Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hugh Hewitt is wrong about Joel Achenbach

The popular Washington Post blogger Joel Achennach wrote this on Thursday morning after the news of Zarqawi's death.

Hugh Hewitt blogged a critique of the column here. Then he talked about it on his radio show. He asserted that Mr. Achennach tried to draw a moral equivalence between Zarqawi and the American Pilot who dropped the bombs. Hugh read the post several times. He had several guests (Christopher Hitchens, Mark Steyn, Victor Davis Hanson) on the show who responded negatively, and James Lileks who defended the post.

Being at work, I was not able to read the full post for myself, I could only rely on the radio show for my judgment, and I tended to agree with Hugh's assessment. When I got home I read the entire Achennach post, all of Hugh's posts, and read Radioblogger's transcripts of the day. I still agreed with the assessment.

Then yesterday, Hugh had Joel Achennach an the air for an interview. I've got to say, when I heard the author read the paragraph in question, I had a different take on the meaning. Throughout the interview, Mr. Auchenbach was defensive, and apprehensive, and Hugh took advantage of it.

ScratchingPost has a great blog on the interview.

My take is this: Mr. Auchenbach meant nothing negative about our soldiers and was not trying to draw a moral equivalence between terrorists and our pilots. He does however lean a tad left, but most of his audience leans even harder left and saying what Hugh wanted to say would cause a fire storm of criticism. Also, I think that being a thoughtful lefty, and a patriotic American, Mr. Auchenbach would have a hard time making the simplistic broad statements that Hugh wanted him to make without a lot of necessary explanation and qualifications.

I think Hugh could have found a better example of bias to pick on.

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