistemologically closed. They do not read outside of it.” He explained that while he tends to read books published by liberal media members and gives guests on his show time to explain themselves, outlets like NPR rarely tackle conservative material.
Much to the disdain of Zepps, Hewitt went onto explain that “Fox News is the most balanced … Bret Baier … brings on all points of view and asks hard questions of everyone.” And if you don’t believe it, consider Baier’s recent interview of conservative leader Mitch McConnell, where the latter is grilled on everything from legislative logistics to his disagreements with Rand Paul and John Boehner on the NSA. Baier hardly was throwing meatballs.
The ire of Zepps may have come from an earlier line of questioning about Hillary Clinton. Hewitt contended that Clinton “was a catastrophic failure [as Secretary of] State,” imploring Zepps to “Tell me one thing she accomplished.”
Zepps got defensive, saying, “I’m not going to get into this game of ‘tell me one thing’. That’s the classic conservative radio game of gotcha. I would just say that if you’re going to apply the Pottery Barn rule you have to do it with the Iraq War.”
Well, Zepps was certainly deft at the liberal game of bait and switch – when you can’t answer for something, just change the topic. Hewitt conceded certain mistakes made with the Iraq War, but returned to Clinton: “I ask [everyone] the same question. Name me one thing that she accomplished at State. None of them, it’s not just you, Josh, no one has an accomplishment that Hillary has produced at state.”
Zepps responded, “But that’s because they know that whatever they say, you’re going to pick apart, and they’re going to go down a rabbit hole that is fruitless.”
Hewitt’s attempts at dialogue were continuously rejected as right-wing ideology and games, but really Zepps was the one that refused to give fair treatment to a different point of view.