Steve Doocy, Hugh Hewitt castigate Politico, promote GOP boycott of debate co-sponsored with NBC

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Fox News Channel host Steve Doocy has had a bone to pick with Politico for some time now, suggesting that they are a left-wing blog and even swapping barbs on the air with the outlet’s Ben Smith last week.

The latest chapter in this feud came on Wednesday’s “Fox & Friends,” when Doocy had conservative talker Hugh Hewitt on his program to elaborate on a column he wrote criticizing Politico. According to Hewitt, Politico had gotten caught up in the Washington, D.C. culture and became a left-leaning outlet.

“Politico went originally for the center and great guys like Mike Allen who I’m sure you know and he’s a really wonderful political reporter but since that time, as they’ve expanded, they have lurched to the left, more to the left, more to the left with guys like Jon Allen who worked for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who is a hardcore lefty Democrat. They just loaded up on lefties and you can tell in their coverage and their headlines, and in their alliance with NBC, which is the hard left network that Politico has kind of lost its way. When I wrote that, people like Fred Barnes and you and a bunch of other my other friends back in D.C. began to say ‘That’s right. We’ve noticed the same thing.’ And it’s the beltway drift, Steve. It’s pretty hard not to go left inside of Washington, D.C. because that’s just the culture of the place. But I’m sad to see Politico go that way and they’ve to hurry back to the center or they’re going to lose that opportunity they had to really deal out good political news.”


Doocy asked if it were appropriate for Politico in partnership with NBC, the parent network of liberal MSNBC, to host a debate for Republican presidential hopefuls in May.

“[I] hope [the Reagan Library] host the first Republican debate,” Hewitt said. “I just don’t want Politico and I especially don’t want NBC to be moderating that debate and deciding what Republican candidates ought to be talking about. I’ll tell you, Steve, the thing that’s amazing. Chris Matthews nightly has his head spin around in a circle about Michele Bachmann. Michele Bachmann almost certainly will be on the stage. How in the world is NBC, I don’t care if it’s [‘Nightly News’ host Brian] Williams or Chris Matthews or if it’s Rachel Maddow – how in the world do they expect Republicans to take them seriously when they’ve become a radical network? So I think — I hope that Republicans refuse to go to this demand, this dictate came out of NBC on May 2. I hope they boycott it.”

This wouldn’t be unprecedented. In 2007, the Democrats eventually forced the cancelation of a Fox News co-sponsored debate that was scheduled to be held in Nevada in partnership with the state’s Democratic caucus. Hewitt said he had asked prospective GOP presidential candidate, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, if he thought someone else should moderate the debate.

“I asked John Thune on my radio show last week and the senator said they ought to be able to find somebody a little bit more objective to moderate a Republican debate,” Hewitt continued. “I’m hoping they do and Republicans stay away on May 2.”