Kirsten Powers On “The Silencing” And George Stephanopoulos
HH: Settle in, a terrific hour ahead. I’m joined by Kirsten Powers. She is the author of a brand new book, The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech. And I have read The Silencing. I have it linked at Hughhewitt.com. And I strongly recommend you go and read it. It’s a revelation. It’s a wonderful book. Kirsten, welcome, it’s great to have you on the program.
KP: Thank you so much, Hugh, and that just means so much coming from you.
HH: Well, I appreciate you taking an hour with me so that people can also talk to you besides me about The Silencing. I want to start, though, with the headline of the day. And I read from the New York Times this afternoon. George Stephanopoulos, the chief anchor of ABC News, said Thursday he would not be involved in moderating a Republican presidential debate after he acknowledged a “uncharacteristic lapse by donating money to the Clinton Foundation.” The nature of the disclosure of the donation was made only after news outlets began asking questions, combined with his long-standing ties as a former aide to President Bill Clinton, raised questions that could jeopardize Mr. Stephanopoulos’ future as a top drawer interviewer and debate moderator. “I’m sorry, because I don’t want anything to compromise my integrity or the standards of ABC News.” He said in an interview, Mr. Stephanopoulos said he donated $75,000 dollars to the foundation. Kirsten Powers, what do you think of this?
KP: Well, as you know, I’ve been promoting a book, so I’m not, I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at this, but sort of top level. I would say I’m surprised, first of all, that he wouldn’t disclose something like that. I think that he has been a good journalist. And I also sort of feel like, you know, the Foundation is not, I don’t consider it a political organization. I understand it is run by Bill Clinton, but it is a humanitarian organization, but he should have disclosed it. There’s no question. But at the same time, I sort of feel like if he can overcome the fact that he was once Bill Clinton’s press secretary, which to me seems to be the bigger conflict, I’m not sure why this would undo him. But I don’t know. I mean, what do you think?
HH: I’m a contrarian. I’m neither surprised nor do I think it should cost him a position at the debate table. I just like everyone to know where people are coming from. That’s, part of the point of The Silencing, I think, is that you’re very candid about you’re a liberal, and there are lots of liberals at the Fox News network, and you declare it openly. So I know where Kirsten Powers is coming from. You know where Hugh Hewitt is coming from. I’ve always known where George Stephanopoulos is coming from.
HH: So I don’t, I’m a contrarian. I think sure, let him sit down. Everyone knows he’s a liberal. Let him be a liberal. So I’m just not that surprised. Do you think he should be disqualified from moderating a debate?
KP: No. No, I mean, that’s what I say. I think that when people, Brit Hume always says this. I can’t remember, I think I may even have quoted in the book that he’ll always, he says everybody has a bias, and the problem are people who won’t acknowledge that they have a bias…
KP: …that they think that their view is just reality.
KP: And so once you can acknowledge that you have a bias, you actually can be a great journalist.
HH: Yeah, I think he probably, before he interviewed the Clinton Cash author, Peter Schweizer, he ought to have disclosed that he contributed to the foundation that Schweizer was investigating.
HH: But I don’t think that goes to the debate moderating question.
HH: Kirsten Powers, let’s get, you just mentioned Brit Hume. He’s on, in the book on Page 113. I’ve got it marked in my notes, messing with Mike McCurry, doing a crossword puzzle like an alligator waiting for, you know, the animal to come too close to and then snapping him up.
HH: It must be great to work with Brit Hume, one of the great guys in the business.
KP: Brit is amazing, absolutely amazing, one of my favorite people in the world, and has just been just an incredible mentor to me, and has just, you know, he’s a wonderful person in addition to being an incredible journalist. And he’s just a huge blessing.
HH: And so when, that comes up in the context of you’re talking about a lot of people at the White House Press Corps stepping up to defend Fox News when the President began his assault on it, including Jeff Greenfield, D.C. bureau chief of CBS, Christopher Isham, CBS’ Chip Reid, and I now count, and Jake Tapper’s in there.
