The Hugh Hewitt Show

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Hugh Hewitt V. ABC News’ Jake Tapper

Saturday, July 14, 2007

HH: It’s a special ABC News extravaganza day, because earlier today, I spent an hour in spirited conversation with Jake Tapper, and Jake joins me now to introduce what that conversation was. Jake, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

JT: It’s a pleasure.

HH: Now Jake, tell us your job at ABC News.

JT: I am the senior national correspondent for ABC News.

HH: And today, you and I had about an hour and two minute conversation for a podcast, right?

JT: Yeah, I do a podcast, it usually last somewhere between ten and twenty minutes. We’ve had some presidential candidates on, including Mitt Romney and John Edwards, and we’ve had authors on, and we had you on.

HH: And so today’s went for 62 minutes. Is that like double the longest one you’ve ever done?

JT: We’ve never even…I don’t even know that we’ve had one over 25 minutes.

HH: Now we’re going to play the whole thing on this show, and a lot of…

JT: God love your listeners if they can make their way through it.

HH: They’re going to, and I want to know, how do they get in touch with you at the end to give you their thoughts?

JT: Well, I have a blog, and at the bottom of the blog, the blog is at, and at the bottom of the blog is a place where people can post, and that’s as good a way, and they can provide their e-mail addresses there.

HH: Great, I’m going to have them do that. Now this is sort of like Ebert and Roeper talking about movie before it rolls. I just wanted to get your impression of what happened today.

JT: Well, Hugh, I invited you on because I think you have a lot of interesting ideas, you’re provocative, and I think you know, most of what you say is interesting, and makes me think about issues of the day. Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes I don’t. And you know, obviously listeners will make up their own mind, and that’s the reason why we agreed to put the entire thing up on the website. I think that you know, my interpretation is that we got bogged down in a couple of things that I thought were a complete waste of time, and one of them was an e-mail that my producer had written to you, in which she had invited you podcast, and she had only said that I wanted to talk about the book. And I did not know that she had sent that e-mail. I assume that she sent it, you know, that that’s what she wrote, because the last few interviews we’ve done were authors. And I did want to talk about the book, but I also at the beginning of the podcast asked you a few things about current events, just stories. You interpreted that exchange as me, or the producer, as somehow this was an example of dishonesty, which to me could not have been further from the truth. I just…how could I not have you on and ask you a few questions about events of the week? And we got bogged down, and I think it was a waste of time, because I wasn’t trying to be dishonest. I just wanted to ask you a few questions about current event before we got to the subject of your book. And then, we spent an unbelievable amount of time with you trying to get me to commit to posting the whole podcast on the air, which I just, and now I know this. You know, I am not somebody who downloads…I know…downloads podcasts all the time off of I-Tunes, so I don’t, I was not aware that it’s not that big a deal to post an hour-long thing. At the time, like I told you, we’ve only been doing like 15-20 minute podcasts, so I just didn’t know if we had the capability of doing it. And in fact, the executive producer of the podcast afterwards said you know, even if we can’t do it one, we’ll do two different ones, because we want to put the whole thing up, and I agreed to that, and I e-mailed you that even if we couldn’t do…now it turns out, of course, you know, and your tech-savvy listeners must know, that putting up a ten hour podcast is no big deal. Now I know that.

HH: We may want to do that, in fact, if this goes on much longer (laughing)

JT: And I have no doubt, Hugh, that if I were going to do a ten hour podcast, you would be the man to do it with.

HH: Well Jake, with that introduction, I’m going to have you back on Monday or Tuesday to talk about it afterwards. But I want to get to it, or we’re never fit it into our…

JT: But let me just say this.

HH: Please.

JT: With those two things removed from the podcast, which they are not, I think it would have been a very interesting maybe 30-40 minute interview, and I want to know more about your book. I’m going to go out and buy your book, because it sounds very interesting, and it is to me, that was the most interesting part of the conversation. And I didn’t mind you asking me about my alleged biases, one way or the other. I certainly expected that. But I think you see the worst in reporters, and I think it’s a shame. It’s a shame to go through life thinking that reporters, you know, thinking the worst of us, because I swear to God the two things that you were focusing on were, one was an innocent misunderstanding, and the other one was I just didn’t know technologically we could do that.

HH: And on that, with that introductory note, we’ll turn to it. Jake Tapper, thanks for posting the whole thing, and here is the interview, at least the beginning of it, taped earlier today.

