Politico’s Glenn Thrush is a regular and valued guest on my program. He’s also a friend and though I am not a frequent user of his colorful language, I do know that the practice of checking quotes with sources is practiced throughout journalism –as confirmed by National Review’s Eliana Johnson to me on today’s show– and that checking details of stories is also common. (Its often been a courtesy extended me by reporters writing profiles of my, especially when debate season hit.) Glenn joined me this AM;
HH: Joined now by Glenn Thrush, chief political correspondent of Politico. Glenn, good morning, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt show.
GT: Good morning.
HH: How do you like being the subject of a story as opposed to the reporter on it?
GT: Oh, man, it sucks.
GT: …you know, particularly when it’s, you know, essentially stolen emails and it’s on process stuff and you’re just trying to break news, you know?
HH: Let me ask, you know, I’ve been reading the harshest treatment of you over at the Daily Caller by Alex Pfeiffer, and I know you two are not friendly. But…
GT: Wait, hold on. I’m not unfriendly. The guy has just been going after me, so…
HH: Yeah, okay. Agreed. And I, by the way…
HH: Full disclosure, Glenn’s a friend of mine, and he did not reveal in a podcast once that I did not know who Louie C.K. was, so I’m deeply indebted to him.
HH: And Glenn’s very funny, so you didn’t…but nevertheless, so people now know my bias. I think there is a whole long of shock, shock there’s gambling going on here. Is it common practice among political reporters to send their stories to principals in order to fact check specifics?
GT: I do it, take this down, Hugh, I mean, there’s two components to that answer. I do a version of read back, what I call read back, with every single story that I do. If I’m doing a story that involves anything that’s in any way controversial or involves facts, complex facts that I require fact checking on, I do it in every single story. Let me give you a larger example of that. When I did a big profile of Speaker John Boehner for Politico Magazine a while ago, probably a year and a half ago, I sat down in Boehner’s office with two of his senior staffers with the text in my hand and essentially read them almost every single word, and they would say yes, this is true, this is not true. And in fact, as a product of most of those interactions, I get more information, not less. On the Podesta one, and again, I’m loathe to kind of talk about reporting methods, because you know, this stuff wouldn’t, you know, this stuff is essentially out there as a result of an illegal hack. But in the Podesta case, essentially what I got him to do was to confirm significant internal details on a story that I had only gotten from sources that were lesser. So essentially, my take on that interaction initially was that I had succeeded in getting him to confirm things that I hadn’t done. Now my language in terms of doing that was, I was, I made a joke. I called myself a hack. You know, not in a million years would I have expected that joke to have become public. And people can say what they want, but you know, I am a big, big, big proponent of letting people who are the subjects of your stories knowing A) what is coming, and B) what the details are so that I can get them right. Continue Reading
The nomination of Donald Trump has has resulted in countless articles, blog posts, tweets, etc. on what it means for Evangelicals. Conclusions have been all over the map. But the past couple of days have seen a couple of pieces one on Sunday from NBC News and one today from the NYTimes that have enough heft to deserve comment.
The Times piece has a lot of useful information, but is of a type that has become most typical in this cycle. In tone and remark it attempts to paint Evangelicals as hypocrites and the Republican party as falling apart based on internal conflicts in its significant religious wing. Of those interviewed for the piece, as opposed to studies or editorials cited, I recognize only my friend Matt Anderson who has been #NeverTrump since before there was a #NeverTrump – based precisely on the expectation of charges of hypocrisy. In dismissing the article, I do not wish to dismiss that hypocrisy charge – it has a great deal of validity – I am just not sure it is dispositive regarding a #NeverTrump position. In point of fact, any number of those claiming Evangelicalism are highly hypocritical and have been since long before Donald Trump made the scene. Trump may be putting a spotlight on them, but he is hardly the real issue.
The NBCNews piece is far better at describing the various factions inside Evangelicalism and contains this particular observation which explains so, so much:
But in the context of how modern candidates, operatives and pollsters define evangelical Christianity as a political constituency, a better question might be: “How could it be otherwise?”
The piece goes onto make the case that evangelical Christians as so defined are largely white, but I don’t think that is really the issue either. I think the issue is that evangelical Christianity is not a political constituency. It’s just not. Continue Reading
I am joined most Monday mornings in the 6 AM hour by Mike Allen (follow him on Twitter at @MikeAllen) America’s most tireless political reporter. Today we covered the waterfront, with a particular focus on the Senate:
HH: Joined now by Mike Allen of Politico. Follow Mike, @MikeAllen on Twitter. Good morning, Mike, good Monday morning with Mike. As I say, we have every Monday with Mike. How are you?
MA: Happy Monday, Hugh, and I am in Indianapolis. I’m going to be going out today with Gov. Mike Pence. We’re going to head into Ohio and Michigan.
HH: I will be interested to find out as well in the Hoosier State how you think Todd Young is doing. I know the polls say that Evan Bayh as of last Friday had a six point lead, but I’ve heard from my contacts that Todd Young is actually statistically tied in the internal polling and surging. Is that consistent with what you’ve heard?
MA: Yeah, Republicans I’ve talked to say that Todd Young is looking like a winner over Evan Bayh here. And they say that Joe Heck is also looking like a winner in Nevada. And these are both races where you couldn’t have seen this coming. And they attribute the Todd Young victory to a very simple, clear, consistent message by him and his surrogates, whereas from Evan Bayh, there hasn’t been as clear a message. One that people are having a hard time calling is Kelly Ayotte is strong herself, but Trump is just really dragging her down. People are more, Republicans you talk to, are more pessimistic about Ayotte these days just because of Trump. Also, a lot of discouragement about Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, just such headwinds there, so top Republicans, some with a very, very, very long track record, Hugh, told me yesterday that they see a 50% chance that the Senate will be 50/50, with either a Vice President Pence or a Vice President Kaine breaking the tie, a 30% chance that the Senate is 51-49 D, and just a 20% chance that Majority Leader McConnell keeps his job. That’s a real reversal of fortune, and it tracks what’s happened with Trump. Continue Reading