Hugh Hewitt’s Ascendency on the Right

Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt is set to be a moderator later this year in a GOP presidential primary debate. He was recently featured in the National Journal called him the “Republican establishment’s go-to pundit.”

This is decidedly not standard conservative radio fare; but Hewitt, a professor of constitutional law who often sounds the part, isn’t a conventional right-wing talk-radio host (and he prefers the term “center-right” anyway). His program, which he has long called “National Public Radio for conservatives,” is the brainier cousin of the shout-fests that blast out of many AM stations.

On this particular afternoon, Hewitt was feeling playful; two llamas were running loose in Arizona, so the versions of the questions I got—”Have you read The Looming Llama?” and “Was Alger Hiss a Soviet llama?”—were variations on his typical theme. (My answers: “I think that was streaming over the Internet live this afternoon” and “I think he was convicted of perjury; I’m not sure about his llama status.”) But, normally, Hewitt takes these two questions quite seriously. “It’s a great reveal to me. It tells me everything I need to know,” he says later, explaining why he asks the Alger Hiss question. “I find out if somebody is knowledgeable and honest. And if someone says I know who Hiss is and I don’t know whether or not he was a spy, they are either very lazy or they’re not telling me the truth. And the reason they don’t want to tell me the truth is the Left hasn’t let go. They can’t let go of that.”

To learn more about Hugh Hewitt and his prominent role in the talk radio industry, read The Right Frequency.

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