February 16, 2005
So I thought it was a good idea. You know, a fun one. I'd write a review of Hugh Hewitt's new book, Blog, get a byline and a check, go home happy. I mean, the book isn't really long or anything, is it?
Well, no, it's not. But it certainly the most distasteful piece of waste I've handled since maturation imbued me with the good sense to stop handling garbage. I think I was three years old, then. Why is Hugh so bad? Well, aside from the towering egotism and the blistering partisanship, the guy is constantly lying. Here are three, just from the introduction:
On October 1, 2004, more than 130,000 internet users visited HughHewitt.com. They did so because the first presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry was conducted on the night of the thirtieth, and folks wanted my take as well as my continually updated analysis of the debate that took place.
I believe George W. Bush had won the debate, and that John Kerry had committed incredible blunders. Very few pundits agreed with me. I was right.
As you may remember, Hewitt spent the day of the debate screaming at the media for ignoring the "mantan" story, wherein John Kerry would appear on television looking bright orange. John Kerry didn't. Hewitt then watched cartoons for a couple hours and declared Bush the winner. Pundits and voters disagreed overwhelmingly.
The Blogosphere is about trust. CNN lost the trust it once had and its fall has been sudden and shattering. FOX News is trusted by millions, so its numbers have shot up, much to the dismay of lefties who don't understand why viewers would trust Fox News.
Here Hewitt didn't even need to do research (or be particularly sane), he just needed to watch commercials. That "CNN: The Most Trusted Name in News" tagline? That comes because CNN still beats FOX by 7% in trustworthy ratings, 32%-25%.
[John Kerry] never recovered from an August spent hiding from the Vets, their ads, and a relentless inquest conducted fairly and with lawyerly thoroughness within the blogosphere.
Italics mine. And, I should note, those aren't the only three (and they're just from the introduction!). FOX's viewership shot up during the convention not because Republicans watch Fox, but because nobody wanted to see the RNC on the DNC's television outlet. Hugh's book will "have a huge impact across many fields." "What is really going on is an internet reformation similar in consequence to the Reformation that split Christianity in the sixteenth century." This is what I'm slogging through. This and Hugh Hewitt's enormous, uncontrollable ego, which threatens to reach out from the book and throttle me every time I turn the page. All because I wanted to defend the fine folks in the blogosphere.
You see what I go through for you?
Update: I really can't believe we're arguing over who won the first debate. On one side is Hugh's contention that Bush owned it. On the other is this:
Early polls indicated Americans felt Kerry had won the debate. Fifty-three percent of Americans polled in a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll said Kerry had won, compared to 37% for Bush. Kerry also was ahead in polls taken by CBS News and ABC News.
Newsweek's post-convention poll had Bush leading among registered voters 54 percent to 43 percent. Its post-debate poll had 47 percent choosing Kerry-Edwards, and 45 percent for Bush-Cheney. Two percent said they would vote for Ralph Nader and his running mate, Peter Camejo.
Must we play such boring games?
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BLOG....You know, I might have posted a review of Hugh Hewitt's new book, Blog, but, um, that would have required me to buy a copy first. For some reason, Hugh hasn't sent me a complimentary copy even though we're practically... [Read More]
Tracked on Feb 16, 2005 4:42:05 PM
» Hugh Hewitt/Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf: Lying Li from Notes in Samsara
(From Ezra):Here Hewitt didn't even need to do research (or be particularly sane), he just needed to watch commercials. That "CNN: The Most Trusted Name in News" tagline? That comes because CNN still beats FOX by 7% in trustworthy ratings, 32%-25%. [Read More]
Tracked on Feb 16, 2005 6:43:02 PM
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...buy a book on Amazon, and it suggests that you buy a second book? "Buy Art of Mud Wrestling with Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z Today for $22.95? I bet Hugh's book is going to be right alongside the new Oh Bullshit book by Henry Frankfurt. [Read More]
Tracked on Feb 16, 2005 8:12:30 PM
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Tracked on Feb 17, 2005 5:55:34 PM
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Tracked on Jul 26, 2005 7:13:24 PM
Ugh, such filth.
