Selected Pete

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

Civility Lost – Walking The Tight-Wire

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A quick update to my post below: I have to give Hugh Hewitt big fat credit because after I sent this in to his email, it was not only posted to his page, but then he emailed me not once, but three times to give his end of things and to provide further context. I was both honored and impressed that he would even spend the time to convince a small-time blogger what he was about.

A quick recap is that from his angle, the tenacity at the end of the Ed Henry interview is really what he is after. In all fairness, I read the transcript, but I did not hear the interview, and as Hugh put it, the tone of the interview can be lost in that fashion. He also explained how hard it was to get Ed Henry to commit to the interview in the first place, and I was fully aware of those circumstances when I wrote my take on the interview.

My position comes from that of a Christian who struggles with how hard and how mean I have to be to make a point. Hugh has a very tough job in that he deals with some of the biggest buffoons in the business in a real-time public forum. He showed incredible poise and grace for instance, when he interviewed Terry McAuliffe not long before the 2004 election. The despicable way in which Terry handled that interview would have put most folks over the edge (yes, Hughie – you know, Hughie), but it was memorable to me to this day because of McAuliffe’s terrible behavior, and Hugh’s grace and tenacity. We all know who got the last laugh on that discussion. I hope Hugh enjoyed an exquisite cigar on a cruise over memories of that exchange.

So, my impression of the last part of that interview remains mixed, and a question remains in my mind when it comes to dealing with very difficult people from the far left. The Christian component says “do not respond in kind.” The human component says “give ’em both barrels and then re-load!” I have to remember to get on my knees and pray for wisdom and discernment in these exchanges, because it is easy for my human side to take the lead and fire away.

So – One thing I learned from this exchange is that in the end, even high-profile people like Hugh Hewitt are real people, and they must deal with the situation at hand as they see fit. I think the key is consistent behavior in this case. People on the front line such as Hugh Hewitt and Laura Ingraham deal daily with the Frankens, Pelosi’s and McAuliffe’s of the political realm. They do so in a consistent and persistent manner, and they manage to come away with grace and dignity. As Hugh said in his email to me:

“..if your gut is twisting, I am doing my job. MSM revels in the discomfort it visits, and flees from the spotlight.”

He’s exactly right, of course, and I think his station at the real-time microphone brings with it an environment that may require a bit more tussling and gut-wrenching than your typical garden-variety pundit. On one hand, he needs to work at the heart-strings of the GAP (Great American Public), and on the other, he must be able to “evicerate” his political opponents.

So – I’ll conclude by saying that I don’t have to be comfortable to appreciate Hugh’s work. For every one time that I am uncomfortable with his style, there will be ten times that I am encouraged and inspired. That final tally is really what will define his overall credibility, and the net effect on me, the listener.

As I mentioned to him in my email – the reason I listen to him and to other hosts such as Dennis Prager, is because I can sense immediately that they are there to cause real and positive change in lives. They stay intellectually honest with their guests and listeners, and that makes them vastly different than the Savages and Coulters of the business.


Written by selectedpete

January 22, 2006 at 3:54 pm

Posted in selectedpete

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