Monday, July 23, 2007

Hugh Hewitt's Jobbers

The APF Glossary defines a jobber as:
jobber n. a weaker pundit brought in to make a debate opponent look comparitively better. It is usually an inexperienced and less charming person

In this post we'll be talking about the jobbers that conservative radio commentator Hugh Hewitt targets. Hugh will often go up against journalists who are not necessarily weaker but are at a disadvantage because they need to preserve a sense of objectivity whilst Hugh is being unashamedly partisan. It's a handicap match really- one wrestler is confined to using their bare hands whilst the other is legally allowed to use a chair. Hugh famously devoured Helen Thomas as detailed in a previous post.

Hugh is one of the best journalist-antagonizers in the business. In his most recent stoush he went toe to toe with ABC correspondent Jake Tapper. Hugh's wrasslin style is as follows:

1) Hugh is courted by someone from the press for an interview. Hugh's expertise ranges from his experiences as a lawyer, author, radio commentator and accomplished blogger. His current book on presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, 'A Mormon in the White House?' is currently the main reason for interview requests.
2) Hugh will accept interviews on the proviso he can record them for content on his show
3) Hugh will masterfully turn on the questioner, in totality he will often ask more questions than he answers. Pointed questions are asked of Hugh's interviewer, the usual arsenal includes:
- Have you ever voted for a Republican? Who did you vote for the last few national elections?
- What college did you go to?
- What are your religious beliefs?
- How many conservatives do you work with (in your TV station, Newspaper)?

Hugh is contemptuous of what he interchangeably calls the DC-beltway-journalist-lefties in Washington. He relishes the opportunity to get reporters on the defensive. Hugh is arguably the best at running with the meme that the media is liberally biased. To be fair his interviewers (jobbers) are familiar with his game and do come prepared. Regardless of this Hugh is quite masterful at agitating. Even when the counterpart is not fazed by Hugh's line of questioning, Hugh's constant and deliberate insistence that the person is 'getting angry' or 'becoming uneasy' (when that person is not) will actually be the irritant that gets them uneasy and angry.
"i didn't mind you asking about my alleged biases... i certainly expected that.
i think you see the worst in reporters... i think that it's a shame going through life ...thinking the worst of reporters"

paraphrased excerpt from Jake Tapper- Hugh Hewitt's Show Friday July 13, 2007

Listen to the showdown with Jake Tapper
More excerpts can be found amongst these clips below, but you'll need to trawl through them- Part 2, Part 3

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