Tuesday, April 28, 2015

John Hinderaker: The Dan Rather of the Right

     It's no secret that I think John Hinderaker is, at best, a fool.  While I've focused exclusively on his remarkable record of economic ineptitude (Powerline has been 100% wrong in their economic analysis for an entire year), his abject tonal deafness on other matters is remarkably striking.  We writes from the perspective of pure WASPness; he has had no problems or issues in his life, therefore others should just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and achieve the same success he has.  His lack of empathy is stunning. 

     For those of you who weren't around on the internet 10+ years ago, the Powerline Blog was a primary participant in the Dan Rather 2004 document scandal.  If I recall correctly, Rather ran with a story a few weeks before the election about then candidate Bush's National Guard service.  Rather stated he had documents that showed there was an issue with Bush's attendance.  Several conservative blogs deconstructed the document and proved it was a fake, eventually leading to Rather's resignation.  Powerline was a primary mover in this story, eventually being named Blog of the Year by Time magazine.  This was a remarkable story, as it marked the ascendency of blogs to the national debate.   It also helped to further the still ever-present "liberal media" meme that remains a staple of the right wing's victimization mentality.

     My how the tables have turned.  Just like Rather, Hinderaker has been desperate to malign Harry Reid in any manner possible.  To further that end, he ran a story on April 3 in which he recanted the tale of an anonymous source who stated he had seen Harry Reid's brother at an AA meeting after the altercation that led to Reid's recent injuries.  According to Hinderaker, this story was proof positive that Harry Reid was lying about the source of his injuries.  While Hinderaker did add a disclaimer, he only did so after telling the entire tale, essentially relegating it to a mere afterthought. 

      Well, it turns out the story was deliberately fabricated to see how far the right wing noise machine would go to spread a meme.  Here is a link to the story that explains the who, what, where, when and why.  Were this a "liberal" media figure at the heart of the scandal, Hinderaker and his ilk would be demanding his resignation.  Thankfully for Hinderaker's blogging career, he has no such standards for himself.  He'll continue typing away, making shit up as he goes along.  And he'll probably continue to receive guest hosting spots because he's been a good solider.   But, outside of conservative circles, he now has zero credibility.  All others listening to him will know that Hinderaker is not only a pathetically bad reporter and analyst, but he obviously has no standards nor shame.  The fall from prominence and respectability is complete.