Hewitt speaking in January 2017
|Born||February 22, 1956|
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
|Residence||Orange, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Harvard University (BA)|
University of Michigan (JD)
|Occupation||Radio talk show host, lawyer, law professor, Television host, political commentator, author|
|Employer||Salem Radio Network, CNN, MSNBC, Chapman University School of Law|
|Home town||Warren, Ohio, U.S.|
Betsy Hewitt (m. 1982)
Hugh Hewitt (born February 22, 1956) is an American radio talk show host with the Salem Radio Network and an attorney, academic, and author. A conservative and a Catholic, he comments on society, politics, and media bias in the United States. Hewitt is also a law professor at Chapman University School of Law, and a regular political commentator on NBC News, MSNBC, and CNN.
Hewitt is the son of Marguerite (née Rohl) and William Robert Hewitt. He attended John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Warren, Ohio, and Harvard University, and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in government in 1978. After leaving Harvard, he worked as a ghostwriter for Richard Nixon in California and New York, before studying at the University of Michigan Law School, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Hewitt received his J.D. degree in 1983, then moved to Washington D.C. to clerk for Judges Roger Robb and George MacKinnon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1983-84.
Hewitt worked in many posts in the Reagan administration, including Deputy Director and General Counsel of the Office of Personnel Management, General Counsel for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Assistant White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the Attorney General.
Hewitt returned to California in 1989 to oversee construction of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum as the library's executive director from groundbreaking through dedication and opening. In 1990, Hewitt sparked controversy by proposing screening of researchers wishing to use the library resources. Hewitt suggested refusing admission to researchers deemed "unfriendly" - specifically Bob Woodward, whom he characterized as "not a responsible journalist." John Taylor, a spokesman for Nixon, overturned Hewitt's decision after two days. It became the subject of editorial rebuke in The New York Times.
Hewitt left the Nixon Library in 1990 to practice law, and began a weekend radio talk show for the Los Angeles radio station KFI, where he broadcast until 1995. In the spring of 1992, he began co-hosting L.A. PBS member station KCET's nightly news and public affairs program, Life & Times, and remained with the program until the fall of 2001, when he began broadcasting his own radio show in the afternoons. Hewitt received three Emmys for his work on Life & Times on KCET, and also conceived and hosted the 1996 PBS series Searching for God in America.
He used to be a weekly columnist for the Daily Standard (the online edition of The Weekly Standard) and World. He also occasionally appears as a political/social commentator on programs such as The Dennis Miller Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Larry King Live, The O'Reilly Factor and The Today Show. On April 24, 2006, Hewitt appeared as a guest on The Colbert Report.
Hewitt has been criticized by Andrew Sullivan, who calls him a "Christianist." When Sullivan appeared on Hewitt's radio show to promote his book The Conservative Soul, a lively exchange ensued and Hewitt criticized Sullivan's book as intellectually messy.
Hewitt also became a Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law during that time. He currently teaches constitutional law. In addition to his contributions as a professor, Hewitt founded and continues to guide the legal scholarship of the Nexus Journal of Law and Policy.
Hewitt's nationally syndicated radio show, The Hugh Hewitt Show, is broadcast from California from 6 to 9 am ET on weekdays. The show appears on more than 75 stations and is syndicated by the Salem Radio Network. Beginning April 4, 2016, the show moved to a morning drive time slot. Although Hewitt's background is in law, government, and politics, he also covers American cultural trends and the entertainment industry. He frequently critiques the mainstream media on air, often inviting journalists to defend their work on the show. His regular contributors include law professors John C. Eastman, former Dean of Chapman University School of Law, and Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Irvine Law School (whom Hewitt calls "The Smart Guys"), James Lileks, Mark Steyn, United States Naval Academy English professor David Allen White (who does a monthly Shakespeare showcase),[needs update] and Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), as well as frequent callers from around the country. He used to spend the 15th hour of the week discussing movies with "Emmett of the Unblinking Eye".
|Genre||Political news/opinion program|
|Presented by||Hugh Hewitt|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||June 24, 2017 -|
June 30, 2018
On June 24, 2017, Hugh Hewitt debuted, a half-hour television show which ran on MSNBC in the Saturdays 8 a.m. EST timeslot. On the show, he conducted interviews and provided commentary on current events. On Saturday, June 30, 2018, Hewitt announced that the show had been cancelled, but that he would continue his commentary on the NBC family of networks.