HH: And now at CNN…it seems to me like the White House Press Corps in the old days at least used to defend the idea of press independence from the president.
KP: They absolutely did. And yeah, you did name, there were some people, but there weren’t as many people as there should have been standing up against it, and I think that what the administration did, and look, we’ve just seen this all this week, the President doing it, what he, you know, talking, bringing up this gratuitous slam against Fox News at a conversation that’s supposed to be this high-minded conversation about poverty. And then he has to, you know, put his dig in there and claim that Fox News treats poor people like “leeches”, and this is just par for the course with them. I have an entire chapter on their obsession with delegitimizing Fox News, which is of course not the role of the government.
HH: That’s what, that is, there are many fine chapters in The Silencing, but the war on Fox News may be the best. Let me play the President’s attack on Fox News from this week. Here’s what he had to say.
BO: There’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been who are you mad at if you’re struggling, if you’re working, but you don’t seem to be getting ahead. And over the last 40 years, sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top, or to make be mad at folks at the bottom. And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, or don’t want to work, are lazy, you know, or undeserving, got traction. And look, it’s still being propagated. I mean, I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu. They will find, like folks who make me mad, and I don’t know where they find them, right? They’re all like, like I don’t want to work. I just want a free Obama phone or whatever.
HH: So Kirsten, it goes on and on. You work inside Fox. You’re a liberal. Do you see that happening at Fox News?
KP: There are certainly people that come on the air from time to time who I think will speak about poor people in a way that I find offensive and I challenge them on. But to suggest that this is what you see all the time on Fox News, as the President watch Fox News all the time now, you know, from sort of the beginning of the day until the end of the day, it’s absurd. It’s just completely disconnected from reality. But I also just think it’s not his role to be singling out a single news organization over and over. If this was a one-time event, I would say whatever, you know, but it’s not a one-time event. It is something that they, as you know, Hugh, they went out and they systematically worked to delegitimize Fox News and say that it’s not a real news organization, and we’re not going to treat it as a real news organization, and neither should other reporters.
HH: And you quote Charles Krauthammer as saying Fox plays to a very specific niche, which is 50% of the American public.
HH: That’s a great quote.
HH: Charles was on yesterday, but you also note that President Obama had come to expect nothing but media praise, and ruled all criticism illegitimate. That happened at Camp David today. He actually pushed back at a reporter and said I don’t know why you’re here, but I’m here to blah, blah, blah. He really is think-skinned, isn’t he?
KP: Well, yeah. I mean, I think even, you know, people, if you think back to the beginning of the campaign, there was that memo that David Axelrod wrote for him, sort of the pros and cons of running. And one of the cons was that he’s thin-skinned, and that he can’t handle criticism, which you know, if he can’t handle criticism, fine. But he’s not allowed to silence people or try to silence people who are the members of the media. And that is what they have done. They have tried, now the fact that they haven’t been successful, Fox has fought back, you know, and has not caved. But they, as I get into in my book, they have cut Fox News out of interviews. Chris Wallace recently was complaining about the fact that they will not send White House people onto his show while they’re sending them on to all these other shows. And I mean, are we supposed to believe that Chris Wallace is some right wing fanatic?
HH: I agree, and on Page 131, “Obama’s White House has appalled reporters with its Nixon-like secrecy, lack of transparency, and hostility to being held accountable by the media.” You quote Ron Fournier, whom everyone understands to be the fairest of the fair, as saying this is the most hostile White House to journalists of all of them he has covered.
KP: Yes, exactly. And I also, I interviewed quite a few journalists. I interviewed Ann Compton, who also, when I asked her how would you compare them to past White Houses, she echoed that sentiment. And I said well, what about compared to the George W. Bush administration, and she just said I had more access.
HH: That is remarkable. Kirsten, are you surprised? You’re a liberal. Are you disappointed in the President?
