The Frum Exchange

Much e-mail about the exchange with David Frum running about 10 to 1 endorsing my approach to the interview which I call escalating impatience, but with some very thoughtful critics who believe I ought to have allowed David more time to dissemble. Your thoughts?


  1. Kenneth Willis says

    I loved this. David Frum richly earned the upbrading that Hugh Hewitt gave him. I used to like Frum and read his books, but he has become the sort of Republican that has pushed the Republican party into its current minority status. Worse, his blind spots prevent him from having any understanding of what he has become. The temptation of pandering to the liberal media is irresistible to some conservatives. It great to see them get their comeuppance once in a while.

  2. Steve Gigl says

    All I can think of when I hear Frum’s name is “egregious,” thanks in part to Jerry Pournelle (the other part comes from Frum’s own actions).

    I wonder what conclusion Frum thought people would draw when he used your quote? (I also wonder if it occurred to him that not finding useful quotes from one talk radio host who was both against Daggett and for Hoffman might be, I don’t know, telling?)

    The questioning might have been a bit overbearing, but maybe if this happens to him often enough he’ll reign in his impulse to be controversial just for the sake of controversy.

  3. Tom Kowaliczko says

    It sure seems like there’s an agenda to David Frum’s recent year/s work, as if he’s manufacturing an incident so that he can leave the movement because it’s “so intolerant!” – like he’s carving out a “moderate” conservative place among the punditry because he isn’t really persuading that many within the movement, like a David Brooks – how much competition is there?. I differ with Hugh in Frum’s assessment of some on the right. They are entertaining and I agree with them on the whole, but I don’t think they are persuasive to those outside the conservative camp. I find Hugh, Dennis Miller & Dennis Prager, Michael Medved much more persuasive than a Hannity or Levin or Rush (as much as I agree with them).

  4. Justin Flavin says

    I have to say Hugh – that is the BEST interview i have heard from you in all the years i’ve been listening. And yes – it goes without saying that Frum is so wrong on so many levels.

    Teachers – if you want to play an example of how to debate to your student debating society get that Frum/Hewitt interview.

    Absolutely outstanding. So good i had to listen to it FOUR times on my ipod today.

  5. Dicentra spectabilis says

    It is remarkable how thoroughly Frum misinterprets the reasons why conservatives support Hoffman but not Daggett.

    And it’s equally remarkable that Frum seems to think that all conservative radio and net pundits share the same brain: Like a stand of aspen trees, they appear to be separate beings but are actually one organism.

    Ergo, if Hugh slams Daggett on one day and Glenn supports Hoffman on another, that’s unbalanced inconsistency, a sign that Something Is Wrong in the whole movement, which was ab initio suspiciously unhinged.

    Yup, he’s determined to be The Good Conservative, and he can’t win the approbation of his beltway pals without sneering at Teh Crazies.

    • Justin Flavin says

      exactly – Frum exposed his Daily Kos tendencies.

      ALL conservatives are exactly the same.

      ALL limited government types are exactly the same

      We ALL love Alex Jones, join militias and want to carry weapons to Townhall meetings .. ERGO ,.. we are all kooks who are secret Klansmen and hate all Muslims and have a picture of Adolf Hitler in our bedrooms, while loving God and going to church at 7am each morning.

      In other words -the Frum position says a lot more about him than about us.

  6. Justin Flavin says

    sorry folks – it was THAT good , i’m going to listen to this for FIFTH time.

    Hugh – i know you said that Levin has “chops” – but by God do you have chops.

    you really need to get yourself on the BBC’s Question Time – that will really shake things up over here. big thumbs up from across the pond.

  7. Justin Flavin says

    by the way – when hugh read out Frum’s article before the interview then i knew there was going to be trouble – i simply could not believe what i was hearing.

    Hugh was bang on to be annoyed. It was a slur on his character. and by golly did he defend his character – i did like the “i dont swear” moment – but by gosh , i felt the urge to say “**** You” and swear along with you.

    ( for once – i think God would have forgiven you Hugh.. but your stance is commendable..)

    that was powerful radio. wow.

  8. Michael Holian says

    I enjoyed the interview, but I do think you have to consider your style vs. others. I think Levin gets corraled into the same category as Savage is that he uses the same “rising volume, getting madder” approach. I can’t listen to him.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Justin Flavin says

      hey – you gotta take this as gospel, and i know i cant prove it to you, but from over here in the UK the “rising volume getting madder” stuff of Levin is an utter breath of fresh air.

      if you want to see a potential future of America, go check out the British political system. You are blessed that you have talk radio.

      Opinionated national talk radio is actually banned BY LAW from Britain.

