(This is getting interesting! - promoted by Jon Kantrowitz)
Last week John Rowland made a royal ass of himself after calling Governor Malloy a "pathological liar," getting thrown under the bus by his radio show co-host, and being forced to apologize (probably by his pay-masters at WTIC). Rowland's pathetic self-immolation was hardly a low point in his own career or in the annals of crass behavior by right-wing carnival barkers, but it got me thinking: who is the biggest right-wing hack in Connecticut media? For a blue state, Connecticut actually sports quite a turd-pile of right-wing media hackery, ranging from the spittle-flecked bile of Chris Powell to the horrendous predictions of Kevin Rennie (did you know Frank Borges is running for Senate?) to the "birther" cartoons published in the reliably wingnut Waterbury Republican-American. Of course just because you are right-wing and in the media doesn't make you a hack. To be a true hack you must not merely hold right-wing views but also: 1) Be allergic to nuance; 2) Deliver essentially the same hackneyed commentary over and over again with slightly altered wording; 3) Hold bizarre grudges. Here are my nominees for biggest right-wing hack in Connecticut journalism (in no particular order):
* Ray Hackett. It would be crude and impolite to say that Hackett, political columnist for the Norwich Bulletin, looks like a swamp Yankee version of the Unabomber (it would also be true). His writing is marginally less crazy than Ted Kaczynski's. Best known for his 2010 rant about then-Secretary of the State candidate Denise Merrill and a 2006 rant against liberal bloggers ("vigilantes whose strongest suit is self-indulgence"), Hackett is the kind of hack who thinks when Democratic legislators bring up voting reform it is a distraction from "real" issues facing the state, but Republicans introducing birther bills is just hunky-dory.
* Chris Powell. The managing editor of the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Powell churns out the same depressing column week after week in which he berates Democrats and calls Connecticut a failed state. He imbibes a pretty stereotypical cocktail of right-wing pet peeves and pre-occupations: public employee unions ("why must they always be treated like royalty and everyone else like peasants?" http://bit.ly/oGgcqn), poor people (who are by nature "unproductive and troublesome" (http://bit.ly/jlMkPx), and hordes of "illegals" that Democrats and ACORN are ushering to the polls to sway elections (http://bit.ly/oSCJkE). What makes him unique in the world of right-wing Connecticut media hacks is the level of sheer vitriol in his rhetoric -- which led Rick Green to refer to him as "the last angry columnist."
* D. Dowd Muska. A columnist for the Waterbury Republican-American, Muska thinks bicyclists are the greatest single threat to American democracy. Every year his "annual bicycle column" spews forth unadulterated hatred towards cyclists, a.k.a "greener-than-thou pedal pushers and Lance Armstrong wannabes." Sample quote: "There is something profoundly wrong with a nation where more adults ride bicycles than children." Or this: "cycling's cultists won't go away... there's only one thing left to do: tax them" or "cyclists aren't content to endanger your commute or Sunday drive -- no, they've become militant, obnoxious crusaders... for vacuous veloism" (http://www.dowdmuska.com/2009columns/col051409.htm). As you can see, his writing cultivates a Spiro Agnew-esque alliterative charm.
* Tom Dudchik. Owner/Editor of news aggregation site CTCapitolReport.com, Dudchik has carved a niche for himself as Connecticut's own Matt Drudge -- that is to say, he specializes in using "editorial discretion" to write completely misleading headlines. Dabbles in homophobia, inflated web traffic stats, and horrendous polling.
* John Rowland. Disgraced ex-governor and now WTIC radio host. Needs no introduction to this audience.
What do you think?