KP: Well, yeah, on this topic, I’m very disappointed in him, and I think that of course, it goes against everything that he said when he was running, that he was going to be so transparent, and a free press is so important. And this contempt for dissent is very troubling. But as I chronicle in my book, it’s, he’s not an outlier. This is a pretty commonplace point of view that you should, that you are righteous. You’re not just justified. You are righteous if you silence people who are saying things that you think are wrong.
HH: And we are going to explore that, because it is laid out in actually shocking detail. I can’t believe Gloria Steinem actually told you that your appearances at Fox came at great cost.
KP: Oh, that’s exactly what she said.
HH: I just…
KP: Such a great cost.
HH: It’s just a preposterous statement.
HH: It’s just preposterous. These people, you’re a liberal, but I mean, the people in that bubble on the left, and there are lots of them in The Silencing, and we’ll talk about it.
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HH: I did not know, Kirsten, that you grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, the daughter of academics.
KP: I did. I’m a north girl. Yeah, I’m an Alaska girl.
HH: Yeah, that is terrific. Did you ever vote for Sarah Palin?
HH: Okay, just checking. Just checking.
KP: I’ve never voted for a Republican. Sorry.
HH: I’ve only voted for one Democrat. I gave Deval Patrick $50 bucks once, because he was in my class. But that was the only Democrat I ever contributed money to. But I guess I can’t moderate his debate now.
HH: But you’re a mix of orange and green Irish. But you’re all Democrat.
KP: What’s that?
HH: You’re a mix of orange Irish and green Irish.
HH: You’re Presbyterian and Catholic…
HH: …but you’re all Democrat?
KP: All Democrat, yeah.
HH: Now when did the revelation occur to you? There are a few stories in here about your telling your Fox News pals that Harriet Miers didn’t count as a female appointment, because she was a conservative, an Evangelical. When did it dawn on you that the left might not be fully committed to free speech?
KP: I think that honestly, one of the first things, frankly, was when the White House started going after Fox News. It just struck me as something that was really out of the ordinary and nothing I had really seen before, and just really was not what I expected from a White House. And I think we know that if George Bush had been doing this against MSNBC, he would have been called an authoritarian. And I would have been the first one defending them. And so that, you know, at that point, I didn’t feel like it was a broader issue. I just thought something’s off here. You know, this is not normal behavior. And then over the next couple of years, things started happening, and they would catch my attention. And the situation with Louie Giglio, the pastor who was disinvited for President Obama’s second inaugural, was really shocking to me, especially considering, and I do interview in the book a former staffer of President Obama’s from the White House who talks about how much things changed in those four years, how Rick Warren was, got the same attacks for the first inaugural and the President defended him, and kept him. And then Louie Giglio was just thrown under the bus. And so there were a variety of issues, and then a lot of things that I think a lot of people followed, the Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis, and all the dis-invitations, and I just started thinking, you know, I’ve got to look into this. Something’s going on, and I want to find out what’s going on. And I just care so much about free speech, that once I started investigating it, it just, I couldn’t stop.
HH: Now I don’t, he used to come on the show, Jonathan Chait, and he used to come on. He’s mad at me. I did something he accuses me of doing, so I don’t know why he’s mad at me, but he’s mad at me and he won’t come on anymore.
HH: Yeah, I don’t know what it is. He told Duane no, and he thinks I called him a liar or something. I don’t know. But in any event, Jonathan Chait is quoted here as dismissing Monica Crowley as a blonde sidekick. Now I’ve known Monica forever. She was a Richard Nixon aide.
HH: She’s a PhD.
HH: I mean, this is, Jonathan’s a smart guy. He’s a nice University of Michigan grad. But he’s not a PhD from, I believe, it’s Columbia. And he didn’t work with Richard Nixon. Monica Crowley can take anyone to the cleaver land and take them apart, you know, joint and shoulder.
HH: Did you talk to him about this?
