Right-wing talkers go down in defeat in NY congressional race

››› ››› ADAM SHAH

Right-wing media figures enthusiastically endorsed and boosted the failed Conservative Party candidacy of Doug Hoffman in the race to fill a vacant seat in New York's 23rd Congressional District, with several of them hosting Hoffman on their radio or television shows. Media figures who boosted Hoffman include Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Huckabee, Michelle Malkin, and Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com.

Right-wing hosts endorsed, boosted Hoffman

Hannity to Hoffman: "I hope I'm on the air this time tomorrow night and I'll be able to declare you the winner." On November 2, Hannity hosted Hoffman, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Jeri Thompson, who said, "[W]e haven't won yet. So everybody's got to get out to the polls. We've got to vote tomorrow, vote, vote, vote, vote. Vote in Virginia, vote in New Jersey, and vote in New York-23." Moments later, Hannity said to Hoffman: "I think this is a referendum on a lot of what's been going on in the country, which is moving radically to the left. And I think this election is going to be watched. I hope I'm on the air this time tomorrow night and I'll be able to declare you the winner." [Fox News' Hannity, 11/2/09]

Beck to Hoffman: "You seem like the kind of person that we need in Washington." Hosting Hoffman on the radio on November 2, Beck said: "I like you. You seem like a normal guy. You seem like a nice guy. You seem like the kind of person that we need in Washington, which is just a regular person." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 11/2/09]

"Mr. Independent" Dobbs declared NY-23's Hoffman "change I can believe in." On November 2, Dobbs said to Hoffman, "You know what's the great -- what the great thing is about the Dem -- the Conservative candidate running for Congress, Doug Hoffman? He's neither a professional politician; he's a guy who's just disgusted with the system, turns out he's an accountant." Moments later, Dobbs added: "It's hard to believe, but it looks like he just might win. Now this is change I can believe in. If we can get some accountants, and teachers, and carpenters, and some plumbers, and some electricians, some truck drivers, some people who know how to work for a living in this country, I think I'm going to be one of the happiest guys in the entire nation." [United Stations Radio Network's The Lou Dobbs Show, 11/2/09]

Limbaugh: We can say Scozzafava is "guilty of widespread bestiality; she has screwed every RINO in the country." Discussing former Republican candidates Dede Scozzafava's endorsement of Hoffman's opponent, Bill Owens, Limbaugh said: "Scozzafava has screwed every RINO [Republican in Name Only] in the coun -- we can say that she's guilty of widespread bestiality. She has screwed every RINO in the country. Everyone can see just see how phony and dangerous they are. You know, 2010 might be a nightmare for PETA. Two animals may become extinct; RINOs and Blue Dog Democrats. Pelosi's gonna kill off the Blue Dogs, and the conservatives are gonna finally get rid of RINOs. The American people have had enough." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/2/09]

9/12 movement, Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News, among others, credited for Scozzafava withdrawal from NY-23 race. In a November 1 article, "GOP Nominee for N.Y. seat quits race," The Washington Times reported that Fox News contributor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said Hoffman's "rise is a result of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News, the Club for Growth, Gov. [Sarah] Palin and [Minnesota Gov. Tim] Pawlenty and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and virtually the entire national conservative movement joining with Mike Long, whose Conservative Party, a very established organization, which won its first big race 39 years ago."

Fox host Huckabee's PAC endorsed Hoffman. An email sent out by Huckabee's political action committee, Huck PAC, to people who signed Huckabee's petition at balancecutsave.com, asked recipients to participate in a phone bank for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and congressional candidates David Harmer and Hoffman. The email said that "[w]e need to help get each of these fine men elected" and asked recipients to "take a moment now to make phone calls to voters." As Media Matters for America has documented, Huckabee previously urged Fox News viewers to visit balancecutsave.com.

Malkin fundraised for Hoffman, posted Hoffman piece on her blog. Malkin repeatedly boosted Hoffman's candidacy on her blog and attacked Republicans who endorsed Scozzafava. In addition, on October 22, Malkin posted a piece on her website written by Hoffman urging people to support him. At the top of the post, a "Note from Michelle" read: "This is a special guest post from NY-23 conservative congressional candidate Doug Hoffman. Please spread the word about the Nov. 3 special election and show your support. All hands on deck!" The note included a link to a page on Hoffman's website soliciting donations. [MichelleMalkin.com, 10/17/09]

Breitbart's BigGovernment.com: "New York 23: When a nation calls." Breitbart's website BigGovernment.com posted a piece written by stlouisteaparty.com editor Bill Hennessy titled "New York 23: When a Nation Calls." The post discussed people who had traveled across the country to volunteer for Hoffman and gave people tips on how to help Hoffman themselves. [BigGovernment.com, 10/30/09]

Right-wing hosts interviewed Hoffman to boost candidacy

Hannity hosted Hoffman on Fox on election eve. The night before polls opened, Hannity hosted Hoffman as well as Fred and Jeri Thompson. [11/2/09]

Beck, Hannity radio shows repeatedly hosted Hoffman. Hannity also had Hoffman on his radio show on October 26 and November 2, and Hoffman appeared on Beck's radio show on October 21 and November 2.

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