I am going to ask you to listen to six segments from tonight’s show in the order in which they were recorded and played.
Understand from the start that Jonathan Alter is a friend and an accomplished historian, and though we agree on very little, he is intellectually honest and open to a good debate across our great differences.
The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik –none of these things. I have tangled with Hiltzik a few times over the years, and leave it to others to judge his record and credentials. I don’t read him. He is simply not reliable. He cannot be trusted to be fair.
Thus when Jonathan cited a Hiltzik column to me in my conversation with Alter about Obamacare’s deeply flawed nature and catastrophic rollout, I immediately sounded the alarm. Alter has read Hiltzik over the years, he told me, but does not know him except from those pieces.
After talking with Jonathan, I read the Hiltzik piece and was instantly incensed, seeing it for the poorly disguised bit of agenda “journalism” that it is, but also seeing in it a malicious use of the individual focused on by Hiltzik –Deborah Cavallaro. The piece all but brands Cavallaro a “dumb blonde” and clearly and explicitly states that she doesn’t know what’s in her own best interests.
So I put out calls to both Cavallaro and Hiltzik to join me on air, and they both accepted. After I first spoke with Cavallaro she called back to make some additional points, and I encouraged her to listen to my interview with Hiltzik and to call in when he was on to respond, which she did.
Just prior to Hiltzik calling in, Townhall’s Guy Benson was on with me, and made a great point about all the “journalists” running around “debunking” the stories of Obamacare’s hardships on individuals. I began my segments with Hiltzik by playing the Benson quote, and then he stayed for three segemnts, and Cavallaro joined us for the second and third of those.
So, in order:
The audio of the Alter interview:
The audio of the Cavallaro interview:
The audio of the Hiltzik (and eventually Hiltzik-Cavallaro) interview:
What conclusions do you draw from these conversations? Twitter is full of them, and you can tweet your reactions to me @hughhewitt or to Hiltzik @hiltzikm
There is one key thing to ponder. Cavallaro told me Hiltzik talked to her for three minutes. Hiltzik said he talked to her for 30 minutes. Cavallaro then said maybe it was five, but certainly not more.
Think on that as you listen to all of these exchanges, and get a sense for how the MSM rolls on this story, why millions of people are shocked to be losing their plans or shocked by the prices of their “alternatives,” shocked by the catastrophic failure of the government to deliver. They are shocked because the MSM did nothing to warn them what was coming. Did next to nothing to report on the changes the law would make. Is still doing next to nothing to project what follows in 2014 and 2015.
The catastrophe of Obamacare would not have happened had we had an honest, objective media operating in the Manhattan-Beltway media elite or its far outposts like the now almost disappeared Los Angeles Times. The wholesale fail of journalism to cover Obamacare in its infancy, or in the campaign of 2012, or even now as it collapses in front of our eyes is as big a story as the collapse of the absurd statist plan itself.
When you get screwed by this fiasco, understand it isn’t just President Obama’s fault, and Nancy Pelosi’s and Harry Reid’s.
It is Hiltzik’s and the rest of his left-wing cadre within the MSM –cloistered, protected until the very end of their careers, and now actually still isolated enough from the real world to disdainfully and arrogantly dismiss the concerns and fears of non-elites as unfounded.
Jonathan Alter is simply wrong about the future of Obamacare. But Hiltzik was rotten to Cavallaro, mean-spirited and unfair, unfeeling and contemptuous. That’s the true nature of the hard left that is taking over your health care. Start preparing for its rule over your most personal and important decisions.
UPDATE: Hiltzik posted this “I am a victim” tweet after rolling Deborah Cavallaro and, well, fudging on air about the amount of time he spent with her: