Newsweek Reporter Fantasized About ‘Taking Out’ Rudy Giuliani

You’re not going to believe this one. Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings, while covering the presidential campaign, entertained fantasies about “taking out” Rudy Giuliani.

And now he’s talking openly about it, and about his underhanded dealings with the John McCain campaign, as he pretended to be friendly and sympathetic while looking for every negative angle possible.

He doesn’t even seem to be self-conscious about revealing what a dishonest, biased scumbag he is.

HACK: CONFESSIONS OF A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN REPORTER.

The reality is: I quickly realized Rudy was a maniac. I had a recurring fantasy in which I took him out during a press conference (it was nonlethal, just something that put him out of commission for a year or so), saving America from the horror of a President Giuliani. If that sounds like I had some trouble being “objective,” I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren’t just covering a story, they’re a part of it—influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates—and despite what they tell themselves, it’s impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively. In some cases, you genuinely like the candidate you’re covering and you root for him, because over the long haul you come to see him as a human being. For a long time, this was John McCain’s ace in the hole with the press, whom he referred to as “my base.” Reporters rode along with him, and he joked with them, and that went a long way toward shaping the tone of their coverage. (Last January a group of reporters asked McCain’s staff to make McCain campaign press T-shirts for them.) And because your success is linked to the candidate’s, you want to be with a winner, because that’s the story that makes the paper or the magazine or gets you on TV.

In my case, it was easy to despise Rudy. I’d spent two years covering the war in Iraq. I had a brother who was currently deployed there as an infantry platoon leader, and I had Iraqi friends who were now living as refugees. To listen to a man so casually invoke violence and warfare—a man who’d never set foot in Iraq or in any war zone—was troubling indeed. I wasn’t alone in the press corps. I don’t think I spoke to another journalist who ever said one good thing about the man. What did we say? We made fun of his divorces and his wives, that he’d married a second cousin, that he surrounded himself with corrupt cronies, that he had a piss-poor relationship with his children, etc. We talked about his megalomania and his cynical exploitation of September 11. 

Still, I ate meals with staffers and campaign managers. I tried to say things that would make me appear sympathetic to Rudy while not technically lying. (“Wow, he sure seems popular.” “I was in New York on 9/11, and I have to be honest with you, I was glad Rudy was in charge.”) I tried to stay out of any discussion about issues and to just repeat the mantra to myself: I am here to observe and record, observe and record.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Seth Meyers: Is Devin Nunes Investigating Trump or Working With Him?Seth takes a closer look at the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into the Trump administration's alleged ties to Russia.
teleskiguy
4 hours ago
Views: 63 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Congress Just Killed Your Internet Privacy Protections - Mar. 28, 2017 Make and assert your own privacy. It's important for us all. Oh and take names, remember who did this. The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to repeal Internet privacy protections that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission in ...
Unshaken Defiance
4 hours, 49 minutes ago
Views: 96 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
U.S. Judge Finds That Aetna Deceived the Public About Its Reasons for Quitting Obamacare Aetna executives had moved heaven and earth to conceal their decision-making process from the court, in part by discussing the matter on the phone rather than in emails, and by shielding what did get put in writing with the ...
Unshaken Defiance
8 hours, 8 minutes ago
Views: 149 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Tuffs Not Enuff PageThe tools of economics, science and law applied to well-known public policy issues. Where the Alt-Right and other interests sell doubt, we do what we can to construct sharp problem definitions and reach equally sharp conclusions. Evidence matters.
tuffsnotenuff
8 hours, 18 minutes ago
Views: 71 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
No, My Right to Abortion Did Not Cost Hillary the Election Yesterday, New York Times op-ed contributor and religious professor Thomas Groome popped up as the latest in a long line of bros getting it wrong at our newspaper of record about what cost Hillary the election. His take? Trump ...
Birth Control Works
11 hours, 46 minutes ago
Views: 140 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Fred Rogers Company Statement Regarding Federal Funding for Public Broadcasting For more than two generations of Americans, The Fred Rogers Company has partnered with CPB and PBS to share what Fred Rogers called an “expression of care” for children and families through broadcast and digital media as well as ...
Birth Control Works
12 hours, 5 minutes ago
Views: 120 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
What’s Missing in Our Coverage of South Sudan’s Civil War In South Sudan, a civil war has now entered its fourth year of tearing open ethnic divisions and displacing millions. Since its onset in 2013, the conflict has threatened to pave a path to genocide and has led to ...
Birth Control Works
13 hours, 42 minutes ago
Views: 123 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Faux-Science- -Inside the Academic Journal That Corporations Love - Pacific Standard A recent lawsuit against Monsanto offers a clear and troubling view into industry strategies that warp research for corporate gain. In a lawsuit regarding the possible carcinogenicity of the pesticide Roundup, plaintiffs’ lawyers suing Monsanto charge the company with ...
Birth Control Works
13 hours, 46 minutes ago
Views: 131 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
Cowboy Cookies Recipe - NYT Cooking Ingredients 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 1 ½ cups packed light-brown ...
The Vicious Babushka
18 hours, 6 minutes ago
Views: 127 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Foreigners Behind California Breakup Effortssalon.com Two Brexit British operators hired to promote Cali-Divorce, Russia behind efforts on both Left and Right to break apart California. This is consistent with higher ups in the Russian Government and Military publicly stating their desire to break apart ...
Rocky-in-Connecticut
18 hours, 31 minutes ago
Views: 104 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0