Ex Newsweek Editor: GOP Candidates Are 'Advertising Their Ignorance'

Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman appeared on Wednesday's Hardball to mock Republican presidential candidates as simplistic. He exclaimed, "But, they're advertising their ignorance is what I'm saying!"

Fineman, who now is the political editor at the more overtly liberal Huffington Post, dripped with condescension as he described the potential GOP nominees. The journalist berated, "What I find fascinating about [Cain's] candidacy, and really the tenor of a lot of what the Republican candidates are saying, including Rick Perry, is they are saying, 'We don't need to know all those fancy facts.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Continuing with his satirical monologue of what candidates like Cain and Perry really think, Fineman parodied, "We don't need to know all the rest of the stuff that those intellectuals know."

On September 8, 2011, Fineman appeared on Hardball to smear climate change skepticism, deriding, "It's part of their new Ten Commandments."

A transcript of the November 2 segment, which aired at 5:15pm EDT, follows:


HOWARD FINEMAN: What I find fascinating about his candidacy, and really the tenor of a lot of what the Republican candidates are saying, including Rick Perry, is they are saying, "We don't need to know all those fancy facts."

DAVID CORN: Yes.

FINEMAN: "We have it in our heart. We have one or two simple things that we know." Rick Perry knows how to create jobs, he says. Herman Cain's got his 9-9-9 plank. "We don't need to know all the rest of the stuff that those intellectuals know." If I've heard Rick Perry say once, I've heard him say a dozen times, "Well that's an interesting intellectual question."

CORN: Yeah.

 FINEMAN: And Herman Cain said the other day, "Well, I'm not going to know about Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan."

CHRIS MATTHEWS: But you ought to know about China, China, China.

FINEMAN: Well, of course you ought to know about it. But, they're advertising their ignorance is what I'm saying!

CORN: It would be great if he were running for election in 1956, and can you tell, any time he's come close to foreign policy, he's, like, trying to process index cards. He doesn't do it. Doesn't care.

FINEMAN: We're living in two different worlds here. The world of Herman Cain and Rick Perry is one that doesn't care about the judgments that we make-

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

FINEMAN: About who knows what. They think by appealing with heartfelt emotion to the conservative Republican voters that they are going to win regardless of what the mainstream media and other judges say about them.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org