Hugh Hewitt calls out Politico and Scarborough

When George W. Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, the conservative uprising that followed was in line with right wing standards and caused the withdrawal of the nomination in place of the much more seasoned and notably conservative, now Justice, Samuel Alito. Conservatives opposed Miers not because there was evidence that she would have been a swing or left of center Justice, but because she had no record to identify her with the base of the right. Sure, she might have the right opinions and rule the right way, but that’s not enough in a position such as this and the people said so.

While leftists constantly show that they will endorse and support anything that is anit-right, conservatives have shown almost the opposite. It’s not enough to just carry the label, as is all that is required for leftward acceptance; one must further the principals in meaningful ways.

“Joe Scarborough has given a lesson on all that is wrong with public discourse and at the same time gives yet another example of why Politico is forfeiting the crucial branding it worked so hard to achieve at launch” says Hugh Hewitt in a blog that chastises Politico for leaning left, using this terrible column by barely right-of-center personality Joe Scarborough. Of Scarborough’s column, Hugh reviews:

This is a remarkably logic-and-specifics free half-dozen paragraphs.  We have known since at least Sunday that the killer wasn’t a political actor.  We have a pile of evidence that he is deranged and developed his deadly obsession a year before Sarah Palin arrived on the national political scene.  At least one friend has attested that he didn’t listen to talk radio.

So this is the best argument about the shootings from a conservative that Politico can find?  Scarborough could have more convincingly argued that  the moon made the killer shoot than he made the case for poisoned political environment making him do it.

The point isn’t the lousy argument.  That argument was made and exiled from all but the hard left by mid-week, and like the false documents held up by Rather in 2004, only the extreme media will continue to peddle the idea that the Tucson massacre was about political media.

The point is that Politico’s chief conservative columnist made the extreme anti-conservative argument –a week after it had been discredited.

A conservative reader reacts to the Sacrborough column just as a conservative reader reacts to this Politico headline from this morning:  “Retreads Still Drive GOP Agenda.” This headline comes in a week in which not one but two former senior Clinto Administration officials return to take the helm of the president’s and vice-president’s staffs.

A little further down the page, another headline slamming the GOP: “GOP Event Dodges Immigration Fight,” and further down a second headline on the same gathering, “Jeb Bush: GOP ‘incredibly stupid’ to ignore Hispanics.”

Other interesting headlines:  “Admin reunites Clinton centrists” (not “retreads) and “Obama speech recalls Reagan.”

Hugh Hewitt Confronts Politico Editor Over Left-Wing Biased Tucson Coverage:

A day after this interview, Hugh updated the situation:

If Politico cannot objectively evaluate the wisdom and impact of naming Joe Scarborough as its lead conservative voice, there is a very good chance that neither can it objectively evaluate the bias that has invaded its entire web site.
If it is blind to the former, it is almost certainly blind to the latter.

But don’t trust me, or Fred Barnes who also joined me yesterday to discuss Politico’s lurch left. Take Joe Scarborough’s new column from this morning as the best evidence of why Politico is shredding its brand via its tie-in with Joe and MSNBC. Today Joe attacks not just Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck but all of the leading the potential GOP nominees for 2012.

Fine. Not very interesting, and certainly no new information or perspective, but celebrity columnists whose perch did not develop because of a career in reporting and writing often produce such meaningless froth cobbled together from cliches dominating the newsroom at any given time. Joe’s a newsreader and an affable, nice-guy host, not a public intellectual or an ideas guy. The bar is low. He isn’t the worst columnist working on a major news portal by any stretch of the imagination. Perfectly acceptable if meaningless column inches.

Unless you are a Politico editor or owner. Then you care a lot about your brand. Two weeks in a row your conservative columnist has gone Full Frum, turning his space into an engine of criticism against all sorts of conservatives at a crucial moment in a debate over political media when consumers of political news are reading closely for attacks and defenses of what they deeply believe. Whatever your sympathies for Joe’s “point of view” and his abilities, you get a sinking feeling that conservatives are either disappointed or angry with Joe’s absurd arguments and sneering tone, or laughing and laughing at the juxtaposition of Joe’s lame attacks today and John Harris’ defense of Politico’s objectivity yesterday.

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