Wednesday, January 11, 2012

HWX, with Stephen Hunter

The latest Hinderaker Ward Experience podcast is now up on Ricochet and ready for your listening pleasure.

We taped it last night, in what we thought would be the heat of the New Hampshire primary election coverage. I had visions of being a podcast version of Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, or Cenk Uygar, the trusted voice of reason, dispassionately calling all the returns as they came in. (Yes, nobody could have listened to it for hours yet, but you take what you can get on the Internet.) Alas, the drama didn't endure very long and by the time we started talking just after 7pm, the race was already called for Mitt Romney.

We then discussed the nature of this GOP primary season, which I characterize as the most dispiriting in memory. The level of vitriol shown by conservatives toward whichever other conservative happened to be leading in the national polls has been unprecedented. As a supporter of Newt, particularly eye-opening has been the emotion based attacks and distortion of his record, from people I respect. John Hinderaker's veering into this very territory was the cause of rather heated debate (at least by the standard of two guys who pretty much agree on everything). Getting put in the position of rebutting the preposterous claim that Newt is "attacking capitalism" by identifying potentially questionable episodes in Romney's record with Bain Capital led to the first Main Street vs. Wall Street debate I've been in where I was ardently siding with the former. Rest assured, I won't be occupying Mahtomedi any time soon, but I must say I like breathing the populist air on occasion. It was a fun conversation and ended well with everyone coming together for some gratuitous shots at Democrats.

Afterwards we were joined by the great Stephen Hunter, author of the new thriller, Soft Target. You may remember him as the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic for the Washington Post, also author of the Bob Lee Swagger series and non-fiction books such as American Gunfight. His new novel is about a terrorist attack, set at the Mall of America. He's always fun to talk to and in addition to discussing his books, we get to hear plenty about his other passions, including his love of guns.

Later, we wrap up with a holiday themed Loon of the Week and a highly controversial This Week in Gatekeeping (the full extent of which I'm still not sure passed the Ricochet family values censor).

Many ways to hear the podcast, including over on the mothership at Ricochet. You can be sure to never miss an episode, by subscribing via iTunes or Feedburner. Or just use the player embedded below or in the upper right hand corner of this web site. If all of these fail, send me an email and I'll come to your house and read from the written transcript.