I just don't understand how things like this get published. And I love, by the way, how he writes that "folks wanted my take". Pssshhhaaah
Posted by: Kate | Feb 16, 2005 2:54:18 PM
"You see what I go through for you?"
Yeah, but your rewards in heaven will be great, Ezra.
Posted by: Musing Michael | Feb 16, 2005 2:57:29 PM
That's brutal. Truly shocking stuff.
Haven't we reached a point where we can make a distinction between the blogosphere and the blovosphere? Those like us, whether left or right, are bloggers; those like Hewitt are to be found in papers, on television, certainly on the radio, on the internets...and they're quite a different breed altogether. Sure, some of the bloviating blowhards of the blovosphere inhabit the blogosphere, but people like Hewitt transcend their media. They're beyond blogging.
Posted by: Shakespeare's Sister | Feb 16, 2005 3:02:12 PM
If it's any consolation, Hewitt's last book, If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat, spent a couple of weeks on the "extended" New York Times list (the #16-#35 slots, which appear on the Times site but not in the Book Review) -- but this one hasn't shown up on the list at all.
Posted by: Steve M. | Feb 16, 2005 3:05:49 PM
That should have read, "which appear on the Times site but not in the Book Review. I don't know what happened."
Posted by: Steve M. | Feb 16, 2005 3:07:22 PM
Better you than me.
Posted by: praktike | Feb 16, 2005 3:50:36 PM
I am soooooo sorry for even recommending that you do that.
For penance, I'll go through Hewitt's site archives this weekend and find silly quotes for fun and sport (also to document the genius of the "self-correcting blogosphere).
Is that enough or do I have to do more penance?
Posted by: Chris Rasmussen | Feb 16, 2005 3:58:36 PM
An egregious statement of the day as I travel through the book. Should be fun. Also, next week begins Sharansky blogging, wherein I read a The Case for Freedom and you all find out if I turn into George W. Bush.
Posted by: Ezra | Feb 16, 2005 4:32:18 PM
the Sharansky book isn't likely to be as obviously irritating ... you have to know how the book is contradicted by Sharansky's support for illegal land grabs to be truly bothered by it. So it sucks in a different way.
Posted by: praktike | Feb 16, 2005 5:04:03 PM
For what it's worth, part of Fox's success has been due to people who used to watch CNN... BECAUSE IT WAS THE ONLY CABLE NEWS STATION AROUND.
It's amazing how the introduction of new choice will lead consumers to switch. That said, it doesn't mean news consumers ever particularly trusted or distrusted CNN at all.
E.g. Do you know anyone who started drinking coffee at Starbucks because they thought there was something horribly, irretrievably wrong with home-brewed coffee?
(Imagine you're a redneck like me whose hometown didn't have lots of coffee shops until Starbucks came to town).
Posted by: Jim D | Feb 16, 2005 5:12:34 PM
Worse than expected - at least you have HH trapped between the covers, and can drive a stake though his heart when you're done (or, hey, even before!). Is there an audio version? God, I hope not....
Consolation - it has got to be skimmable!
The Sharansky is far more problematic - looking forward to your take.
Posted by: grishaxxx | Feb 16, 2005 5:18:26 PM
Hugh Hewitt wrote a bad book? God, well consider me dumb-founded. He always seemed so smart and humble to me.
Posted by: Franky | Feb 16, 2005 5:19:56 PMDo you know anyone who started drinking coffee at Starbucks because they thought there was something horribly, irretrievably wrong with home-brewed coffee?
Er, yes. Lots of people. What was horribly, irretrievably wrong is usually something of the form of "I live in a dorm and am not allowed a coffee pot" or "My home is nowhere near where I am when I want a cup of coffee" or something similar.
Posted by: cmdicely | Feb 16, 2005 5:33:03 PM
What a shitty review. You obviously need to look up the definition of "lie." It doesn't mean "disagrees with me."
