Talk radio host Hugh Hewitt recently used his Washington Post column to make the case for President Donald Trump, but if some critics are to be believed, Hewitt eradicated the case for his own legitimacy in the process.
In the op-ed, titled "The case for Trump will come down to his record. It's a strong one," Hewitt generally sticks to the same talking points that press secretary Kayleigh McEnany or the President himself employ when defending his tenure in the White House.
Hewitt boasts Trump's record on China, the USMCA trade bill, his killing of Qasem Soleimani, and—of course—the Obama-era unemployment rate, which had continued to trend downward until the pandemic upended daily life.
But in a recent piece for New York Magazine's Intelligencer, commentator Jonathan Chait doesn't pull punches in making the case against Hewitt's case for Trump with a merciless line-by-line fact check.
Hugh Hewitt wrote "the case for Trump." I did a close read. https://t.co/dHPazHvtGi
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) August 3, 2020
Hewitt's op-ed heaps praise upon Trump's supposed toughness on China, and specifically hails Trump for not treating the Tiananmen Square massacre "as a bug, not a feature."
Chait responded by pointing out Trump's praise of dictators and of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
It is astonishing that Hewitt begins his case by praising Trump for his moral clarity in denouncing the Chinese government. Trump of course has lavished dictators with praise, including, repeatedly, China...Trump is the only president, and the only prominent American I can think of, who actually praised China's crushing of the Tiananmen square protests. ('They put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength,' he cooed in 1990.) The fact that, while unspooling his imaginary history of Trump as clear-eyed opponent of dictatorship, Hewitt goes out of his way to bring up Tiananmen almost suggests a guilty conscience he cannot fully repress.
One of Trump's most consequential decisions was to dissolve the Iran nuclear deal, which prevented Iran from becoming a nuclear superpower and which Trump falsely claims gave Iran millions of dollars in cash.
Hewitt praised Trump's welch on the deal, but Chait had a damning one sentence retort:
"Iran is now resuming its nuclear program."
Chait had a similar response to Hewitt's claim that Trump essentially closed the border to Mexico from illegal entry.
"The current state of the Southern border is that Mexico has closed it because the United States is overrun [by the virus]."
He concludes with an indictment of both Trump and Hewitt.
"The Trump era has been dominated by the president's aberrant behavior: using his office for personal profit, smashing democratic norms, fomenting racism, binge-watching television rather than doing his job, and grossly mishandling a national emergency. Hewitt almost completely ignores these large facts to focus instead on minor ones. He has managed to prove only that Trump is indeed indefensible."
People praised Chait's take.
Well, you've answered Hugh's nearly limitless intellectual dishonesty and disingenuousness with facts. Laudable goal and I agree with all of your points, but reminds me of a gif 👇 pic.twitter.com/IyyxHibkPL
— LoganB (@BartlingLogan) August 4, 2020
Thank you for your service.
— Ed "Gigalo To The Demons" Jolly (@ejolly42) August 3, 2020
I'm glad someone has published this, because I was going a mental line-by-line rebuttal as I read it and wondering how someone could write such a hideous bit of North Korea style ass-kissing.
— mellymelmelmel (@pikminlover) August 4, 2020
Excellent take-down of Hewitt and by extension @realDonaldTrump ✅✅
— Karl J. O'Farrell (@Karlof88) August 4, 2020
I appreciate that someone held him to account, but I feel dumber for having now been forced the read Hewitt's piece.
— David Todd McCarty (@davidtmccarty) August 4, 2020
But Chait was far from the only one roasting Hewitt.
Not a thoughtful assessment of Trump's pluses and minuses over the past four years. Just absurd. I still don't understand why anyone treats Hugh Hewitt seriously. Because he is polite? https://t.co/nx3kjlIjqY
— Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) August 1, 2020
Hugh, you could have said this in five words: I am a Trump sycophant.
— Mark R. Yzaguirre (@markyzaguirre) August 1, 2020
Why does Hugh Hewitt have such a large platform in the "lamestream" press? Affirmative action for conservatives. Always works.
— Wajahat "Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic" Ali (@WajahatAli) August 1, 2020
Rare video of Hugh Hewitt writing this article pic.twitter.com/dB3BCcPhQL
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) August 1, 2020