Interview: Hugh Hewitt

Author, columnist, law professor, blogger, and syndicated radio-show host Hugh Hewitt is a busy man.

Author, columnist, law professor, blogger, and syndicated radio-show host Hugh Hewitt is a busy man.

He's known as a conservative commentator, although he has won three Emmys as co-host of Life & Times, a nightly news and public affairs show on PBS' Los Angeles affiliate.

Among his books are Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World and If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It.

PRWeek: What are some of the bigger issues on your show lately?

Hugh Hewitt: I try to have the show driven by extended interviews. Yesterday the majority leader was in Southern California, so John Boehner came by to talk about the election [and] driving down unnecessary federal spending. We did a half-hour interview on conditions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the global war against Islamic fascism. We do a lot of politics right now because of the election. These 70 days are the easiest days in talk radio. These three months before an election, ratings go up, ad carts sell out, and people want to get on and try to raise money.

PRWeek: What do you think of the media coverage of the communication between the White House and the world?

Hewitt: I think that the White House is masterful at controlling the news cycle and then driving the left crazy.
I have a colleague named Jay Rosen who calls it the "White House war on the media." It's not a war. It's not even close. Helen Thomas is the greatest gift to the Bush White House that has ever been invented.

PRWeek: Why do you say that?

Hewitt: Much of the [White House press corps] simply overestimates their appeal in the center of the country. The President, Rove, Cheney, and the rest have run circles around them. It is marvelous to behold. It is almost an abject lesson from the left on how not to persuade people.

PRWeek: How do you feel about the appointment of Tony Snow as Bush's press secretary?

Tony is a friend, and he comes out of my medium, so I am somewhat biased here. But it is a masterstroke again, because after the previous government, it's nice to change up for purposes of making the message different. Not in substance, but in style. Snow is a nationally syndicated talk-show host, and he can do one thing - and that is talk and entertain about complicated subjects.

PRWeek: What do you think of the public image of Fox News?

Hewitt: For much of the country, it's the most respected [network], as far as having more authority and balance than other networks. I think Brit Hume in any comparison would probably score higher in terms of intelligence, maturity, and balance than any of the other anchors. He is just very wise, in terms of objective analysis [and] their guests. I think Fox is the most even-handed by far.

Name: Hugh Hewitt

Outlets: Radio, The Hugh Hewitt Show; The Daily Standard; blog on

Title: Host, columnist

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