KP: No. No, I mean, I have a couple of examples where he posts videos from Fox. He has another one where he’s really sort of smearing Megyn Kelly, and just referring to her as the blonde anchor, which is just this really sexist sort of dehumanizing way that the left talks about women on Fox News. I have a section on, and I call it the war on Fox News women, which is just, it’s appalling. And the way that the women at Fox News are talked about as if they’re all bimbos, yeah, that just these like cyphers who are being used like puppets, basically, of the patriarchy.
HH: But I want to compliment you. You also defend Chait later on Page 165, pointing out he was himself attacked for just being a white male. I mean, this is not limited. The people who use that weapon find themselves at the other end of it often.
KP: Oh, absolutely. And another important thing I think people need to realize about the book is it’s not about, people think oh, this is a book about conservatives being attacked. Yes, a lot of the people are conservatives, and a lot of these people are Christians. But everybody is fair game. And it’s not, you can be liberal, you can be agnostic about politics. If you step out of line on some of these sacred cow issues, they don’t care.
HH: You know, the anecdote that you told, and by the way, our phone number is 1-800-520-1234 if you want to talk to Kirsten Powers about her brand new book, The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech, I was unaware of the Campbell Brown case study. And I want you to tell people about Diane Ravitch and what’s in here, because it’s actually shocking.
KP: It is, absolutely shocking. She was very shocked by it, too. I interviewed Campbell. And you know, Campbell Brown, former journalist at NBC News, CNN, and she has taken, after she left journalism, she took an interest in school reform. And she ended up starting an organization in New York City, a school reform organization. And the teachers unions came out against her, which is, you know, their prerogative. They’re welcome to come out against her. But they didn’t argue with her on the merits of anything which is part of the silencing. We don’t talk about issues. We just delegitimize people to shut down debate and silence them. And they came after her in really trying to delegitimize her as some empty-headed sort of bobble head, that she’s, Diane Ravitch, you know, she’s a pretty face, but she doesn’t know anything about school reform.
HH: She was attacked for her looks.
KP: Yeah, yeah.
HH: By a feminist.
KP: Right, exactly. And she was also attacked by Randy Weingarten, the head of the teachers’ union on Twitter. Campbell Brown is married to a Republican, basically saying that you know, she just, she’s basically a puppet to her husband, that she’s, and then they set up this website portraying her as this closest Republican, and all these delegitimizing tactics. And I think that what rattled Campbell the most was the sexism. I mean, I think she was just really taken aback. But if you read my book, you’ll see that that’s just standard. That’s textbook.
HH: Yeah, you actually spend more time on the left being attack by the left. You note that Raffi Williams, who is a friend of mine, I’ve got to disclose that, and Mia Love, who I know, and Michael Steele, who I know, and Michelle Malkin, these are all conservatives of color and gender who have been attacked by the left. But that’s kind of to be expected. Michelle Rhee is a Democrat. And she’s an Ed reformer. But because of the latter, the former doesn’t count, and they call her the education Ann Coulter, which is shorthand for someone you don’t have to deal with. They really, the hard left is really vicious.
KP: Oh, and I mean, I quote in there a teacher at one of these rallies calling her, I mean, I don’t want to say, an Asian …
HH: I don’t think you can say that.
KP: I can’t?
HH: …actually, I just had to do the six second delay.
KP: Oh, no (laughing) Sorry.
HH: Honestly, Kirsten, you’re trying to put me out of business with the six second delay. You can’t quote that.
HH: It’s like we can talk about the N word, but you cannot use the N word, as you did, by the way…
HH: You talked about, I’m going to come back after the break and talk about the Smith meltdown.
HH: Let me take a quick call for you. Crystal in Arizona, you’re on with Kirsten Powers talking about The Silencing, you’ve got to be quick.
Crystal: Hi, thank you, hey, Kirsten, I cannot wait to read your book. I have a question. You said you never voted Republican. Would you ever? What would it take for you to not vote for a Democrat?
