Who the hell at the Washington Post fell for this clown show? I guess it sounded good on paper: the overly ambitious treason twerp Sen. Josh Hawley has a new book, "The Tyranny of Big Tech." They figured they'd get tech reporter Cat Zakrzewski to interview him, and since it's no secret he wants to run for president, they'd get some brownie points.
Except they really didn't count on the utter pointlessness of trying to get a Republican diva to answer a straight question. Not only that, he's a shameless manipulator.
"Don't try to censor, cancel, and silence me here," he ordered Zakrzewski.
A stunned-looking Zakrzewski responded, "Senator, we're hosting you here." Which, of course, is the very opposite of censoring, canceling, or silencing him. But right there, he put the reporter on the defensive. He reminded her who's in charge.
Press critic and journalism professor Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) was watching, and he did the play by play on Twitter. He said Zakrzewski did challenge him on his part in the insurrection and did follow up. But!
Rosen compared it to the Sunday shows, and the use of fog to obfuscate his answers. "This is what Hawley did with 'election integrity,'" Rosen said.
" 'Election integrity' — and the debate he says we needed about it — was Hawley's blanket defense for his actions on January 6. He knew the questions were coming, he knew his fog machine could handle them. He said he had no regrets. He was asked but took no responsibility," he said.
"He was asked about the raised fist: no regrets. His other tactics were standard, like equating Capitol rioters to BLM protestors in US cities, then condemning violence on all sides. He said he would not let the Capitol mob disrupt his plan: to debate 'election integrity.'"
He summed it up thusly: "Predictable event. Post reporter tried within the limits of the form to 'hold him accountable.' But the form says one or two follow-ups at most. You can't blow up the interview. You try. You move on. Given that, I don't think the results justified the gift of platform.
Rosen said, "I don't subscribe to the view that any uproar benefits the media property that created it because clicks. The Post showed it has no ideas about how to hold an insurrectionist accountable. A list of tough questions is not a strategy."
Rosen is right. It's long past time media institutions (hello, Sunday shows?) weighed the value of these puppet shows against service to the general public -- and more importantly, our democracy. We came far too close to losing it on Jan. 6th, and news organizations need to treat that like it mattered.
No more time in the spotlight for insurrectionists like Hawley. Don't help him sell his books, don't let him pretend he's a serious contender. He turned against the election results. There should be consequences.