The headline of this article is taken verbatim from the headline of an article by Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Examiner. If only Hewitt and his Republican pals actually meant it.
Hewitt’s complaint has to do with his conjecture that these “fine journalists…carry with them all the biases and predispositions of the mainstream media.” He presumes that inquiries posed at the debates will be designed to embarrass the candidates. He says they should…
“Expect the standard stunt questions on abortion in the event of rape or incest, weapons of mass destruction, evolution, global warming, or any of a dozen other dog whistles to the left designed to create the moment that replicates across the Web, that seeks to wound prospects by defining the GOP field as outside the mainstream.”
Hewitt seems to believe that only the liberal press would ask probing questions about these issues that form the basis of the Republican platform. Does Hewitt realize that he is insulting conservative inquisitors by insinuating that they would not ask the candidates about their positions on abortion, evolution, climate change, etc.? These are areas of intense interest to GOP voters who demand ideological purity. How could you have a GOP debate without addressing these subjects? Would Hewitt regard such questions as stunts if they were asked by George Will or Sean Hannity?
Hewitt further predicts that candidates would not be asked about national security, the economy, unemployment, or Medicare, by MSM panelists. How ever did he arrive at that conclusion? Has he ever seen a presidential debate before? And why would asking about abortion be a stunt question that is out of line, but not so asking about Medicare?
The funny thing is that Hewitt’s laments are rooted in delusion. The debate upcoming next week is being hosted by CNN and local media in New Hampshire. CNN is the network that has partnered with Tea Party Express for another debate scheduled for September. What more could they ask for? Does Hewitt regard the Tea Party as inappropriate for Republican campaign events?
Hewitt is not alone in worrying about Republicans interacting with imaginary liberals in the media. None other than Sarah Palin has been adamant about snubbing any media she regards as unfriendly. Last year she advised Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, to “speak through Fox News.” And just last week she told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, “I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media.”
Exactly. I would love to see Republicans take Palin’s and Hewitt’s concerns to heart. They ought to practice what they preach and decline any coverage from the MSM. They should stick to Fox News and talk radio venues like Hewitt’s and Rush Limbaugh.
Conversely, Democrats should steer clear of Fox. However, that suggestion was greeted with ridicule by Fox’s CEO Roger Ailes in 2007, when he said that “The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda.” So what does that say about the candidates that can’t face CNN or any other alleged mainstream news enterprise?