  9. Michael Hartmann says

    Hugh’s desire that Frum make some sort of coherent point and to quit flinging poo is just shows the vanity blogging imbues. It isn’t all about you Hugh.

  10. John Key says

    I don’t understand where Frum and those of his ilk are coming from, really; I had to abandon reading his blog months ago. I came of age politically in the Goldwater campaign of 1964 so maybe its not surprising that I support being “A choice, not an echo”. Maybe mine is a true believer’s strategy, but I can’t see how trying to move conservatives/republicans to the left will help win elections either. I think we have to keep our flag tied to the mast.

  11. Diane Davis says

    Sorry Hugh but this time I think you went a little overboard. I read both of the Frum articles and I honestly don’t see what you are so upset about. In the Limbaugh article he memtioned you as an example of other conservative people who agree with Rush, which I presume you do most of the time. In the other article his argument was weak but what he said about you was factual. I think you overreacted and your beligerent interview with him was not your finest hour.

    As to Mark Levin, I agree with Michael Holian in that I cannot listen to his hollering. I honestly thought he sounded like an angry old man until I looked up his bio and saw that he is only in his 50’s. Also, he has only been a talk show host for 5 years so how does he deserve his self-appointed title “the Great One?” He doesn’t sound so great to me.

    • charles dorfman says

      Mark is not for everyone, Diane. He is very emotional and very angry that our great country is being overcome by weaklings that would rather take someone elses achievements than earn their own and by the politicians that will use said weakness to steal power for themselves by expensing our liberty.

      You must have been turned off by Mr. Levin at an early point, for it is obvious you haven’t listened much or cared to find out much about him. That’s just fine, but it is your loss. He has never, ever called himself “the Great One”. That nickname was coined by either Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. He does call himself “the cleanup hitter” as his show is on at the end of the day and he usually gets a lot of news first as a result. His book, Liberty and Tyranny is a great, quick read that provides an excellent footnoted synopsis of Conservatism verses Statism. His humanism is apparent in his second book about his dog Sprite and his legal knowledge is exhibited in his first book about the Supreme Court called “Men in Black”.

      Hugh Hewiit is a great contrast to Mark Levin in talk show style. He is congenial and conversant and diverse in his interests. Levin is tutorial, as he lectures rather than shares, and rarely changes his focus from politics.

      The bottom line is all of our conservative talk show hosts are fighting the good fight every day, reminding and teaching while scolding and exposing. We need them all. David Frum, on the other hand, seems to make all of his “bones” by critcizing conservatives. He would do better if he spent his energy taking issue with Democrats (if he truly is a Republican). I find him and David Broder and David Gersten(?) pretty useless.

      • charles dorfman says

        I am sure that I got these guys’ names wrong…whatever, it’s an army of David Nobodies and Frum is fighting for his position, just like the rest, in the middle of the pack.

      • Justin Flavin says

        Levin is utterly fine by me – took me a few weeks to get used to him, but he is actually seriously FUNNY.

        takes a while to get used to his humour, but the last podcast had him talking to some Hollywood liberal who had a crush on him. and it was a male.

        levin responds with “ok liberal countdown clock GO ”

        tick tick tick
        “do you think that Michael Douglas is a Putz”?

        “err err”

        “ok is he a schmuck? 10 seconds left”

        hilarious. was trying my best not to laugh out loud whilst on a London train home this evening.

    • steve macdonald says

      I agree that Mark Levin’s showis for measured doses. When the subject is difficult however, his analysis is generally superb. His books are (my opinion) jewels of great ideas effectively communicated in an interesting way.

    • Justin Flavin says

      “I read both of the Frum articles and I honestly don’t see what you are so upset about”

      errr.. re-read what Frum said ABOUT Hugh,. it was utterly obvious what was going on.

      but oh – its just a “joke”… i’m sorry , when Hugh actually started reading out the article verbatim even my ears pricked up and i was going “what the heck?? is this for real?”

      • Cathy Clark says

        “Just as damaging as a mad man shooting a lethal weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking”‘. — Proverbs 26:18-19

        I came across this verse this morning and I was rather pleased to see it, because this is one of my pet peeves. I see libs use this line of attack so often. They say something dreadful about a conservative and then pretend it was humor when they come under fire. They get a double bang out of their original insult, because now the conservative is considered churlish and humorless for protesting. Apparently God doesn’t think it’s funny, either.

    • Justin Flavin says

      btw the way Diane – come to Europe. in about 1 month you’ll be missing the hollering of Levin.

      Levin’s hollering is actually BANNED from UK radio – we have a “fairness doctrine” implemented to the extreme.

      be grateful for what you have. cos when it’s gone , you will miss it. i guarantee that.