– – – –

(ABC News fanfare)

JT: Hello, and welcome to the ABC News Shuffle podcast. I am Jake Tapper in Washington, D.C. And joining us today is a very special guest, an expert, really, on new media, and he has all sorts of ideas about media and bias and independence. And obviously, we’re not going to be able to get to all of them, but without further ado, Hugh Hewitt joins us. Hugh, thanks for joining us.

HH: Jake, good to be here, thanks for having me.

JT: I…there’s so many permutations of your career, I don’t know exactly where to start, where to stop. But right now, I think it’s fair to say you are a very influential blogger and columnist and radio host. In your past, you were a fairly high-ranking official in the Reagan administration, and also helped run the Nixon Library for a bit. Is that correct?

HH: That’s correct. I opened the Nixon Library during the construction period right up through the opening when John Taylor took it over about a dozen years ago.

JT: And I want to get to that in a second, because there’s obviously some goings-on with the Nixon Library as it goes from being a private organization to a public organization.

HH: Yes.

JT: But first of all, because you are such an influential blogger and dissector of the media, there have been a few events this week that I would love to get your take on, and also not just your take on the events, but your take on how the media covered them. The first, probably, the most interesting, in a purely salacious way, was the news about Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, who preemptively confessed that he had sinned in some manner or another with the alleged D.C. Madam. First of all, what’s your take on the story? And do you think this was covered unfairly in any way?

HH: No, I don’t think it’s covered unfairly. I personally don’t cover these stories. I think that it’s…

JT: Salacious kind of stories, you mean?

HH: Yeah, I think man bite dog stories, that politicians fall from grace, are rather routine. And unless they are connected and intersect with their public lives, I generally don’t cover them. This one does, because David Vitter made a couple of statements over the years that suggested judgmentalism on his part, and I know the media has a field day with that. Larry Flynt loves the free publicity it generates for Hustler. But I find that my audience on radio or at is never surprised by the personal failings of public men and women, and that it’s beyond that ‘oh, he’s of them’ that they move on. I don’t think Vitter’s going to resign. In fact, I don’t think there’s a chance of it. But I do think that the D.C. Madam’s list is going to provide a tremendous number of stories over a many periods of weeks, because Flynt realizes that a little bit of amount of money that invests in finding out who’s on that list generates for him huge publicity every time he does it. So I think the most interesting aspect of this story is Larry Flynt’s understanding of how to manipulate MSM into giving him free airtime.

JT: It is interesting. Larry Flynt, of course, is not only a famous pornographer, and self-styled activist for the 1st Amendment, but he’s a Democrat, I mean, and unequivocal about that, loved President Clinton and first came to light outing, in his view, hypocrites, or probably by the dictionary’s view, hypocrites, you know, people who had been judging Clinton, although I know a lot of conservatives say that what Clinton did, it’s not about how he conducted his private life, it’s about the perjury. Now, there really isn’t the impeachment proceeding going on, so it’s more just a question of let’s pick out some hypocrites.

HH: And you see, I always believe that the Clinton impeachment was justified, because he swore under oath, and he lied, and that if you go back to Washington’s farewell address, from the time of the founding forward, it has been very important that those be respected. That’s why the Libby commutation made sense to me, but not a pardon at this point, and that if the D.C. circuit wants to rule that the prosecution and the Grand Jury was improvidently pursued because the special prosecutor already knew that Armitage was the source of the leak, that would be an exoneration. That would be a curbing on sort of the far field investigation by a prosecutor of any sort. However, when we get back to Clinton, that’s not what Vitter did. Vitter has, you know, a problem with going off to see a prostitute. That’s something for the voters to consider. It’s not a criminal act in any sense of the way Clinton’s was, understood and prosecuted. It is probably against the law.

JT: I mean, I was going to say, I think it is a criminal act.

HH: Now it depends on whether or not it’s prosecuted.

JT: Yeah.

HH: It always comes back to you wouldn’t want to single out one person for prosecution of the prostitution laws unless there was a general crackdown in that area, because we should be very leery of the prosecutorial authority going on witch hunts against public people. That’s not what happened to Clinton, and that’s not why the impeachment occurred. So I find that transition that a lot of the lefties like to make just completely unpersuasive. But I also think it’s beside the point, because everyone’s view on Clinton is fixed, everyone’s view on Vitter is fixed, everyone’s view on the sexual sins of public people is fixed. You know, it’s just not that interesting to me or my audience.

JT: Huh, interesting. I mean, the one thing I would say that I find interesting, in addition to the hypocrisy, which as a journalist I have to say I’m always intrigued by hypocrisy and…

HH: How do you define hypocrisy, Jake?

