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George Will On The “Indignation Industry”

Friday, June 20, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Yesterday I featured an interview with St. Louis Post Dispatch editorial page editor Tony Messenger (who hung up on me after 25 minutes committed to a forty minute interview –audio and transcript here) on his paper’s decision to drop George Will from its opinion pages.

Today George Will joins me to respond to the paper’s decision.




HH: So pleased to welcome back now George Will, the author of A Nice Little Place On The North Side. If you haven’t read it, yet, it is the best baseball book in years, though it doesn’t say much about the Cleveland Indians. I believe, however, it sparked outrage in St. Louis. It was insufficiently bowing to Stan Musial, I think, and as a result, it offended Cardinals fans, one of whom, Tony Messenger, the editorial page editor, trumped up charges and took him to the court of the Stalinists. And George Will, you’ve been exiled from St. Louis. How do you react to this?

GW: Well, since I’ve always thought as a Cubs fan that the Cardinals are part of the Axis of Evil, I take this, I’m brave about it, put it that way.

HH: Now I have got a lot to cover. I had Mr. Messenger on yesterday until he hung up on me, and did not follow through on his commitment to stay with me long enough to question him. But he did at one point admit this, and I think it’s important to put this up front and center. In his comment about defrocking you, he said your column was, “Offensive and inaccurate,” and here’s what I asked him.

HH: So you are agreeing there is no place where a factual inaccuracy exists in Mr. Will’s column?

TM: To the best of my knowledge, no there is not, and we did not correct on.

HH: He admitted then that you weren’t inaccurate. Do you find that odd that he put it into his explanation then that you were?

GW: Well, actually, the only thing I’ve done in connection with this little kerfuffle was I sent him an email a couple of days ago saying I thought it improper of the Post-Dispatch to accuse me of an inaccuracy, but not specify them. And I said would you please tell me any factual inaccuracy, and he sent back that the inaccuracy was in my conclusions, which means my opinions. So I think that cleared that up sufficiently. Continue Reading

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Tony Messenger: The Man Who Fired George Will

Thursday, June 19, 2014  |  posted by Duane Patterson

Tony Messenger is the editor of the editorial pages of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. He fired George Will today because he found a column Will wrote two weeks ago offensive. Messenger joined me to discuss his absurd decision, and its likely impact on his already almost-dead newspaper –until he hung  up on me. Messneger had committed to three segments; he bailed before the end of the second.




HH: Right now, I am joined for the next forty minutes by Tony Messenger. He is the editorial page editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Tony, welcome, it’s good to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

TM: Thanks for having me, Hugh. Good to be here.

HH: You’re also the guy who fired George Will, and that’s really what I want to talk to you about. But before that, I always do a little journalist GPS for the audience for the first time when people come on to get you sighted on the map. Before you were at the Post-Dispatch, you were at the Columbia Times, right?

TM: Well, before I was at the Post-Dispatch, I was at the Springfield News Leader in Springfield, Missouri, and then before that, the Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri. I grew up in Colorado. I’ve worked at papers in Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota, Nebraska and three different places in Missouri. So… Continue Reading

The End of “Moderation” In The Arab World

Thursday, June 19, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick has a must-read this morning, on the passing of the “moderate reformer” in the Arab world.  Their best hope was Iraq, 2008.  That’s gone now.  America didn’t have the stomach for doing there what it did in Japan and Korea.

“We didn’t get that done,” Hillary told Christiane Amanpour, speaking of a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq to succeed the one negotiated by George W. Bush through 2011, and as Fred Kagan said on the show yesterday, it could have been done but President Obama and his Secretary of State put no priority on it. They walked away from the moderate reformers of Iraq.  With that failure the clock on the time bomb began to tick.  The results are seen today in Iraq and will unfold across the Middle East for decades to come.




Senator Ron Johnson: Hillary “Disqualified” From Being C-in-C

Wednesday, June 18, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was my guest today.  He opened with a slam of Hillary:




HH: Joining me to talk about those stories and much more, United States Senator Ron Johnson, one of our favorite people, outspoken, candid and always a lot of fun. Senator Johnson, welcome back, good to talk to you.

RJ: Hey, Hugh, how are you doing?

HH: I’m great. You know, I’ve decided you’re kind of like the Smoking Man from the X-Files. Did you ever watch that?

RJ: Yeah, I did. I don’t smoke.

HH: No, but you’re always kind of standing around when train wrecks happen. And you were with Hillary when she gave her famous ‘what difference does it make’, and I wanted to get your reaction to what she had to say yesterday to Christiane Amanpour. Here’s the former Secretary of State on whether or not we know what we need to know about Benghazi.

HRC: There have been, as you know, a number of investigations, including the independent one, that the State Department commissioned, as well as many in Congress. There are answers, not all of them, not enough, frankly. I’m still looking for answers, because it was a confusing and difficult time.

HH: So Senator Johnson, why’d she get mad at you if she’s still looking for answers?

RJ: Well, I think she understands how culpable she is, and she understands exactly her dereliction of duty that really results in the death of four Americans. And you know, listen, she can provide an awful lot of the answers. Hugh, we don’t know what she was really doing that night. We don’t know at what level the State Department, they actually waived the security standards for that consulate. You know, we have to hold anybody accountable in the State Department for the dereliction of duty for not only not honoring the request for increased security, to actually ramp down requests. And Hugh, I think just a small contingent of armed Marines, that protest, that attack never would have happened, and those four Americans would still be alive today. And so Hillary Clinton understands exactly how culpable she is as secretary of State, because she’s the only one, according to the law, that could sign the waivers to basically waive the security standards that were present at that consulate.

HH: Do you think she’s disqualified from being commander-in-chief, Senator Johnson?

RJ: I certainly believe so. She had the famous ad there, you know, who’s going to respond to that 2AM in the morning moment. Well, both her and President Obama did not respond to the 3pm in the afternoon moment, and no, I don’t think she should be president of the United States. Here’s one example, Hugh. You know, if you were secretary of State, given the responsibility to go to Andrews Air Force Base, to welcome home the remains of those four Americans, would you do your duty and offer the condolences of a nation? Or would you seize that moment, that opportunity, to plant and perpetuate a cover up? I mean, that is a craven, political act, because that’s what she did with Tyrone Woods’ father, and basically saying we’re going to get that video producer, we’re going to make sure he’s arrested. Again, that’s just a craven, political act. I think that alone disqualifies her as president of the United States. Continue Reading

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