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Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith On A Media Organization Declaring Its Political Opinions

Monday, June 29, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith joined me today to discuss his media platform’s editorial position on SSM and how it will impact how it covers the issue:

Audio:

06-29hhs-smith

Transcript:

HH: In between, @BuzzFeedBen, Ben Smith is the editor of BuzzFeed. I tracked him down in Latvia this weekend, and then he fled to Paris to avoid me. But now, he’s back in the States. He’s been extradited to appear on the Hugh Hewitt Show. Hello, Ben.

BS: Thanks for having me on, Hugh.

HH: You can’t escape.

BS: You got me confused.

HH: Yeah, you can’t escape the Hugh Hewitt Show. Ben, I got my Twitter feed after the marriage decision came down.

BS: You really did nail me, though. I said I’m in Latvia, and you were like, well, they have phones there. And I couldn’t argue with that.

HH: But what was the, I couldn’t figure it out first. I’ve subsequently done some research, and I see the quote that set it off. But what would you explain the controversy about BuzzFeed to people who don’t know what it was about last week?

BS: I don’t really think there, I mean, I guess I don’t really think there was much of a controversy, or at least I didn’t see. There were like, I’ve been tweeting with three people today – Tim Carney and a guy named, just, I mean, but I’m not sure like three or four people make a controversy. But I think we have, we drafted and published a Standards Guide and an Ethics Guide several months ago, and I think we’ve been wrestling with something I’m sure you think about a lot, which is, although I think I probably come down somewhere a bit differently from you, which is you know, is it possible to, look, what is the tradition that used to be called kind of objective journalism, mainstream media journalism, the tradition the New York Times and the Washington Post come out of, which is the tradition I come out of? You know, how do you do that in a way that, you know, that’s honest with your readers? And I think you know, there’s always been, for a long time, been this debate both on the right and on the left saying come on, you guys, stop lying, don’t conceal your opinions. We know you have real opinions. And at the same time, of course, everyone has a set of implicit opinions about, you know, you don’t have to say, Hugh, that like you oppose racism and that you favor free speech. Those are obviously baked into your coverage, just as much as they’re baked into the New York Times’ coverage. Continue Reading

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Evan Thomas On “Being Nixon”

Monday, June 29, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Evan Thomas joined me today to discuss Being Nixon:

Audio:

06-29hhs-thomas-1

06-29hhs-thomas-2

Transcript:

HH: I’m devoting the first hour and a half today to a different book not my own. The book is called Being Nixon. It’s by Evan Thomas, It’s an extraordinary book. Now those of you who have listened to me, next week marks the 15th anniversary of the Hugh Hewitt Show. I have never interviewed an author about a Nixon book before, never, because they never got even close. And Evan Thomas, I’m breaking the rule for you, because you got the old man better than anyone has. I hope other Nixon people have told you that.

ET: I tried. Yeah, I mean, I certainly talked to a lot of Nixon people, and I try. He’s a hard guy to get. Look, this is not an easy code to crack, but he’s a fascinating person. He was much more of a human being than Hollywood ever gave him credit for, or the old East Coast media establishment, of which I’m a member. I mean, he’s endlessly interesting, and people need to know that. He’s not the cartoon you think he is.

HH: I want to begin with the fact you are Harvard and UVA Law. I’m a Harvard guy. Nixon hired me when I was 22 years old, again, breaking his rule of contempt for Harvard. He did it again and again. And whether it’s Kissinger or Moynihan or me or anybody in between, he just had that rule and he broke it.

ET: That’s a funny, he was always saying get rid of those Harvard blank, blank, blank. No Harvard, no Harvard, and then he hires as his two top aides coming into office, he hires Henry Kissinger, a Harvard professor, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Harvard professor, one foreign affairs, the other domestic. So Nixon, you know, could carry on about things, but as John Mitchell, his attorney general, famously said, watch what we do, not what we say. And you’ve got to remember that about Nixon, because he could carry on about things. But you have to watch what he actually does. Continue Reading

Back in Studio: Evan Thomas on “Being Nixon,” Senator Ted Cruz and Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith

Monday, June 29, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

After two-plus weeks out of a suitcase out on road flogging The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary and the Coming of a Second Clinton Era,” I am back in my home studio and looking forward to a visit from Evan Thomas to discuss his new Being Nixon.  I met Evan in the Green Room of Meet the Press two weeks ago and told him then that this is by far the most sympathetic portrayal of RN I have seen come from the pen of a card-carrying MSMer.

Also joining me today, Senator Ted Cruz to talk Supreme Court matters and Buzzfeed Ben Smith.

Where Stand The Church?

Sunday, June 28, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

Thanks to Scott Johnson for leading me to Notre Dame Law Professor Gerard V. Bradley’s entry in NR’s post-Obergefell symposium.  Excerpting Bradley:

…Obergefell’s evident determination to, somehow, use the law to equalize the self-esteem (“dignity”) of adults and children…

…the Court has perhaps half-witlessly embraced means to eliminate all felt “stigma,” any trace of social “humiliation,” just so that everyone’s “identity” is equally valued.

In other words the law is now trying to address what is essentially a psychological phenomena.  It explains a lot.

I have been struck since Friday with the “Blitzkrieg” nature of the the LGBT political agenda.  In political terms it has moved at lightening speed, never stopping to consolidate a victory, always pressing its advantage.  Of course that is in part strategic, but one must wonder if it is also not in part driven by the fact that no victory ever solves the root psychological problem involved. Continue Reading

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