JT: When you say…I think the idea being…see, I knew you were going to turn this around and turn this into an interview of me.

HH: Well, but it’s…to me, it’s one of the most interesting questions, because hypocrisy is bandied about, and sometimes does not mean what people think it means.

JT: Well, I mean, when one says…and in some ways, it’s like the definition of irony. But you know, when your behavior does not match your preaching, I would say, not just your personal views, but your preaching, when one, for instance, hypocrisy would be a liberal, anti-global warming activist who jets around in Leer jets, which consumes as much energy in one flight as a Hummer does in a year. That’s hypocrisy. Your private deeds are not matching your public words. And I think hypocrisy is mainly, in my view, you know, we don’t go chasing down private citizens who are hypocrites, and we all are in our own ways, because none of us measure up to how the people we want to be, but for public citizens. And I think David Vitter, you know, was, you know, fairly, unequivocally, somebody who was a social conservative, and in that way, did judge people’s private lives. He had made remarks during Clinton impeachment about how Bob Livingston stepping down should give President Clinton an example of what he should do. And Bob Livingston, of course, had not committed perjury. He had just, I guess he stepped down, or felt forced, compelled to step down, because of hypocrisy, right? I mean, so, I think there were comments made by Vitter that did not square with his private life.

HH: You see, the textbook, the definition in the dictionary is pretending to be what one is not, or to feel what one does not feel. And I think that’s a much more specific thing. You’d have to show me that Vitter had been on the record as saying I have never sinned before I would say that was hypocritical during his period of sin. I just don’t know…

JT: Well, what about all the statements he made about how important marriage was, and that the foundation of civilization is marriage, and family…

HH: Well now, stop right there. How in the world does cheating on your wife not…undermine the idea that marriage is…it means that you might in fact have erred against the standard. You see, Christians have a very different view of this stuff. Sin is kind of a given. Everyone’s standard is going to be broken. People understand that. It doesn’t in any way diminish his belief in the truth of the statement that marriage is the bedrock of society, that he has sinned against his marriage. I mean, that’s a subtle point, but I don’t think it’s particularly subtle for Christians. It happens all the time. In fact, it’s sort of built in. It’s the given of Christian theology, is that every single person sins in numerous ways.

JT: But he was active in the, he was a leader in the House and the Senate, in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

HH: Sure, I would hope he would be. I believe in the Federal Marriage Amendment as a central part of the conservative agenda.

JT: I don’t want to debate the Federal Marriage Amendment…but I’m not taking issue with the Federal Marriage Amendment. It’s not my job.

HH: Do you support it, Jake?

JT: It’s not…I don’t have an opinion. I’m as agnostic as I can possibly be.

HH: You don’t have an opinion on the Federal Marriage Amendment?

JT: That’s right.

HH: Wow.

JT: I…one of…and I knew…you see, this is when you have me on your radio show, I will answer these questions. I’ll answer them now, too.

HH: Do you own a gun?

JT: I do not own a gun. I live in Washington, D.C.

HH: Oh, but that’s what I always get from the lefties I talk to. Have you ever voted for a Republican in your life?

JT: Yes.

HH: For president?

JT: I didn’t vote in the last election. I’ve only voted in a handful of presidential elections.

HH: In any of them, did you vote for a Republican?

JT: I don’t want to get down to into presidential elections, you know, the vagary of have I ever voted for a Republican is yes. The answer is yes, I have.

HH: Yeah, but just curious, because I’ve not yet met a D.C.-Beltway journalist who I didn’t know going in…I had a guess about how they voted. The only one whose every modestly surprised me was Dana Milbank, who voted for Chuck Hagel, wrote him in once. But when they answer the question, it’s like Tom Edsall, has never voted for a Republican for president. My guess is, Jake, you haven’t, either. Am I wrong?

JT: I’m not going to answer the question.

HH: Why?

JT: I mean, the question is have I ever voted for a Republican, and the answer is yes.

HH: Yeah, but the second question…

JT: And that’s where I’ll draw the line, because I’m young enough that you can, you can figure out what presidential elections I have voted in. The first presidential election that I voted in was Dukakis-Bush I, and it goes on from there.

HH: Okay, so my guess is that you’ve gone…

JT: So there’s only one, two, three, four, five presidential elections…

HH: Yeah, Dukakis, Clinton, Clinton, Kerry Gore. Dukakis, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, right?