Posted by: Reg | Feb 16, 2005 5:39:10 PM
He's correct about the swiftvets.
Posted by: a | Feb 16, 2005 5:44:55 PM
>>The Blogosphere is about trust. CNN lost the trust it once had and its fall has been sudden and shattering. FOX News is trusted by millions, so its numbers have shot up, much to the dismay of lefties who don't understand why viewers would trust Fox News.
Isn't this the same logic that make McDonald's "America's Favorite French Fry"?
Posted by: kebernet | Feb 16, 2005 6:04:38 PM
Check out all the fawning reviews at amazon.com, some of them straight from the greats of the blovosphere themselves. Quite a mutual admiration society they got going there.
Posted by: modus potus | Feb 16, 2005 6:35:10 PM
God forbid I actually defend Hugh Hewitt, but he's sorta right about the first debate - although not in the way he thinks.
Kerry DID "commit blunders" in the first debate - he said a few things that were then taken out of context and beaten to death by the Bush campaign and bloggers like Hewitt. Chief among these was "global test." Kerry said we should be able to prove the reasons we went to war - Bush and bloggers avowedly twisted his words to say he wanted to put our national security in the hands of France.
However, Kerry DID win the debate. According to all accounts, the Bush campaign shit itself in that first week afterward - their poll advantages, including near-dead heats in New York and New Jersey, immediately disappeared. This was why the Bush campaign declared he was giving a "major speech on Iraq and the war on terror" that next week, in order to secure wall-to-wall TV coverage - and then had Bush give his new stump speech which included the "global test" line.
So Hewitt is wrong, but he reveals the role 'winger blogs played in manipulating facts and media quite nicely.
Posted by: Gary Johnston | Feb 16, 2005 6:41:21 PM
"Pundits and voters disagreed overwhelmingly."
My recollection was that voters agreed with Hugh by a small margin by . . . you know . . . voting.
Posted by: MO | Feb 16, 2005 7:53:00 PM
Not about the deebate. They agreed to vote in Bush, but polls overwhelmingly favored Kerry's performance there. Is this really even under dispute?
Posted by: Ezra | Feb 16, 2005 8:00:52 PM
In the world of people like Hugh Hewitt, yes, it is in dispute. You're reading the book -- do you think he has much connection with reality?
Posted by: PZ Myers | Feb 16, 2005 9:05:38 PM
Bush and bloggers avowedly twisted his words
Avowedly? What's this avowedly garbage? I saw and heard Kerry make the "Global test" statement and understood perfectly what he meant. He later clarified his comment to mean exactly what I thought he meant the first time.
Bush twisted Kerry's meaning to say something Kerry simply was not saying.
Posted by: Rich | Feb 16, 2005 10:59:24 PM
Well Ezra, you have to remember Hugh is the same guy who called that "Puppies" ad "a lock for Best Picture" and "my favorite movie since Mona Lisa Smile."
Posted by: SamAm | Feb 17, 2005 2:06:00 AM
Hugh Hewitt is an asshole.
Posted by: hawiken | Feb 17, 2005 2:53:17 AM
I debated him on Rathergate today (Weds.) on MSNBC. Can you believe he denied being biased towards the right? Here's how one of his fans transcribed the portion of the converstion:
HH: Journalism wants to know what happened. That's why the bloggers are better journalists. You want to get to the bottom of this, and there are folks out there waiting at Powerline Blog and Instapundit, at the people who made this go around like Little Green Footballs. They're waiting to jump on any expression of truth...
JM: All the right wing blogs...
HH: Not right wing blogs, good journalism blogs, as opposed to those on the left. These folks got the facts, they found the story.
JM: If you can't even be honest about the fact you are a right wing blog, then why should anybody believe you about anything? At least admit your bias. All blogs are biased.
HH: You're entitled to your opinion.
What a character!
Posted by: talkleft | Feb 17, 2005 4:32:42 AM
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