  12. Steve Holland says

    I listened to the Frum interview on my iPod, the only way I can hear the show and I am wondering if anyone else heard what I did.
    On hour 3 of the podcast at 22:40 Frum may well have misspoken. I have no reason to suspect him of anti-semitism. But to me he said “I do recognize your a different K***, err cut errr cut of person from a Levin.”

    Maybe I am just reading into it, but it sounded rather definitive. Live radio can be a funny thing that removes polish from one’s speech. but it seemed quite clear to me. please assist and see if I am crazy

  13. W Brian Martin says

    Hugh, I think you stuck the perfect tone. People like David say the tent is too small, then lump us all into the same perspective. Rush, Hannity, Levin and you represent a large tent. Of course some of your opinions will seem contradictory, they are coming from different people. Frum’s excuse that he was making a “joke” is almost self mocking. When will people realize that this excuse doesn’t stand? It didn’t work for John Kerry and it didn’t work for Frum.

    • Justin Flavin says

      exactly… we ARE the big tent already. i’m a libertarian atheist. i listen to hugh every day via podcast. utterly disagree on the religion stuff, but i’m with him on the limited government/freedom stuff.

      i mean – how big tent can you get?

      i am IN the tent. and there are plenty more like me. and i’m not even american. yes – its a cross atlantic tent reaching over to Britain for G**ds sake.

  14. Eric Clark says

    As I said in my e-mail to Hugh, I thought Frum was being rather peevish in being called out. What he did was no different than what other pundits have done to conservatives. Look at Noonan, Brooks (if you can call him conservative), or the likes of Frum before last year’s election. That all pulled out the long knives not for McCain, but for Palin.

    This crap has to stop. I’ve got no problem with moderates filing grievances over things they dislike. What I can’t stand, and Hugh will agree (if anyone listened to the exchange) is conservatives that literally pull a drive-by for accolades from their Beltway buddies. Frum reminds me of such a person — someone so ingrained in Beltway buddy-buddy BS that they fail to take notice that they’re attacking a fellow conservative for nothing mkore than a pat on the back for a “job well done” in attacking their own. Frum, due to his notoriety in doing so last year seems to have sold out his principles — that thing that made him a conservative pundit to be feared and revered — all for the accolades of the Beltway media.

    To take a swipe at Hufgh, or Rush or Mark Levin (especially Levin, then to poo-poo him off as nothing special) is especially irritating. Frum admitted, on the air, he’d gone through law school, but hadn’t takent he bar. So, by what right does he have to question Levin’s credentials? Mark Levin is a founding memeber of the Landmark Legal Foundation, which puts him on a plane higher than Frum, scratching out an existence as some hack columnist. (No offense to Frum seeing asd how he actually has a gig as a full-time columnist, and I have a column gig twice a month with my wife.) But the point remains that if one is going to call out his associates, he’d better have his head screwed on straight, and be prepared to be called out when he is. If not, it might be better if he’s selling shower gel at the local Bath and Body Works store.

    Frum came off as petulant; refusing to admit he’d made a mistake in calling out others with nothing to back his assertions up. If this were anyone else, with a recognizable name attached, they’d be called out. Rush was called out on a trumped-up falsehood. Hannity has had the same treatment, as has Levin. And not just by those on the Left, but by our own side.

    If those on our side are willing to do this, and then get offended when called on the carpet, then we really don’t need them. I know Newt Gingrich would say that sort of thinking is cutting off one’s nose to spite their face, in so many words, but at this point those like Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Frum are out of line.

    We’re trying to put together what has been torn asunder by the likes of those willing to compromise their beliefs and ideology for a pat ont he head for a job well done by their Beltway associates.

    That sort of behavior won’t reward us with any level of serious conservative change. It’ll make us Democrat-lite, and that’s the last thing we want to see happen. If we wanted to be Democrats, we would’ve sold our souls to the Devil for thirty pieces of silver.

    I don’t do that. Neither does my wife. Nor does Hugh, Rush, or Levin, and Frum was flat-out wrong to make such disparaging remarks/comments in his column. It’s time for David Frum to grow up and re-evaluate his ideological priorities.


  15. William Douglass says

    I am still struggling with why anyone considers Frum even remotely on the right or even moderate. He is a fraud that has been propped up by the left in a lame attempt to kneecap the growing conservative movement. Call him what he is. He is the Tokyo Rose of the conservative movement.

    • Michael McGranaghan says

      Well he is the author of several conservative books. He worked for the Bush administration, wrote for National Review, and his New Majority website is unmistakeably right-of-center.

      While I think Frum wrote a very sloppy column and Hugh is totally justified in his pique, Frum’s larger point is legit and perfectly evinced by your attitude. The conservative base is far too willing to defenestrate fellow right-of-center individuals on the grounds that they aren’t pure enough.