JT: Those are the elections. Those are the Democrats in those elections.

HH: Those are your votes, right?

JT: I’m not going to answer the question.

HH: But I’m curious as to why?

JT: Because my job is to be an objective reporter in these elections.

HH: But you vote in them, and my guess is, here’s my assertion…

JT: No, but I did not vote in the last presidential election.

HH: Why not? Were you on the road?

JT: I was in New York, but even if I had not been in New York, and I vote in Washington, D.C., I was considering not voting, and I did not make an effort to get an absentee ballot.

HH: Why is that?

JT: Because I, I…Hugh, I am supposed to be interviewing you.

HH: But it’s a conversation.

JT: I’ll answer the question. The answer is because I am conflicted about whether or not it is appropriate for somebody whose job it is to be an arbiter, a truth teller of these elections, whether or not it is appropriate for that person to ultimately step into the voting booth and choose. I do understand those who say that it’s not appropriate to vote, and that’s how I felt in the last election, and that’s generally how I’m coming to feel.

HH: And I’ll let it go, but one more comment, though. If you really believe that anyone will consider you a truth teller when you’re not transparent about those elections in which you did vote, in other words, how can you claim to be a truth teller when you begin with opaque, a refusal to be transparent?

JT: But it’s not…I mean, you’re saying like the whole…I mean, how far does transparency go for you?

HH: Not very far. It goes to a few obvious questions about ideology, and it goes to votes, because from votes, we can infer…if I’m correct, and you voted Dukakis, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, that the listener would conclude that well, Jake’s, you know, a kind of normal Beltway lefty journalist, and we’ll correct for the lie of the green, and move on. And they would, by the way, feel that in this conversation, picking up with the Vitter story would be, you know, kind of par for the course as opposed to beginning with the troop drawdown, the fact that I had Joe Lieberman on the radio show yesterday, and Joe was out there slinging arrows at Harry Reid again. You know, there are much, much, much more important issues than Vitter, but Beltway media loves the Vitter issue, because it hits at social conservatives, who they generally view with at best disdain, and more obviously, contempt of a deep and continuing sort, especially religious conservatives.

JT: I can tell you that I don’t view conservatives with deep and abiding disdain, and especially not religious conservatives. I can tell you that I think that it is accurate to say that a lot of people in the media are secular, and don’t understand the concept of faith, and think that faith is weird. And I…

HH: And are you among them?

JT: No.

HH: Oh, faith isn’t weird?

JT: No, I don’t think faith is weird at all.

HH: Are you an agnostic? An atheist?

JT: No, I believe in God. I believe…but I don’t want to get into my personal religious…

HH: Why?

JT: …beliefs. I mean, what? I believe in God, because then, I’m not…

HH: Because if, for example, you were a Christian, and I assuming you’re not, or you would tell me. Are you a Christian?

JT: No, I’m Jewish.

HH: Okay, that Christians would not go after Vitter in the same way that non-Christians would, because Christians understand the essential given that all fall short of the glory of God. That’s quoting Paul, and I’m not a very good Bible person.

JT: You know, Hugh, I don’t know that I’d buy your interpretation. I mean, look, I read your blog, and I listen to your radio show on occasion, and I respect you as a thinker, but I also think that you are a partisan Republican.

HH: I am.

JT: Right. So I mean, so for you to judge other people’s objectivity when you are clearly coming from a subjective point, I question your ability to do that.

HH: Jake, you can. That’s fine. The audience, though, can judge my assessment of people’s motives in journalism, and their professionalism…

JT: Right.

HH: …based upon, you know, I’ve been doing this since 1989.

JT: Right.

HH: I’ve been in radio and television and writing books since 1989. I’ve never held back my political views, because I believe it’s important for the audience to be able to assess my judgments.

JT: But how does that work on an evening news broadcast?

HH: Very easily. Do you think Katie Couric is really a Republican? Do you think she’s anything other than a liberal Democrat?

JT: I don’t want to get into, I don’t want to get into discussing the competition…

HH: Okay.

JT: …because that’s…or…

HH: Charlie Gibson.

JT: I think Charlie Gibson is…

HH: Do you really believe Charlie’s other than a liberal?

JT: I think Charlie, I actually don’t know Charlie’s personal political beliefs, but I can tell you that I think he’s very, very fair.

HH: Oh, I think he’s very, very fair, too, but I still think news is where you look, to quote Dan Rather, and that the Beltway media machine, the Manhattan-Beltway media elite, always looks at ways to advance Democratic agendas, and to hurt Republican agendas, sometimes unconsciously.

