Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hugh Hewitt - when callers attack

There was some spirited discussion on Hugh Hewitt's show Thursday on two different topics:
1) National Right To Life Committee endorsement of Fred Thompson with NRLC executive director David O'Steen.
2) Budget 101, pork and appropriations with Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn
Whilst both discussions were interesting. The former was a fiery debate, the latter an informative discussion. What made these segments fascinating were the calls that followed. Hugh was taken to task by a few callers for his approach and stance during the interviews.

As I've discussed before Hugh is widely known for his soft support of Mitt Romney for President. Whilst he has not openly endorsed Mitt, he has written 'THE' book on the Presidential hopeful and has handicapped the Republican nominee to only 2 candidates, Giuliani and Romney. Hugh has all but discounted all the other republicans and is arguably hostile to them. When he isn't being condescending or campaigning against a candidate, he will show support but only if it has the net effect of favoring his preferred nominee, Mitt. Listen to conservative callers challenging and unsettling Hugh for marginalising the Huckabee, Thompson, Tancredo and Ron Paul supporters.

Below is a sampling from two irate callers that followed the Right to Life conversation:
Caller unhappy with Hugh prematurely declaring the Republican primary a two man race
I'm irritated by the fact that people are telling me before one vote has been cast in any primary that we only have two people to choose from. That it's only a two-man race...interview people, give us your opinion which you do but let us make our minds

Caller vowing never to listen to Hugh again because of his rudeness
Caller Ruth: Well I think you'd win more arguments if you were just a little kinder sometimes...
Hugh: No i can't
Caller: you're really quite rude
Hugh: I'm really just doing my job
Caller: Ok you're job is being rude
Hugh: Are you still gonna call back?
Caller: No, I'm not even going to listen to you
Hugh: YOU'RE NOT! (theatrical shock)
Caller: No
Hugh: Who are you going to listen to?
Caller: You know, after that last election where you were so wrong!

Listen and download Hugh's spirited discussion with angry callers regarding the Conservative primary and the NRLC's endorsement of Fred Thompson

The testy calls to Hugh don't end there. After an interesting discussion with Republican Senator Tom Coburn on the budget, Hugh would receive more heat.
After Hugh softly agreed with a caller that "Social Security is welfare"
Caller: ... the AARP is one of the most evil organizations... everyone out there who is in the AARP on Social Security or Medicare, you are a welfare recipient and that's what needs to be said..."
Hugh: Yeah well I do agree, I don't think evil. I think they are very short-sighted. I think they are extremely bad for the country in their lobbying and that unless and until the senior lobby recognises they are bankrupting their grandchildren we're gonna have a major problem

An elderly caller expressed his anger at Hugh's sentiments, this was echoed by other frustrated listeners. Hugh would later retract his statement after further badgering.
Caller: Yeah I'm infuriated at that little rat you had talking to you a minute ago saying that Social Security recipients are welfare people
Hugh: Well you are!
Caller: You talk to the other guy at the economics, Reagan and all the other guys following that have taken the $3trillion that we paid into it
Hugh: Yeah but you guys
Callers: You guys are living off it, that little rat and you have been living off the Social security payments that we made in, Now he's what? 40yrs old. He's a little welper now but when it's time for him to receive Social Security you're going to see him seeing an entirely different tune"

Listen to the entire segment on Social Security and the spirited talk that followed here.

It seems that this blog has focused on Hugh a lot lately. Its largely because of his comprehensive media archives. But his show's have been enjoyable lately. Not only for the informative guests and combative discourse. But I also enjoy Hugh's many transparent maneuverings to get his man Romney elected whilst keeping up the pretense of impartiality to appease supporters of other candidates.

I encourage you to listen to the audio for yourself as my makeshift transcripts don't do the passion of the callers any justice. Listen below:
1) NRLC endorsement of Fred Thompson with executive director David O'Steen. Listen now.
2) Budget 101, pork and appropriations with Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. Listen now.
3) Full Hugh Hewitt Audio archives. Find listings here.

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