HH: Great question, 45 seconds to the break, Kirsten.
KP: Yeah, I would just, I just, I’m not opposed to voting for a Republican. There’s just never been a Republican candidate that I’ve felt reflected my views. And you know, if somebody came along and they reflected my views, and I felt like they were going to represent my views, I would vote for them.
HH: Are you going to vote for Hillary against anyone currently in the Republican field?
KP: I, yeah, probably. Maybe, I mean, I always try to keep an open mind in the beginning, but until I can really see what they have to say, but right now, yeah, I probably, that’s where I am.
HH: Even though I’m tempted, I will not be silencing Kirsten Powers.
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HH: I already admired and liked Kirsten because of her stance on behalf of religious liberty everywhere in the United States, but after you read The Silencing, I think you will agree she’s one of those liberals we love. She’s just wrong. She’s not rotten. And that’s always the distinction, Kirsten, I make. There’s a difference between wrong and rotten. And I don’t mind wrong at all. Lots of people, I’ve been wrong once or twice in my 59 years, but rotten is different. And that’s where you pile up the anecdotes. There are a lot of rotten people in this book. And the people who attacked Wendy Kaminer at Smith, they’re among the worst offenders.
KP: And sadly typical. That’s one of the things that, it’s not, you read these things and you think oh, that’s just one crazy group of people. And it’s like no, it’s actually pretty standard operating procedure. This is how they silence people. And Wendy Kaminer is a liberal feminist, free speech advocate.
KP: She was on the board of the ACLU forever, and has sort of gone her separate way with them, because she’s more protective of speech than they are in her mind. But she basically was trying to make the point that we shouldn’t be banning literature that can be offensive to people, and in particular, Mark Twain because of the use of the N word, and she tried to make the point when she said to the audience what do you think of when you hear the N word, and the audience said back the full word. And then she said see, she said the word, and she said see, we’re all fine. And I personally probably wouldn’t have done it. But I think it’s clear what she was saying, that she was not making a racist attack against anybody. She was trying to make a point about free speech, and being able to hear things that are upsetting. And this was reported in the student newspaper, and it just started this hysteria on the Smith campus. It was reported as racialized violence.
HH: It’s an incredible anecdote. I didn’t know anything about that, because you know, truth be told, I don’t keep up on what’s going on at Smith.
HH: And so I was surprised to learn. There’s a lot of good reporting in The Silencing, things I just didn’t know about. I did know, for example, you talk about the accusation of closet conservative being used to delegitimize liberals like Sharyl Attkisson and Peter Boyer. I was amazed, though, at how often, it’s so tired. I mean, you must run into that all the time. Does anyone actually, you just declared you’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton. Does anyone actually accuse you of being a closet conservative?
KP: Oh, I mean, that’s what’s been happening since the book came out. I had excerpts running, the Daily Beast ran excerpts, and on the same day the Daily Signal, which is at the Heritage Foundation, ran excerpts. But the fact that the Heritage Foundation was running excerpts was proof that I’m conservative.
HH: You see, that’s just nonsensical. By the way, you were a Clinton administration appointee. Which agency were you in? What did you do?
KP: I worked in an office in the White House called the U.S. Trade Representative for Mickey Kantor.
HH: Oh, you worked for Mickey?
HH: Oh, he’s a very smart guy. Do you know Mark Gearan, by chance?
KP: I mean, I knew him when I was, a little bit in the administration.
HH: Yeah, okay, he’s just one of those guys who’s wrong, but a very dear friend of mine, but he’s wrong.
HH: And there are lots, that’s like George Stephanopoulos, wrong, but not rotten, I don’t think. But Mickey Kantor was smart and usually right on free trade.
KP: Right, he was smart.
HH: What happens now? Do you think because you’ve worked for Fox you are out of bounds, you’re ineligible receiver downfield for all future Democratic administrations?
KP: Well, I don’t want to work in government again. So I don’t even think about that. It’s not, I don’t ever want to work on a campaign, I don’t ever want to work in politics again.