JT: That…okay, Hugh, I think that’s nonsense.

HH: It’s not.

JT: We always…

HH: You can. Of course you would. It’s a direct challenge to what you guys do.

JT: No, but it’s…I don’t even think…when I hear comments like that, I think you don’t, you’re not even watching. You’re not even watching the show. You’re not reading what I’m writing, you’re making all these judgments, you’re lumping everybody in. You’ve mentioned Tom Edsall, who is now a columnist for the Huffington Post, and Dana Milbank, who is a columnist. You’re talking about them as if they are objective, non-partisan reporters, and I don’t view myself as…I mean, I like Dana and Tom, they’re nice guys, but I don’t think what they do and what I do are the same thing at all.

HH: But Tom Edsall, for what? 25 years, was a…

JT: Well, I’m not getting into the hiring practices of the Washington Post.

HH: …an objective, or put forward as an objective journalist, putting forth just the news. I think he did a pretty good job, by the way. I think you do a pretty good job. But I’m saying you can’t, you can’t take off your skin. You can’t leave your bones behind. If you are a lefty in your DNA, it’s going to affect what you do, and it’s best for the public to know what you are when you go into that. When you cover Romney, for example, if you’re anti-Mormon or pro-Mormon, it’s going to affect how you cover Romney. If you are, if you’re going to cover Clinton and you’re a Democrat in your heart of hearts, you voted for four Democratic presidents out of five, it’s going to affect your coverage.

JT: No, you said that. I didn’t say that.

HH: I know, I know. Affiant sayeth not. But if the audience hearing this thinks that you have done that, they’re just laughing at you, Jake, because no one believes this shtick anymore about objective journalism.

JT: Hugh, because you, people like you poison it, because…

HH: (laughing) What, by blowing the gig?

JT: You do, because…no, let me tell you, because there are people, and I will include myself among them, who are trying, day in, day out, to present a fair and balanced, to borrow a phrase, picture of what’s going on in Washington, D.C. And no matter what, there are people who are saying everything coming out of mainstream media is liberal, and can’t be trusted. Just yesterday, we did a report on World News where we ran an exchange between me and Majority Leader Harry Reid, talking about what happens to the Iraqi people after the U.S. troops withdraw. What happen? Will they be safer? Harry Reid refuses to answer the question.

HH: I know. I covered it. It was a good, good piece. But now, let me counter, give you a counter example.

JT: Wait, but we put it on my blog, we did a dot com story about it, we put it on World News, we’re about to put the video on World News. Now why is, how is that liberal? I’m just trying to get an answer to a question.

HH: Well, Jake, let me give you the counter example. When your producer set this up, it was on the premise that we’d be talking about A Mormon In The White House and Mitt Romney, right?

JT: Oh, I’m sorry. Well, I haven’t even been able to ask you any questions.

HH: I know, but the first question out of the box was Vitter.

JT: Well, because…

HH: Gotcha journalism, a surprise attack on a social conservative caught in an embarrassing and…

JT: No, I was going chronologically in my mind with the stories…

HH: Jake…

JT: That’s all…you want to…do you want to know what’s going on in my head when I ask you about Vitter?

HH: Jake…

JT: I’m going chronologically in my mind about the stories I did this week. The first story I did this week was about Republicans starting to defect from Iraq. The second story I did was Vitter. The third story I did was the Harry Reid story on Iraq. I thought I’d lump in the Olympia Snowe/Susan Collins story with the Harry Reid on Iraq and do that. So I asked you about Vitter, and then I didn’t get to Iraq, because you started quizzing me about who I voted for.

HH: Jake, I don’t mind. I’m just saying that when American people view Beltway media, and I say Manhattan-Beltway media elite, they view it as 95% liberal left. They view it as attack journalism, gotcha journalism, not really honest with its viewers or its subjects. Occasionally, you will do a story that hits at the center-left or the left, just as you hit at the center-right or the right. The point is that in your DNA is a liberal, a liberal that you try and suppress every single day so that you can do good, objective journalism, and you usually succeed, but that it springs out, and that whenever we see the journalists of yesteryear take off their “objectivity,” and put on their columnist hats, whether it’s Thomas Edsall or Helen Thomas, whatever, lo and behold, what we have there is a screaming liberal. And I don’t mean screaming in terms of crazy, but just that’s who they are.

JT: I agree.

HH: That’s how they got into it.

JT: I agree with that, absolutely.