      Winning coalitions aren’t made by purging out all deviant thought. As Regan said, someone who agrees with you 80% of the time is your friend.

      • William Douglass says

        I don’t care where he worked or what he did. Frum’s larger point is not legit. The candidate in NY-23 was pro Cap and Trade, pro Card Check, and pro Abortion, and those are just three off the top of my head. Where is the 80% agreement here?

        Success for the Republican Party lies in liberty. Both Libertarians and Conservatives and even most Moderates, can unify under reducing the size of government.

        Any candidate that supports big government, excessive regulations, spending, high taxes, and wealth distribution has no place in this party.

        If you don’t adhere to something, you stand for nothing. That said. Why does the Frumster spend so much time attacking other voices on the right and no time at all attacking the plethora of idiots on the left? That attack on Hugh was uncalled for, and the fact that he didn’t apologize was reprehensible.

        • Michael McGranaghan says

          OK. So you don’t care where Frum has worked or what he has done, and yet you are “struggling with why anyone considers Frum even remotely on the right.” Let me help you with your struggle. People, such as myself, consider Frum to be a man of the Right because we *do* care what he has done. We look at things called “facts” and examine actual, you know, evidence.

          Some Republicans, such as Newt Gingrich, thought having an additional vote against Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House was a good enough reason to support Scozzafava. Other Republicans and conservatives disagreed. Fine. Are >80% allies like Gingrich and Frum to be written out of the movement as apostates over NY23?

          The end result of the Hoffman candidacy has been an additional vote for Pelosi. Congrats, Doug. You’ve done the cause so much good. (that was sarcasm) Instead of dividing the conservative vote, why don’t you find a New York district with a GOP primary and run within the party? Heck you don’t even have to be a resident of the district, right?

          Frum’s larger point is that the cult like drive for political purity displayed by your attitude, William, will doom the GOP to being a rump minority unless corrected.

          Wake up folks, we need moderates like Frum on our side to get to a majority.

  16. ted trepanier says

    Frum and Brooks. Two talented writers looking for an audience.

    The two also attack the right and pretend to be moderate so they get the left and the right reading their stuff.

    They both are pretty consistent.

    Just listened to the Frum interview on podcast. He made the same mistake Sullivan did. He was just joking with Hugh and Hugh never saw it as a joke. From my standpoint, it was a joke about as much as the Mao comment was meant to be a joke (one of Obama’s minions).

    Question he was asking: why is it okay to take down a 3rd party, but it is okay to takedown the R candidate in another? He failed miserably because he couldn’t tell the difference between Daggett and Hoffman races.

    Reagan always had the 11th or 12th commandment- don’t mess with the Republican.

    I see the difference in these two cases, but someone on the left (or moderate R, supposedly in Frum case) probably can’t.

  17. NeoConScum says

    Frum, like Brooks, makes me want to take a long shower after they’ve barked their beltway crap. So–full disclosure–I almost never listen to their interviews. IF Hugh b’yotch slapped Frum, I’m ALL for it.

    Where’o’where is the David Frum of “The Right Man”? Sad.

  18. steve macdonald says

    I really enjoyed the exchange. I stopped reading Frum some time ago when I developed the impression that he was running for the NYT house/pet conservative role and that his perspective was no longer valuable to me. I can not say I learned from the exchange but it was entertaining and enjoyable.

  19. Justin Flavin says

    just heard the Oct 27th Levin show on the ipod on the way home from work in London this evening – he gave a big thanks to Hugh without elaborating.

    you did your job Hugh – Levin didnt need to explain it or elaborate. What you did was enough.

    Well done.

  20. Justin Flavin says


    I hate to say this – as I love your show – but it needs to be said.

    Putting up a walled garden, paid for service, is a mistake. Prager and Medved are also guilty.

    Lets be honest here – the left and the global warmist greens have a world platform in the form of the United Nations, the BBC, MSNBC, CNN – etc etc – the list goes on and on.

    At the same time the greatest minds on the planet like Prager , yourself and Medved, put up internet walls on your content. Which gives the left a distinct advantage.

    You need to come up with a better model. It’s not just the future of America that is at stake – its the future of the entire planet.

    For if there is an America that is unfree, what hope do the rest of us have?

    I have paid for a year, and i’m ok with that – but putting up the walls is not a good idea in these present times. You need to get your message out – and via the net , by golly does it travel worldwide.

    Of course, you can disagree and you can shoot me down and that is your decision and i respect that.

    But have a word with Prager, Hannity, Limbaugh etc – why not have utterly free podcasts? Heck the left has it by the bucketload.

    Case in point – local london newspaper – “top ten uk podcasts” – not a single one was conservative. ALL of them were left-liberal.