HH: Okay, then let me ask you this. Where did you go to school?
KP: University of Maryland.
HH: Okay, do you think that the Terps would invite you back onto campus? Or I have never been invited to the University of Michigan Law School, never been invited to Harvard. You know, I’m not worried about that.
HH: I’m a conservative. I’m not surprised. But you’re a liberal. Do you think the Terps will invite you back now?
KP: I don’t know. You know, I only recently have realized how liberal the University of Maryland is.
HH: Oh, my gosh.
KP: Yes, and it’s funny. I just had never really thought about it, because I was liberal when I was there, so I mean, really liberal. And I’m liberal now, but I mean, I was liberal in a way that I hadn’t been exposed to what I’ve been exposed to now.
HH: Have you been on, yet, with Dennis Prager?
KP: No, I’ve met, I’ve been on a panel with Dennis.
HH: Oh, you’re going to have to do his show, because he hates, hates, hates, the University.
Dustin Hoffman: I hate, I hate, I hate Peter Pan.
KP: That is funny.
HH: That’s like when Dennis starts talking about the university, he’s going to love The Silencing so much, you might have to put two hours aside, Kirsten Powers.
KP: That’s hilarious, yeah.
HH: But yeah, we have our sound effects.
KP: But now when I look back on it, I’m kind of like yeah, it was kind of radical, actually.
HH: Yeah, kind of. You know, that’s why, I was in the Reagan administration, and you could always count on the Terps for lousy basketball from Dreisell, and also having demonstrations on the moment whenever it happened. So have you lost any friends as a result of being a Fox News analyst?
KP: No, not my close friends. I have, you know, I still have, I’m still friends with some people that I was with in the Clinton administration who are still good friends. But it is something that is a cause of heartburn, I think, for many people in my life. Certainly, I don’t think my family particularly loves it. And you know, they don’t, it’s hard, my mother doesn’t even want to watch it, because then she has to watch all those other horrible people.
HH: Yeah, oh, I’ll be right back with Kirsten Powers talking about her book, The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech.
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HH: I’m following our Twitter conversation. You can follow Kirsten, @KirstenPowers. And Kirsten, someone said over there that they haven’t seen any actual examples of people being silenced. I would refer them to the epilogue, and to the Intervarsity debate at the California State University, where Intervarsity, a legendarily mild-mannered, effective and winsome Christian outreach group has been exiled from the campus of Cal State University.
HH: They’ve been silenced. There’s no doubt about that.
KP: Yeah, and I have an interview of a woman named Tish Warren, who was the head of Intervarsity’s graduate fellowship at Vanderbilt, and where they were de-recognized. And I have a very lengthy interview with her about what she went through and what she experienced. And she is a progressive. She’s never voted for a Republican. But she’s an orthodox Christian, and she was told by administrators that because of this so-called all comers policy that you can’t have any standards for your leaders. She was told flat-out that she could not have her Bible study teacher leaders believe in the Trinity.
HH: Right, right. It makes no sense at all. And the all comers means, and you also note, and I like this in The Silencing, the nature of the left, the hard left, is to take over organizations like Intervarsity if they don’t have a statement of faith attached to it. That will happen. You also have a chapter on the illiberal feminists and the rape culture which led to the Rolling Stone fiasco at the University of Virginia and the Duke Lacrosse. But I don’t know that it’s going to get any better, Kirsten Powers. Before I go back to the phones, and a lot of people want to talk to you, are you hopeful about this climate that’s anti-speech in the country? Or are you a pessimist?
KP: I’m frightened. I mean, in all seriousness, I am, it scares me, and I hope that people will get engaged on this issue. And look, I think that a lot of the, if you look at the universities, there are people who can be pushing back on this. There are powerful, influential alumni, there are people who give money to the universities, who no matter how liberal they are, don’t want their universities to be known for being basically where people go to learn group think, you know?