HH: And so, it just affects journalism. And so I think the way back for journalism, and I wrote this piece when I went up and profiled the Columbia School of Journalism and Nick Lemann, is for everyone to declare openly what they believe. And when that begins to happen, big media will get its credibility back, and maybe some circulation. But there’s a reason why your nightly news show numbers are down, there’s a reason why the New York Times is bleeding…

JT: Well, first of all, our nightly news show’s numbers are up.

HH: Over five years?

JT: But…

HH: Or over one quarter?

JT: Our numbers are up. We’re the only show to gain viewers in like the last…no, there’ve been two shows that have gained viewers in the last 25 years. The other one was Bob Schieffer, by the way. But let me, there are a couple of points I want to make, and I do want to get to your book, A Mormon…

HH: You mean Frank Reynolds had less audience than Charlie Gibson?

JT: Oh, no, no, no.

HH: Yeah, that’s what…I mean, it’s because the audience is fractured, and you guys went back.

JT: Oh, no, of course. Of course. The network news, like newspapers, like magazines, I mean, they’re losing viewers, losing readers, everything. But I was just saying Charlie Gibson has gained viewers since he took over. That’s my point. A few things, one, the truth of the matter is, you talk about, first of all, you’re lumping everybody in. I just don’t think that’s fair. I mean, there are people, you know, the office next to mine is Lisa Stark, the other office is Pierre Thomas. These are not people that I think of as having political biases. But even if you do, to say Lisa Stark, Jake Tapper and Pierre Thomas are all one thing is just, it’s such a grand oversimplification that I think it’s unfair. Now a lot of what you say I agree with, Hugh, I do. But I think first of all, when Harry Reid’s office called me yesterday and they were furious, and they were accusing me of bias and all this stuff, I was saying to them what bias do you think I have? I want to know. Do you think I’m in favor of this war? I mean, I’m just asking them that question. What is the bias? And the truth of the matter is that…and this is the grand prize of having this job, I don’t have an opinion about this war. I don’t.

HH: You don’t have an opinion about the war?

JT: I don’t have an opinion about whether or what we should do, or I mean, I think that a lot of things have been mis…I mean, objectively, I think things have been mismanaged. But should we have gone in? I don’t know.

HH: You don’t have an opinion on that?

JT: No, I don’t. Saddam Hussein was a horrible thug. I mean, is the world better off because he’s not there? I think so.

HH: Now can I…you’ve made an objective judgment about Saddam Hussein, so obviously, you’ve got some capacity there, and some exercise. You’re not neutral as to the world. Why do you turn that off when it comes to the application of that one fact to what American actually did? How do you expect people to believe, Jake, that you don’t have an opinion about Saddam Hussein?

JT: I’m just telling you the truth. I don’t have to. I enjoy…no, I didn’t say I didn’t have an opinion about Saddam Hussein.

HH: No, about the invasion.

JT: I don’t have an opinion, because that’s the great thing about this job. It allows me to be agnostic, as agnostic as possible. And I think not only has my reporting tried to reflect that, I really try to live that in my life. Now obviously, I have personal beliefs about this or that or the other. You can’t help but having things like that. But for instance, you know, I don’t knee-jerk…look, I read a lot of media criticism on the left and on the right. And sometimes, I agree with what I read. I agree that things are glossed over when it comes to like how horrible communism is, how oppressive it is, you know, and I’ve written things about that. I was writing things about that back when I was at Salon, how Oliver Stone does a story about, or does a documentary about Fidel Castro, and really doesn’t even mention the fact that like Castro puts gay people into camps, you know what I mean? I mean, I think there is tremendous dishonesty on the left. But I think there’s dishonesty on the right as well.

HH: Well, look, talk about dishonesty, I want to read this. I’m going to leave her name out of it. Dear Mr. Hewitt, my name is blank, and I work for ABC News in New York. I work on a podcast with Jack Tapper. Mr. Tapper, excuse me…

JT: Jake Tapper.

HH: Yeah, Jake Tapper, is interested in interviewing you for our podcast. He would like to talk with you about your book, A Mormon in The White House.

JT: I do want to talk to you about…

HH: Let me finish this off…Ten Things Every American Should Know About Mitt Romney. The interview would be done over the phone, it would take no more than 15-20 minutes.

JT: Oh, we’ve already passed that.

HH: We usually tape in the morning or early afternoon. If you are interested and available sometime this week, please let me know. Feel free to contact me at the e-mail address.

JT: Right.

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