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Who Is the Biggest Right-Wing Media Hack in Connecticut?

by: abg22

Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 13:25:10 PM EDT

(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?  

abg22 :: Who Is the Biggest Right-Wing Media Hack in Connecticut?
Who is the biggest right-wing hack in Connecticut journalism?
Ray Hackett
Chris Powell
D. Dowd Muska
Tom Dudchik
John Rowland
Other (Nominate your choice in the comments)


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You forgot Hearst's Ken Dixon (0.00 / 0)
He's the one who wrote in 2009, "If you like this downturn, thank a Democrat." He's also the one who described newly elected congressman Jim Himes as "a forty two year-old blank slate."  He's also the one who referred to former Senator Chris Dodd as "Doodles," which he claims is a nickname the press (Dixon himself?) gave Dodd when he was single and dating.  He's also the guy who titled a diary on his Hearst blog: "Got a Great Idea, Like Hang the Lawmakers?"  That gem came just as a right-wing nutjob was being prosecuted for urging his folks to kill judges. Dixon is also the character who said that as Dodd was announcing his retirement, he was imagining that Dodd was climbing onto an ice flow on the river and floating down to his death.  Physical death.  Read his blog.

So he certainly needs to be included in the category.

It's also interesting that three of your five nominees are regularly published by Hearst in Southwestern Connecticut.

I voted for Powell (0.00 / 0)
Simply because he seems to get far more exposure than the others.

Response from Chris Powell (3.00 / 1)
Hi, Jon:

Thanks for your vote at My Left Nutmeg today. I'm not
able to post there but I'd be grateful if you could
bring to the attention of that audience that sometimes
people see and remember only what suits their
prejudices and that, while they were cursing me out,
they may have missed this, whose every position was
drawn from my column writing of the previous few



Since he responded so courteously, I gave him the courtesy of going to the link. In the article, he lists a slew of liberal positions he apparently has. Good for him.

So it raises the question, can you be a liberal and a racist?

Chris Powell: (http://www.myleftnutmeg.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=13635)

For various reasons cities attract poor people, many of whom are unproductive and troublesome and drag down everything around them, especially schools, and the desire to get away from them and the slob culture that has taken over Connecticut's cities, with constant violence and depravity, is completely natural, especially if one has children. This desire is what long has determined residential patterns in the state and throughout the country.

The Norwalk case signifies that even an ex-convict wanted to get her son away from the sort of people who disproportionately inhabit Bridgeport -- people like herself -- and that no municipality can be indifferent to increasing the burden of poverty in its own schools.

[ Parent ]
Honorable mention (0.00 / 0)
* Jim Vicevich (WTIC)
* Brad Davis (WDRC)
* Dan Lovallo (WDRC)

Not "right-wing hack" per se, but... (0.00 / 0)
In this discussion of Connecticut journalism, WNPR needs to be mentioned.  That station's news director Jon Dankosky needs to be remembered for his way out of bounds attempts to stigmatize gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont for refusing to participate in WNPR's "debate."  Proper procedure by any number of organizations wishing to hold debates is to invite both candidates, or more if there are more, and if only one candidate responds affirmatively, the organization will cancel the debate.  But WNPR announced the debate, and then Mr. Dankosky imperiously declared that they would go ahead with a full hour's interview with Dan Malloy if Ned Lamont did not agree to participate.  That high-handedness was reinforced day after day as WNPR pounded away at Lamont for not participating, and coming off as if Lamont was avoiding debating per se, rather than the truth, which was that he simply had no desire to participate in Dankosky's debate.

The distinct lack of progressive commentators on WNPR, as well as the absence of minority commentators on that station, is disturbing.

Public broadcasting is supposed to offer an alternative to the mainstream media, to provide an outlet to voices that don't get a hearing in commercial media.  But that is not happening at WNPR.

Of course, you won't know about this comment on WNPR's "Where We Blog" online page, because they don't link to MLN.  They link to any number of other sites, but refuse to let their listeners know that the station is subject to criticism.

Give Ned Lamont some credit. (0.00 / 0)
"... coming off as if Lamont was avoiding debating per se ..."
Let's give Ned Lamont credit for the smart brain God gave him.  

Ned was ahead in the polls at the time. He knew that any debate with Malloy would help Dan gain votes.  So, of course Lamont was "avoiding" any debate. Hello!  

Ultimately, as the numbers started going up for Malloy, Lamont was smart enough to attempt the debate against the former prosecutor. Unfortunately for Ned, he could not shine while standing on camera with Malloy.

Let's remember that the little country side-shows around the state were basically local events with little exposure to a broader public. We cannot use them as an excuse for not having real debates.

Ned was wise to avoid the TV or Radio Shows.  Yet, he stayed away from them, a bit too long.  In retrospect he should have been in front of a podium microphone about a week earlier.  

Yes, Lamont would still have lost the debate; but Malloy would not have been able to clobber him as a man who would not come out and play nice with the media boys.

My point is this: (4.00 / 1)
It was wrong of Dankosky and WNPR to force Lamont or anyone to participate in their "debate," or else!  Dankosky loudly fussed that if Lamont did not attend his debate which Dankosky had unilaterally announced, he was going to go ahead and give Dan Malloy an entire hour of free air time.  That was an extremely high-handed tactic, and simply unfair.  Whatever debates or joint public appearances that either candidate participated in or didn't, it was an ugly misuse of the media to attempt to force one candidate to do anything.

And let's recall that Dankosky and WNPR did not do the same for Lamont when he was running against Lieberman.  In that race, Lieberman agreed to a single debate with Lamont, and that was it.  No outcry from WNPR about the lack of debates then.  And when Lieberman did rarely appear on WNPR, Dankosky shielded him from criticism by not permitting call-in questions.

This is a question of fairness and the use, or misuse, of public broadcasting.

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