Of all the Republican hacks on right wing talk radio, I would say I would like Hugh Hewitt to the die the most painfully. Sure, Hannity, Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham are almost Platonic forms, eternal Ignorance and Evil made flesh (fleshier in Limbaugh's case), but they can easily be ignored for the poverty of their thinking. Like Ann Coulter, they are sideshow acts.
Medved and Prager, however, attempt to be a little less sleazy, a little more mature and "intellectual" in their writing and radio careers. Again, both horribly fail, but I give them a pass because they are Jews, and I love Jews. Hugh Hewitt, however, is a pure hack who masquerades as an intellectual. A quisling, if you will. In a recent maddening "discussion" with ABC's Jake Tapper he makes this all too clear. Tapper gets another pass, because he is a Jew; but unlike Medved and Prager, I would be willing to share my prayer shawl with him. And, yet, Tapper still has the nerve to call him a "public intellectual". Remember when public intellectuals included Bertrand Russell, Aldous Huxley, Kenneth Clark, Edward Said? I mostly don't. I was born in 1985, and my mind only came of age in the era of the recently hackish Hitchens, the irritating and hacky and recently dead Susan Sontag, and the hacky but hot Arundhati Roy. Hugh Hewitt a public intellectual? He shouldn't even be allowed to be mentioned in the same hemisphere as a Roy, or even a conservative intellectual like George Will. Bear in mind I despise most anything George Will stands for (including his love of baseball), but at least he will sometimes take a break from rhetorically lap dancing for George W. Bush.
But anyway, lets get away from politics and into something I understand to a degree. A few months ago, Hewitt had two idiot professors on his radio show, one from some idiot Christian college in California, and an idiot from the Navy. They were brought on to discuss great literature, specficially 10 Canonical works to be read over all others.
It gets off to a rocky start. I am taking it from the transcript. Keep in DAW is the Christian idiot and JMR is the Military idiot. HH is Hugh Hewitt, the blazingly honest and critically thinking intellectual.
DAW: ...You’re going to a desert island, you can only take two books. You’ve got to take The Bible, and you’ve got to take Shakespeare. What more can you say?
HH: All right, one and two. Of course, it’s going to be tough to get those done in a week.
Shakespeare, is the usual answer, but the Bible? I know they are two Christian hacks, but isn't this about literature? Of course, the Bible should be read as literature, but even then, much of it breaks down even with all the great stuff in it. Shakespeare, to his credit, almost never sucks in his great plays. Hamlet does not contain dozens of pages of iron age laws regarding menstruation and animal husbandry. Really, much of the Bible is badly written. Hopefully, the other guy will disagree? Oh, shit. It's the dude from the shitty Christian 9th tier University:
HH: Now let me interrupt you, Professor White, because I want to see if John Mark Reynolds of Biola’s Torrey program will agree with the two givens, The Bible and Shakespeare?
JMR: Well, I would agree with the two givens. So if I were put on a desert island, I would take The Bible and Plato’s Republic with me. But that might be a little eccentric. Shakespeare’s certainly a great pick, and I totally agree that we don’t have time to read, but I think that’s a problem that has to be solved. People who don’t have time to read are going to be ineffectual, rotten at what they do, and are not going to be the leaders that we need, particularly in the conservative movement today.Plato's Republic?! Have you ever read that thing? It's fucking crazy. I love Plato's dialogues, but I would immediately drown myself if I found myself on an island with only the Bible and the Republic. Oh, but see the last paragraph of the above statement. It turns out I've been tricked. These guys don't care about art. They are ideologues who only see art as a tool to achieving their wicked ends! Now, I get it!
Later, the Christian moron surprisingly recommends reading Darwin, Nietzsche, Marx and Freud. Obviously, it's only an exercise in having said you've read those and understood them and much prefer the book with the arbitrary menstruation and cattle husbandry laws from 3000 years ago. Hewitt also recommends reading Darwin (as if that makes you able to understand modern biology, or Evolutionary theory following the synthesis with genetics). Read the talk of the men who thirst for knowledge:
HH: Now I’ve got to ask David Allen White, before I go to your list to respond, that’s a lot of wasted time, in my view. I view Freud as a waste of time, I view Marx as a good joke on everyone who fell for it, and so I’m just not sure I would invest any time in Marx and…not Darwin, Darwin you’ve got to read, but Marx and Freud. What do you think?
DAW: I wouldn’t read Darwin, either.
Yeah, it's totally best to not read all those colossally important books for Western culture and by far the most important thinkers (for better or worse) of the last 120 years. It's best to just read the Bible, maybe lil' James Patterson before hittin' the hay. Immediately following that, the Christian idiot gives us more evidence of things not seen:
And the curious thing, Hugh, is, and you’ll notice there’s some big names that are not on my list. In fact, nowhere on my list are you going to find the name James Joyce, who I consider one of the big frauds of the 20th Century.
Wow! Where did that come from? I like how this pathetic English teacher from some pathetic Christian college, most likely made up of maladjusted, sociopath virgins who were educated by their mothers in the storm shelter, can just throw Joyce, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche and Darwin to the dogs with a slight twist of his wrist. Surely, the Navy guy, will find the bashing of the greatest writer in English since Shakespeare ridiculous?:
JMR: Oh, we’re in total agreement there.
Ahhh! It's too much. Read on:
DAW: Most people call Ulysses the greatest novel of the 20th Century. The irony, of course, is that nobody’s ever read it, or could read it. It’s a complete and total bore. The man, as with Darwin and Freud and Marx, was possessed of enormous talent, and a fine mind, the uses to which all that was put, I view as a complete waste of the gifts that they were given, and I wouldn’t waste my time going through them. Most of those writers, I think, you can get a sense of secondhand, and I wouldn’t take the time to read them myself, even though Heaven knows, I was forced through a lot of them.
Now, see, he is not only exhibiting his abhorrent taste, but also his ignorance. He couldn't understand Ulysses, and therefore, no one did. I read it when I was in High School and loved it with no pretense. This is ridiculous.
So I need not show how these guys are idiots. Most of the time, Hewitt steps back and lets them have their inane party. It's like watching two retarded children compare helmets. But I am being too cruel to the Mentally Handicapped. Hewitt, however, doesn't waste a chance in showing his complete an utter ignorance of the same culture he mourns lost through "liberal relativism". A telling exchange:
JMR: If you’re at war, you ought to be reading Boethius, the Consolation of Philosophy.
HH: Wait. What? That is alien to me. I have no idea what you just said.
DAW: Oh, it’s a great work, Hugh.
JMR: Yeah, it’s the work that deals with fate and God’s relationship to fate. The world’s a tough place to live in, and how should we handle the tough things that happen to us?
HH: Go back over the title and the author again slowly.
JMR: It’s Boethius, the Consolation of Philosophy. And for about five hundred or six hundred years, it was the most widely read book in the Western world.
Wow, indeed. Hugh Hewitt, Public Intellectual, has never heard of one of the famous books of classic literature/philosophy ever written. He claims to be a great admirer of Montaigne. Montaigne would scoff at such a worthless ideologue and quisling. Hewitt would ask him for an autograph, and perhaps give him a copy of "Painting the Map Red: Why Republicans Must Take Over Once More to Assure the Flowing of Pestilent Blood Through the Streets". Montaigne would smile weakly, sigh inwardly and go back to planting his cabbage.But these are the people we must deal with now.