  21. Justin Flavin says

    also – think about it from an iranian dissident standpoint. subscribing to the Hugh Hewitt show from Iran would be of great interest to the secret police.

    a podcast cannot tell the secret police who you are.

    Levin has got it utterly correct – he needs to get the message out. he doesnt have a walled garden. i really do hope the rest of you take that message onboard.

      • Cathy Clark says

        I’m really sorry to hear that, because I agree with Justin. I’m a subscriber because I value Hugh’s commentary, but I think you’re really limiting the reach of your show by making the podcasts subscription-only.

        I’ve always been mystified by the lack of conservative podcasts on iTunes. All of the talk “radio” stations on there are also liberal. Any idea why?

        • Justin Flavin says

          dead right – i cant point my friends to prager or hugh or medved because of the walled garden.

          i cant repost links to mp3s of their shows in comments or blogs.

          it dilutes the conservative revival. and we do need it right now… what with the copenhagen treaty heading our way.

          all i can say is thank god Levin is free. by golly is he getting a lot of traction amongst my uk friends. folks are listening to him over here.

        • Duane Patterson says

          not sure why. the economics of radio right now are bizarre, to say the least. monetizing the assets we’ve been giving away for a very long time seemed like the prudent business decision to do. besides that, it’s a lot more fun to put stuff in here that the dynamics of the free side would put a damper on.

      • Justin Flavin says

        no argument on that point Duane. thats your choice.

        any way you could consider a “best of” weekly podcast and send it over to Radio Free America or similar?

        Seriously – that David Frum interview got my juices going. It was astounding and i’m afraid to repost to the internet because of copyright concerns.

        • Hugh Hewitt says

          Hi Justin: Thanks for the comments on the quesyion of subscription service, but just FYI, the large decision on podcasts is in the hands of the network, though I agree with it as a matter of maintaining the health of the media property which keeps the broadcasts going which, after all, reach millions while the podcasts reach thousands. The key is to keep the shows strong and growing, and the subscription services do that.

      • Justin Flavin says

        can you explain why the hughniverse went walled garden?

        it just seems counter intuitive to hugh’s major promotion of blogs and new media. i am sure the explanation will be reasonable, but it does need to be said. right now i have no clue why the sudden change happened. i think you owe that to your loyal listeners.

        • Duane Patterson says

          as i’ve told you a few times now, it’s a monetization thing. the podcasts were an untapped source of revenue. it isn’t untapped anymore. subscirber sites also tend to be a barrier to entry for trolls from the far left fever swamp who pollute free sites to the point that comments back and forth are poisoned. most, if not all, lefty trolls will not pay for the right to snipe, then have us boot them out anyway.

          • Justin Flavin says

            fair enough. you know more about american politics than i do.

            and you have a point – a very big point about the “fever swamp” – as anyone who visits or can attest nowadays.

            i take your point onboard – and thanks for replying – and i wont raise it again.

            much obliged , and thank you for the explanation.

          • Justin Flavin says

            “as i’ve told you a few times now, it’s a monetization thing”

            i sense i need to get the peace pipe out. apologies from myself if i provoked that – it wasn’t intended.

            to make up , i can offer technical advice on Linux, MySQL and PHP as i have been a Lamp developer for the past 10 years, more recently specialising in Drupal.

            If i can help out in any small way for the conservative cause in America, i’ll be only too willing to help out. It’ll make a nice change from the usual NGO/left wing contracts that one has to do to make ends meet. (where one shuts up and just does the job.. )

    • ted trepanier says

      justin, if there were hughniverse and free podcasts, we could lose one of coutry’s great interviewers (from me and not from Hugh’s ego). Ad revenues are way down and if Hugh isn’t compensated what he thinks he deserves he can easily move on and make bigger bucks as an attorney. He is that good.

      • Justin Flavin says

        you got a good point.

        even FREE newspapers over here in London are shutting down. we’re in a tough time, and if we can keep the likes of Hugh on air, then we’ve done a good thing for future generations.

        i’ve changed my stance. and thanks for pointing this out. we are in a way different world to the boom days of the internet.

  22. Bob Clemens says

    It was the worst kind of backtracking, done badly. He knew what was going down and wouldn’t admit that he’d lumped in HH, and claimed it was a joke.

    Better to have not come on than to perform that poorly.

    I used to respect the guy. Not so much after that.

  23. Lowell Brown says

    I find Frum to be a bit of a loose cannon. Back in 2005, as Hugh noted in the interview, Frum was dynamiting the Harriet Miers nomination. Regardless of how you feel about that nomination, Frum was taking the ideological purist position and was decrying G.W. Bush’s infidelity to true conservative principles – in a big, loud way.