KP: I mean, they do ultimately, there’s a reason universities don’t advertise and say come to our university, we don’t let anybody think for themselves.
HH: Oh, I’ll tell you the most chilling anecdote in the book is David French, who is a friend of mine and yours talking about the Cornell admissions committee.
KP: Yeah, oh, yeah.
HH: Turning down students because they’re Christians until David raises his very eloquent, very powerful, and I’m sure very determined voice in their defense.
HH: That’s got to go on in admissions committees across the country.
KP: Right, and if he hadn’t been there, in this instance, where he says that you know, he gets, he’s sitting in this admissions committee meeting wondering why they’re even talking about this person. He said it was a slam dunk, somebody who just should have been accepted. And he gets, everybody puts their comments on the paper of what they think, and it gets to him, and it says we don’t want Bible thumpers, you know, or intolerant Christians and whatever, these statements. And he says if, I’m a fundamentalist compared to this person.
HH: Right, and it’s remarkable. It’s a great, I could go on talking with Kirsten about the arsenal of delegitimizing terms, mansplaining, whitesplaining, micro-aggression. We could talk about commencement cancellations. But I promised you folks a chance to talk to her. So I’ll deliver. Todd in Thornton, Colorado, you’re on with Kirsten Powers talking about her new book, The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech. Go ahead, Todd.
Todd: Well, Hugh, go ahead and take a break. I’ll take care of the last 15 minutes. I have so many questions I want to ask her, okay?
HH: Okay, go ahead.
Todd: But no, I’m just kidding. Anyway, real quick, two things real quick. One, where Alan Colmes used to as far as host a show on Fox and all that, has there ever been a chance that you’ve ever thought of branching out that way, like what you do on Outnumbered, as far as to do your own show? And then the second thing, and I’ll let you go, and thank you so much for being on, is as far as, for with your faith and all that, does that, is there a struggle sometimes when you go to the voting booth saying hey, this person, it’s the party, but can I necessarily as far as just kind of with your faith, and I’ll let you go. Great to talk to you, have a great day.
KP: All right, thanks a lot. On the first question, I don’t really think about those things. I’m not, I have no insight into TV programming. I leave that to Roger Ailes. And you know, if he thought I should have a show, then I would obviously be up for that. But it’s not something that I’m angling for or trying to get. I actually really like to write a lot, would love to write more books and more columns. On the faith issue, I don’t, people do bring this up to me a lot, and I became a Christian later in life. And so I have to say I’m a little, I don’t understand the question entirely, because I don’t see any conflict between my faith and voting for Democrats. So I think, I don’t think either party is representative of Jesus or the Bible. I think every person who goes to pull that lever would be having to think the same thing. I don’t think if I was voting Republican I could say oh, I’m definitely voting for the party that God is for.
HH: All right…
KP: You know, I think that that’s just a, you’re always going to have to be making, you know, your decisions based on what you think is best. But I don’t think you’re ever going to find anybody that’s going to be completely aligned with every single one of your values.
HH: And I’m going to move on and people who are mad at me for not challenging Kirsten, remember, it’s an interview, not a debate. It’s an interview, not a debate. Eddie in San Diego, how are you, Eddie, go ahead.
Eddie: Kirsten, I want to tell you how much I love and respect you and your work and your integrity for your belief system, and I wish you so much luck with your book, and I’m so glad you come to these radio shows. I used to be a Democrat and I switched over and gone long. Here’s my question for you. I’m in the investment industry. My first client was the main actuary that put together the Social Security system who told FDR it was going to fail at the time, that it mathematically wasn’t sound. That was true with Medicare. It’s true with Medicaid, Obamacare, they’re already like $2 billion over…
HH: Got to be quick, Eddie. Got to get to the question.
Eddie: Okay, I’m just wondering, I’m just wondering, those things are pretty well known, and I’m just wondering how do you, I left because I started looking at those things. How do you adhere to liberal principles when you have all these programs that have failed?