Hewitt participated in several of the 2016 Republican primary debates, where he clashed with Donald Trump. Hewitt said that Trump did not possess "the temperament to be president". In February 2016, Hewitt wrote that, despite being repeatedly publicly insulted by Trump, he would support him should he become the Republican nominee for President. In June 2016, after Trump's controversial remarks concerning Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Hewitt publicly called on the RNC to disendorse Trump as nominee. A week later, Hewitt reversed his position in a Washington Post op-ed. Internal emails showed that a Salem Media executive pressured Hewitt to support Trump, and that the Salem Media executive attributed Hewitt's support for Trump in the aforementioned Washington Post op-ed shortly after to the pressure. Hewitt denied being pressured to change his position on Trump.
On August 3, he publicly floated the idea of replacing Donald with Ivanka Trump on the ticket. On October 8, he called on Trump to drop out of the race because of a controversial recording of Trump that was published the previous day. Hewitt has said he ultimately voted for Trump.
Hewitt supported Trump's decision to re-shuffle his foreign policy staff in March-April 2018, and place John Bolton and Mike Pompeo in key national security positions. He described John Bolton, a nationalist hawk, as "peace-through-strength, 600-[Navy] ship, Reagan conservative". According to Politico, Hewitt emerged "perhaps the most public advocate for Trump's hawkish new national security team at a time when others, even inside his own party, have voiced increasing fears that Trump is surrounding himself with war-minded hawks who may play to the president's worst instincts."
In a June 2018 interview with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Hewitt repeatedly pressed Sessions about the morality of the Trump administration's decision to separate undocumented immigrant children from their parents. Hewitt said, "I don't think children should be separated from biological parents at any age, but especially if they're infants and toddlers. I think it's traumatic and terribly difficult on the child."
A recurring theme on Hewitt's show is accusing the mainstream media of liberal bias and lack of transparency.
In April 2018, Hewitt defended EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt amid controversy over his expenditures as Administrator and a conflict of interest over renting a condo at discounted prices from a lobbyist representing clients regulated by the EPA.Politico described Hewitt as "one of Pruitt's staunchest defenders". Hewitt described the numerous ethics scandals facing Pruitt as "nonsense scandals" and argued that Pruitt's critics were "just trying to stop the deregulation effort". Hewitt argued that the top EPA ethics official had approved Pruitt's rental arrangement and that it therefore did not constitute a gift. Richard Painter, ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, argued against Hewitt, saying it was a "violation of the gift rules, and no ethics lawyer could cover that up".
Hewitt has argued that media coverage of Pruitt has been "hyperpartisan". In an interview with Pruitt, Hewitt said "I know you are not a climate denier"; Pruitt rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. After Pruitt resigned amid a dozen separate ethics investigations, Hewitt defended Pruitt, saying he "is a good friend and a very good man, caricatured by left and MSM. I hope he sets to work on a memoir ASAP and deals out a tenth of what he took."
Hugh Hewitt's son, James, is a political appointee working under Pruitt. In May 2018, it was reported that Pruitt had personally prioritized a polluted Orange County site for immediate and intense clean-up via long-term federal clean-up funding after Hewitt had brokered a December 2017 meeting between Pruitt and a legal firm representing the polluted district. The EPA did not disclose the meeting; it was revealed after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Hewitt lived in Orange County for over two decades before relocating to Virginia in 2015; he is employed by the law firm. After the meeting, Hewitt would frequently defend Pruitt amid a number of ethics scandals.Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor at the Washington Post, where Hewitt is a contributing columnist, said that he was "disturbed" by the reports of Hewitt's undisclosed ties, and that Hewitt would not write on issues related to the EPA again. MSNBC gave Hewitt a verbal warning after he failed to disclose the EPA meeting to viewers of his MSNBC show.