    Now he’s just as loud on the other side, decrying movement conservatives’ take-no-prisoners approach (as he sees it) toward a truly left-oriented Democrat movement. Which side is Frum really on? I suspect he is on David Frum’s side.

  24. says

    Riveting interview. Frum was so unintentionally funny. At the same time he was decrying name-calling Frum managed to describe Hewitt both as “thin-skinned” and as a “narcissist.” Nothing ad hominem there, folks.

  25. Sean Brearcliffe says

    Frum is a weasel, Hugh. You approached it appropriately. Either he intended people to think you were hypocrite, or he was extremely sloppy. If he was sloppy, he should have admitted it, but he just doubled-down. Your best pint was that — with all the other things we have to write and complain about with the democrats, why is Frum going after republicans — again? He is doing so because that is how he gets press, which is what he wants. Would MSNBC ever interview him on any other topic>

    • Lowell Brown says

      My favorite part was where Hugh had to ask Frum four times if Frum had any idea what Hugh’s position is on the Hoffman candidacy.

      • Nicholas Campbell says

        “You sound like a lawyer.”

        “I am a lawyer.”

        Oh wait, wrong interview. 😛

      • Duane Patterson says

        Frum’s not a dummy. He knew when Hugh pressed him he’d been caught. He just wasn’t man enough to admit it and take his lumps. Instead, he wanted to defend an indefensible drive-by smear at Hugh’s expense, and double down by saying how thin Hugh’s skin is.

        • Justin Flavin says

          you know what Frum did.. he did EXACTLY what a New Labour politician over here does when confronted with an agressive interviewer.

          swear to god – at times i thought i was listening to UK politician. Frum was EXACTLY the same.

          No wonder he didnt come back – Hugh caught him out.

  26. Michael says

    Frum has a long history as an opportunist and self-styled philosopher king who likes to predict the beckoning of new eras in American politics. His current shenanigans are staying depressingly loyal to this history. We’re not witnessing anything new here. Frum is just being Frum, only this time a little shriller, and tactically and strategically inept to a laughable degree. How he actually plans to persuade conservatives he is right by being so polemical and adversarial is a little puzzling to me.

    In 1994 his book Dead Right – a fantastic and intelligent read, by any measure – warned of the limits of Reaganism, and barked at conservatives the new route by which a new conservative ascendancy could be achieved. It was quite arrogant, to say the least, for somebody in their early thirties to tell an established political movement what it needs to do to win, but intellectual humility has never been one of Frum’s strong points.

    In the early 2000s he worked for W., and wrote a hagiographic biography of Bush’s first term in which he articulated the new Bush era, and how Bush was the ‘Right Man’ for the times. And Frum would be the man you would turn to for guidance on the times. Then Bush became unpopular, so Frum, ever hunting and pecking for areas of self promotion where he can show off his journalistic and literary talents, extended his horizons to other areas. Foreign policy.

    In 2004 he wrote the fantastically idiotic ‘book’ An End to Evil, in which he outlined the new neoconservative era in which the United States would rid the world of evil, and mould it into Frum’s image – and then the Republicans lost the 2006 mid-terms, Rumsfeld was sacked, thereby rebuking Republican foreign policy, especially in Iraq, and Frum turned his attentions to US domestic policy.

    Enter 2007, and Frum articulates the new (moderate) conservative era through his book Comeback, which is available in bargain bins in good bookstores everywhere. In Comeback Frum tells conservatives they have to start acting like Democrats to win independents and smart college grads like himself, or face a future in the electoral wilderness. And, again, Frum is the man you turn to if you want intellectual guidance on what or what not to do in this new area. And he doesn’t like being disagreed with.

    So now let me do a Frum and tell you all what’s going to happen next.Hugh: don’t worry about Frum. The Republicans will likely do well in next year’s mid-terms, conservatism and small government values will again be in the ascendancy, and bang, right on target, Frum will write another book in which he will tell the world that Goldwaterism is back, that moderate Republicanism is sooooo 2007, and that he, Frum, is the man to turn to for guidance in this new era. Get ready for it.

  27. Walter Knight says

    Justin Flavin:

    You threw in off topic request for free podcasts and I just wanted to respond – I subscribe to Hewitt and Prager and did from the minute I could because I was always a listener via the internet but circumvented the standard 20 minutes per hour of radio advertising. The fee is nominal and well worth it… if you want to listen for free just hit KLRA 870 or similar you can stream radio stations in the US timezones. That said these guys are way more entertaining whilst still offering real news that I’d have to slog through otherwise plus guests and perspectives I would never get so I’d rather pay and listen. If you are engaged in the political process there is much more to be read but there is a LOT to be said for 3+ solid hours of podcast/streaming Hewitt and Prager.