HH: All right, I got it. Kirsten?
KP: Yeah, well those aren’t, I mean, a program failing is not a liberal idea. I think the liberal idea is taking care of poor people, and that the government can be a force for good on that front. And look, there are Democrats who want to reform those programs. Third Way is a Democratic group. They’re people I worked with in politics. It was some of the smartest people I know. And I think that it’s fair to say that there’s problems that need to be addressed.
HH: And I want to tell everyone, I want to make sure I tell them, The Silencing is so good, because Kirsten Powers, I’m sure she’s going to catch heat for this, goes through and documents the attacks on Sarah Palin. And I didn’t know that you’d go there, Kirsten, and my hat’s off to you for doing that, because she divides the room, and I know the left hates the woman. And you have defended the woman, and I really appreciate that.
—- – – –
HH: 30 second rule in effect. Ruth Anne, you’re on with Kirsten Powers, author of The Silencing, go.
RA: Morning glory.
HH: Evening grace.
RA: Kirsten, I like watching you on Fox News. I’ve read some of our articles online about your Christianity. I notice sometimes on Bill O’Reilly that he seems to be dismissive of you. But I don’t think that, I think that’s more ageist, because I see him do the same thing to Mary Katharine Ham. What do you say?
KP: I think that’s Bill.
KP: (laughing) I think he does that to everybody.
HH: He dismisses me when he’s a guest on my own show.
KP: He really does. He’s pretty much an equal opportunity offender.
HH: All right, Conrad in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, go ahead, Conrad.
Conrad: So I just distinguished myself. You mentioned Dennis Prager. His is a show I’ve said it’s the only place I’m proud to say that I’m a college dropout, so I’m not as educated as you guys. But my observation as a 56 year old person, and this is really not a question but a comment, is that I don’t believe anything I hear these days in journalism, I don’t feel that journalists really are there to tell me any truths. They’re there to somehow discuss today’s talking points.
HH: All right, good point. Let me ask Kirsten, Kirsten, I don’t believe that. I tell people what I think. You tell people what you think. I think everyone I’ve ever met at Fox, and on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd, I don’t find disingenuous people. I find them in academia, though.
KP: Yeah, no, I mean, I think there are a lot of really great journalist and a lot of really sincere journalists who are aware of their biases and trying to account for them. But I also understand where the caller is coming from. I think it is increasingly hard to find information that isn’t being filtered through some sort of ideological, you know, point of view.
HH: All right, Good enough. Phil in Bakersfield, I think you’re going to get the last one. Go, Phil.
Phil: Okay, so much to say, but thank you so much, Kirsten. I think you should receive…
HH: Ah, dead phone.
KP: Oh, no, that was going to be good.
HH: It was going to be good, but that’s a Bakersfield cell. Okay, Jeff, you got, you’re the beneficiary of a dropped cell, Jeff in Minnesota. Go.
Jeff: First of all, Hugh, I want you to have your own show on Fox with Roger Ailes right after…
HH: That’s not possible, because we both went to the same high school.
Jeff: So here’s my question, Kirsten. Do you believe there is media bias that favors Democrats and disfavors Republicans? And are there any Woodward and Bernsteins out there?
HH: All right, one minute, Kirsten.
KP: There is definitely a media bias. And I’ve written about it before, and I think it’s gotten worse, much worse, than it used to be. And I don’t, you know, there are great reporters out there, but there are also, you know, I interviewed Sharyl Attkisson for the book…
HH: Great reporters.
KP: Yeah, and I think you know, she has a lot of important things to say about that issue, and I included it in the book, and about how difficult it is really today to do investigations, particularly into Democrats, because of organizations like Media Matters, that I talk about a lot in the book.
HH: Oh, yeah. It’s a terrific book. The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech in bookstores everywhere, it just came out. It’ll make the New York Times bestsellers list I’m sure next week. Kirsten Powers, thank you so much.
End of interview.