On Monday, July 10, 2006, fabulous radio host Hugh Hewitt celebrated his 6th anniversary on the air with an on-air spanking of Los Angeles Times columnist Jonathan Chait. The day before, in another one of his badly misguided op-eds, Chait actually wrote that President Bush is a "greater threat" to the country than Osama bin Laden, and it is "quite reasonable to conclude that Bush will harm the nation more" than Bin Laden.
Hewitt invited Chait to his program and proceeded to do what he does best with far-left liberals who espouse unsupportable views. Hewitt coolly shredded Chait and his Times column. The transcript with audio is at Radio Blogger (Thanks, Duane!).
Right from the start of the interview, after Chait clearly affirmed that he hates President Bush, the exchange spiraled downhill for Chait. As he drubbed his guest, Hewitt asked Chait to support his baseless allegation that Bin Laden has a "very limited numbers of followers capable of striking at the U.S." Chait failed to answer the challenge. Hewitt asked Chait how many terrorists there are. Chait responded by asking, "How many terrorists? You tell me." Doh! It was a clear fumble by Chait.
Here is another favorite exchange:
HUGH HEWITT: ... Jonathan, I want you to just have the opportunity to explain what you mean by Bush has "wreaked enormous damage on the political and social fabric of the country."
JONATHAN CHAIT: Right. This is a broad generalization that I had to make, and obviously within the constraints of an op-ed, couldn't possibly flush out in the detail you'd like to. But of course, me and many people have written a lot of pieces about Bush's policies, and the dangers that they pose to the United States. He has practiced policies, both in the way he's gone about them and the affects of them, in ways that I find different than most of his predecessors, Republican and Democrat, historically, and that have severe damaging effects on the United States and the way the politics are practiced.
Did anyone get that? When Hewitt asked a follow up for "specifics" and clarification, Chait stumbled even further.
It's clear that Hewitt really got under Chait's skin, because Chait ultimately had to resort to cheap attacks and name-calling. As the interview neared its end, Chait referred to Hewitt as "unhinged" and as a "nutty, but lovable crank." "Unhinged"? "Nutty"? Please ... Whether you agree with him or not, Hewitt's show is an exhibition in reasoned and clear-thinking dialogue.
Chait actually had the gall to say to Hewitt, "Kos [Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas Zuniga] is almost as unhinged as you." Wha-? With that response, it was clear that Chait could not defend his column or his baseless views.