    • Justin Flavin says

      no problemo – i subscribe to hugh and will sign up to prager this week too.

      just saying that in the bigger context, the walled garden might not work – we need to get the message out. worldwide – i swear to God, i have to deal with a so called Conservative Party in England that has bought into the “global warming” agenda lock stock and barrel – and has also bought into the NHS as well. So i have a choice at election time of socialist versus socialist lite.

      To put the conservative message behind a walled garden does the world a diservice – maybe there could be a comprimise – a “best of” weekly podcast with hannity, hugh, prager, medved all thrown into the mix?

      • Walter Knight says

        I suppose I agree with your basic “get out the message” idea but for that there’s…

        I think that all those guys still put up some freebies on -> like Medved’s caller of the week to music which is always a hoot, and his suprising civilized interview of “The Worthless One”…

        And when you’re done with all those, go to the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) tab on townhall and listen to Jonah Goldberg on Liberal Fascism, and then about 200 other speeches of varying interest.

        And then you can cruise over to Intelligence Squared (IQ2) for a decent debate series which has solid conservatives debating solid liberals… even with a clearly liberal slant audience the conservative argument has won from time to time (like both the Global Warming Debates).

        I could probably listen to conservative-thought podcasts 24/7 for the better part of a year without spending a penny.

        • Justin Flavin says

          i came across a great podcast recently that gets out the message – American Conservative University.

          Has some key Prager/Medved stuff and lots more. Should be promoted a bit more as I only came across it by accident. great podcast feed.

      • Duane Patterson says

        appreciate the idea, but don’t see it happening. as for the word getting out, the transcripts of key interviews are always free, as is the show live.

        • Justin Flavin says

          the show isnt live in the UK because of time differences.

          and you aren’t carried on uk radio.

          i guess my only option is just word of mouth and encouraging folks to sign up.

    • Nicholas Campbell says

      If I were to change anything, I’d kinda like it if I could grab Prager and Hewitt together as a package deal instead of shelling out for each individually.

  28. Walter Knight says

    My other real point: I just checked out the article and read it in full to get Frum’s point: here it is:

    “A candidate like Hoffman would have been the better candidate for New York’s 23rd CD; a candidate like Daggett the better candidate for suburban New Jersey”

    But we are more practical than that – Daggett is going to be a total no show and Hoffman is a long shot win: the republican support here is practical, not idealogical – so frankly Frum’s column had no point, as Hewitt stated on the show to Frum.

    No answer to that…

  29. Emily Heyser says

    Sorry, Hugh, I’m going to sound like your mother here and remind you that you are far more effective when you’re not yelling. I think, for example, that you’re a terrific interviewer because you actually read the books you discuss with the authors, ask excellent questions and keep the discussion civil, however much you might disagree. In this case, I wished you could have found a devastating line that would have skewered Frum’s claim that he was just joking; instead, your obvious anger (especially because he himself didn’t raise his voice) fed into his and many left-liberals’ line about conservatives–that they’re illiterate hysterics.

    • James Braselton says

      Hugh’s interviews with Frum and Chris Daggett were the worst he’s done in ages.

      I read the much-criticized WSJ article the morning it was published and I interpreted it exactly as Frum tried (as best he could, between Hugh’s rants and raves) to explain. Hugh, your “interview” of Frum was pointless badgering. Why invite him on the show if you intend to do nothing but yell at him? You could do that without him on the other end of the phone.

      In some respects, the earlier interview of Daggett was even worse. After Daggett refused to apply the “corrupt” label that Hugh insisted must be attached to Corzine, the rest of the “interview” consisted of nothing more than asking Daggett to explain why he would not engage in name-calling. It was disappointing to hear you waste the opportunity to educate those of us who listen because you have established a reputation as a talk show host who can conduct an informative interview.

      • Justin Flavin says

        the frum interview was different. you need to re-read the frum article and to re listen to what Hugh was ACTUALLY saying in that interview.

        as for Daggett – he didnt say a single thing that was in any way tied to conservative principles. so he was fair game. he’s a stalking horse designed to keep the Republican from winning New Jersey.

        And i live in the UK and i can see this. from THREE THOUSAND MILES AWAY.. it so bloody obvious..


    • Justin Flavin says

      yes he is. and he is actually Hugh’s father too.

      These Dark Side Jedi’s are something else.
      Pretending to support our rebel alliance whilst ferrying information to the great Obama Healthcare Death Star.

      now where’s my X-Wing?

  30. Jody Steel says

    Mr. Flavin, very sorry to hear about “fairness doctrine” in England. I go to some English news sources for US info, you come here for unfiltered radio – something very ominous in our world.

