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
Trump-Free Sunday Mornings-Daily Beast We think it’s time to go on a more balanced Donald Diet—call it a Sabbath for sanity. And that’s why we’re going to embark on a new experiment: Trump-free Sunday mornings. Barring major breaking news, for a few hours ...
Unshaken Defiance
7 hours, 49 minutes ago
Views: 123 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
John Muir - The Last Oasis John Muir - The Last Oasis is a short film directed by Michael Coleman a Martinez, California native inspired by the writings of naturalist, author and early advocate of wilderness preservation John Muir. Many of the locations featured in ...
teleskiguy
18 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 268 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
The Woman Who Saved Lower Manhattan From Becoming a Highway What makes a city? It's not the buildings (skyscrapers) or the streets (traffic), or the banks and government offices and shopping districts sandwiched between them. It's the people. This is obvious nearly to the point of tautology, yet in ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 244 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Domestic Violence Shelters Make Plea for State Budget Resolution A group of domestic violence shelter representatives and other human services advocates gathered at Mutual Ground's headquarters in Aurora Wednesday morning to again make a plea for a resolution on the state's budget crisis and to call attention to ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 5 hours ago
Views: 161 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
This Wasn’t the First Act of ‘River Piracy’ to Affect the Yukon’s Biggest Lake Image: Kluane11.jpg Author: Dermot Cole, Alaska Dispatch News Canadian geologist John Clague, whose research on Kluane Lake began in 1980, has long believed that the biggest river flowing into the largest lake in the Yukon Territory could be switched ...
Cheechako
1 day, 21 hours ago
Views: 197 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
BBC Radio 4 - Seriously… - Seriously… - 10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi 10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi As the Radio 4 documentary Herland examines how science fiction tackles ideas of gender in future worlds, we present a selection of great female authors who have radically altered the genre... Mary Shelley Credited ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 22 hours ago
Views: 284 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Housing Vouchers Would Change the Face of Poverty - Vice VICE: What should every renter understand about their rights?Matthew Desmond: Rights vary from city to city, so getting to know your rights is a matter of knowing where you live, as they can actually be very fair. For example, ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 22 hours ago
Views: 241 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Craig Finn - ‘Be Honest’ (Live at WFUV)wfuv.org • Follow @wfuv: ow.ly Craig Finn performs "Be Honest" live in Studio A. Recorded 2.21.17. Host: Eric HollandAudio: Jim O'HaraCameras: Sabrina Sitton, Michael Sperling, Kevin O'Malley & Alexandra ReillyEditor: Kevin O'Malley & Sarah Burns
Tarkloon
1 day, 22 hours ago
Views: 161 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger - Official Trailer Get your first look at the upcoming Freeform TV series about the two young Marvel heroes, starring Olivia Holt as Dagger and Aubrey Joseph as Cloak. Watch more trailers here! Check out the latest and greatest from IGN here! ...
Tarkloon
1 day, 23 hours ago
Views: 181 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Twenty One Pilots: Heavydirtysoul [OFFICIAL VIDEO] twenty one pilots' music video for 'Heavydirtysoul' from the album, Blurryface - available now on Fueled By Ramen. Get it on… iTunes: smarturl.itGoogle Play: smarturl.itAmazon: smarturl.itSpotify: smarturl.itWebstore: bit.ly find twenty one pilots on… Site: twentyonepilots.comFacebook: facebook.comInstagram: instagr.amTwitter: @twentyonepilotsYouTube: youtube.comTumblr: ...
Tarkloon
1 day, 23 hours ago
Views: 149 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0