December 23, 2016

If you have an intact long-term memory you might remember that back in August of 2016, Hugh Hewitt suddenly emerged as the world's leading lay interpreter of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:

He would spend days in riding up and down the elevators of New York's finest skyscrapers telling strangers exactly which section and subsection would be used to finally bring the monstrous Clinton "charity" to heel:

..and advising his candidate to keep whamming away at this stuff:

The estimable Digby wrote about it:

I'm talking about Hugh Hewitt, of course, who is now an unreconstructed Trump supporter and yet is still treated as if he's some sort of sane moderate Republican. Here he is on MSNBC this morning talking about the bombshell Trump Foundation story that shows he spent a quarter of a million dollars of the charity's money for his own personal legal expenses:

There might be someone out there on the margin who moves now on a foundation story. If so there are just as many who will move because of Gilbert Chagoury and the Clinton Foundation and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Foreign Agents Registration act. I'm not sure the Clintons want to be stressing foundation stories.

This is yet another case of the Trump people turning the story back on Clinton so that whenever he takes a hit, she gets hit too. And the media has well prepared the ground for this by pounding on emails, foundation and Benghazi until people just assume there must be something nefarious and criminal even though there isn't. ("Lock her up!!!")

If you haven't heard about the Chagoury story, if you google you will find page after page of febrile wingnuttery before you get to one where you find out that he is a foundation donor who asked to be put in touch with someone in the State department and they didn't do it. The press has been eagerly publishing whatever juicy "smell test" tidbits Judicial Watch spoon feeds them and this is one of the stories that's "out there." It's nonsense...

Hell, even your own humble scrivener wrote about it:

...key to this strategy is to make sure at least one seat on "Meet the Press" (and usually more) is held open for flat-out, bold-face wingnut talking point dispensing machines like Hugh Hewitt. And because, like most conservative pundits, Hugh Hewitt does not feel normal, human emotions like shame or guilt, he is quite capable of pivoting directly from a question about Trump and immigration, to a soliloquy on how Bill and Hillary Clinton are both criminals whose arrest and trial are just around the corner:

CHUCK TODD: Has he done damage on immigration or not, Hugh?

HUGH HEWITT: No, I think he's helped himself a lot by appearing to bring more humanity to his position, especially with regards to families. It was a terrible two weeks. I think what we will hear, eight letters, F-A-R-A-F-C-P-A. Foreign Agent Registration Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Clinton Foundation is in trouble, Doug Bannon. Even the former President is in trouble on these two very complex, very applicable laws.


Of course, since the mission this week was to get the Both Sides gravy train back on track, Chuck Todd quickly scuttled away from talk of Donald the Bigot to balance out the Beltway scales with Fake Clinton Foundation Scandal:

ANDREA MITCHELL: So it is going to be a slow wind down, it's not going to be wound down, by the time if she's elected and takes over.

HUGH HEWITT: But that's not an excuse for breaking the law.

ANDREA MITCHELL: I'm not saying that's an excuse.

JOY-ANN REID:What law was broken?

ANDREA MITCHELL:There is no law.

HUGH HEWITT: The quo and quid pro quo is the meeting and you cannot set up meetings on behalf of--

Of course if you care even a little bit about this future of this country, watching this freak show can be 57 different kinds of maddening, especially if you supplement Hugh Hewitt's abbreviated lies on "Meet the Press" with a longer, unabridged version of those same lies on "AM Joy" that same day.

But now that Hillary Clinton has lost and Mr. Hewitt's candidate -- the Corrupt-Foreign-Practices-That-Walks-Like-A-Man -- has been elected, what does Mr. Hewitt think of the idea that a hostile foreign power literally corrupted our most sacred democratic institution in order to tip the election to the Corrupt-Foreign-Practices-That-Walks-Like-A-Man?

Well he thinks it's just plain silly.

From Real Clear Politics:

Hugh Hewitt vs. Joan Walsh: You're Trying To Delegitimize Trump Presidency, Not His Fault Clinton Had Server

"I want to take issue with something that Hugh said earlier," Walsh said. "Donald Trump did not merely said I don't believe that the Russians intervened on my side. He said he doesn't believe it plain and simple. It could be Russia, Hugh, it could be China, it could be somebody in their bed. I don't know where he gets these images from they're kind of creepy. But he absolutely denied what his friends in the Republican party and what you yourself, Hugh, have been saying. He refuses to accept the reality that this is the consensus of the intelligence agencies."

"Have you noticed in the way that Donald Trump is reacting to these revelations, to the news of at least what the CIA is claiming right now here? Does he seem too defensive? Does he seem too hostile to the apparent conclusions of the intelligence community?" MSNBC's Steve Kornacki asked Hugh Hewitt.

"No, I think he seems abrupt because it's silly," Hewitt responded. "I think the whole thing is silly.

"It's silly?" an incredulous Walsh reacted.

"What we face here, Steve, and Joan knows this too, is an attempt to delegitimize a Trump election by saying it's [FBI] Director Comey's fault," Hewitt said to a visually stunned Joan Walsh. "Secretary Clinton came out and said 'fake news' last week. This week their blaming the Russians when we all should be recognizing, and not being an election-denier, it sounds like Joan is going in the election-denier camp...

Lotta water under the bridge
Lotta other stuff too
Don't get up gentlemen,
I'm only passing through...

(Crossposted at driftglass)

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