    Your point about a walled garden is valid, but without adequate income stream, radio can’t survive. Conservatives would be in bad shape without conservative radio. It might not be overstating to say much of our morale rests on it. Imagine the conservative movement without radio and internet media.

    This interview was the angriest I ever heard Hugh, but understandable. As a mild-mannered type, it took me a while to adjust to Levin, but if somebody is telling the truth, who cares about their mannerisms? If there was ever a time for passion, it is now.

    In a time our own gov. is trying to baffle us with BS, people like Frum diluting principles with personalities is negative. “Big tent” sounds nice, but if voters aren’t attracted by conservative principles, what is it we are trying to achieve? A Band-aid on a heart wound?

    We are fighting major battles, and have sniping from the sidelines. We don’t have world enough or time to worry about tent sizes. To then call it a joke indicates Frum does not take current challenges very seriously. Most of us take them very seriously indeed.

    • Justin Flavin says

      “Mr. Flavin, very sorry to hear about “fairness doctrine” in England. I go to some English news sources for US info, you come here for unfiltered radio – something very ominous in our world.”

      i’m being honest – my podcast is loaded with hugh, levin, american conservative university, bits of prager, some of medved..

      in fact my entire conservative stuff on it is all american. and yet we’re supposed to have a “Conservative Party” over here.

      yeah – its that bad.

    • Justin Flavin says

      “This interview was the angriest I ever heard Hugh, but understandable. As a mild-mannered type, it took me a while to adjust to Levin, but if somebody is telling the truth, who cares about their mannerisms? If there was ever a time for passion, it is now.”

      exactly the same here too – that was the angriest interview i have ever heard Hugh do. that was not in his character – but he needed to do it.

      as for Levin – yeah – took me ages to get used to him, but now i’m laughing along with him – his humour is side cracking. but he does get serious too. and the message is top notch.

  31. aodhan hoffman says

    Frum wrote sloppily and in his failure to own up to that he earned his drubbing. The plain reading of the article flew in the face of his excuse. It was no humorous jibe.

    That said, he’s mostly right about Rush, Levin, and others. The radio medium, much like the internet, encourages brash behavior. I can’t listen to Levin, despite looking forward to his written contributions to NR, because he comes across over the radio as a stereotypical red-baiting bircher. Rush has a lighter tone, but his egocentrism turns me off. I usually agree with both on the topics, but they are not the kind of political pundits who will win new converts.

    That said, Frum is even less likely to get someone to vote Republican.

    • Justin Flavin says

      Levin is darn good – stick with it. the penny will drop sooner or later.

      his podcast has no adverts – so maybe you should listen to it without the interruptions. try the podcast.

      ( 3 hour radio show = 1.5 hours of levin without all the adverts..)

  32. Justin Flavin says

    duane – this monetisation malarky. is this a sign of the Obama adminstration leaning on potential benefactors? is this the way they will crush talk radio? not by law – but by “leaning”…

    if you guys are not getting VC funding , you need to start a grassroots funding effort pronto. as Levin said the other night – 40 per cent of the American public say they are “conservative”.

    thats a lot of dollars.. lets beat the Democrats at their own game. by grassroots funding.

  33. Justin Flavin says

    just listening to the Lileks interview about the “Frum incident”.

    So now CNN has appointed Frum as some sort of “conservative” representative.

    Thats as bizarre as the government shoving a 1,995 page bill through with about 1 week to view it – it would never happen…

    oh wait…

  34. Justin Flavin says

    “Much e-mail about the exchange with David Frum running about 10 to 1 endorsing my approach to the interview which I call escalating impatience, but with some very thoughtful critics who believe I ought to have allowed David more time to dissemble. Your thoughts?”

    you did well. thats all i have to say. the evidence is in the interview. i have no more to add… you did it FOR US…

  35. James Dirr says

    It is interesting that the narrow-minded conservatives, the majority of the party have to, not only tolerate, but worship the musshy moderates, but Wayne Gilchrest and Debe S, have no problem endorsing candidates in opposition of their “party.” Mark Steyn was right they are DIABLOS.

    I wonder if Mr. Frum will, taking time away from his waiting tables in Democrat salons, to condem Debe S for her apostasy – yeah right

  36. Sean Montgomery says

    Hugh, I would have lost my composure, but you maintained it and set a good example. Frum had contempt for you, was disingenuous, and unapologetic. I am certain that by now, he has had a chance to decompress with close friends who have – if they are true friends – set him right on the matter. Whether Frum has come around to see the error of his ways only time will tell.

  37. Norma Diehl says

    You were yelling. He was yelling.
    He would cut you off. You would cut him off.
    I turned your show off.