Favorite

Campaign reading 

Thanks to growing Internet resources, I've probably read more about the 2008 presidential race than I did in 2004, certainly than in 2000.

The timing couldn't be better, what with a former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, challenging for the lead in the Republican primary and a former Arkansas first lady, Hillary Clinton, leading the Democratic candidates.

The Internet reflects that journalists have begun to take a deeper look at Huckabee's record in Arkansas. The tougher reporting, however, still often comes on the fringes of the press establishment. The major TV networks and newspapers are more inclined to cover the candidate-dictated story lines and the poll-dictated horse races.

Case in point: the latest issue of The Nation, the venerable liberal weekly, produced the deepest reporting I've seen yet on the influence Fayetteville preacher and right-wing talk show host Jay Cole has had over Huckabee. Cole championed Wayne Dumond's release. The Nation notes that Cole helped Huckabee establish a church-based TV show in the 1980s that propelled him into public life. Cole praises Huckabee for sharing his apocalyptic world view.

Our own Ernest Dumas outlined the myth of Mike Huckabee's populism. The biggest black spot is the anti-worker Workers Compensation Commission, overseen by Huckabee appointees who included his chief of staff's husband.

We owe the Christian Brothers University alumni magazine the delicious tidbit that Huckabee's campaign manager, Chip Saltsman, previously worked for a company specializing in job outsourcing and also for a bloodsucking payday lender. This came out the very week Huckabee was decrying outsourcing and otherwise telling people in Michigan he was the working man's champion.

The website Talking Points Memo did strong reporting on how Huckabee was benefiting from automated phone calls — robocalling — even as he decried the practice.

But credit the major media, too. Thanks to Newsweek, we now know that tobacco money — meant to foil Hillary Clinton's universal health care plan — was a major contributor to Action America, the long-secret front that financed Huckabee during his early days in public office. The Wall Street Journal has reported on the influential preacher who prompted Mike Huckabee to set free another murderer. MSNBC raised pay-to-play questions in the close timing of Huckabee's clemency decision for a rich man convicted of multiple DWIs and the drunk's major contributions to the Republican Party.

You might ask why local media missed these stories. A partial answer is that Huckabee's departure from office loosened tongues, particularly those of many former aides, appointees and one-time Republican supporters. They've been rushing to reporters with inside information and seeking outlets with the broadest circulation.

Some simply like other candidates. Many had unpleasant experiences in working with or for Huckabee. He broke promises. He treated them roughly. He put his own well-being ahead of others. Some find his graspiness unattractive. Some are motivated by principle. The young Republican producing the Dumond TV ads against Huckabee seems genuinely horrified that Huckabee's poor judgment led to the rape and murder of a Missouri woman's daughter.

From the perspective of all the leakers, Huckabee isn't likable. Big feet at the New York Times and Washington Post, among others, still seem to prefer to believe their lying eyes. But the Internet “press” never stops rolling.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Explosion in England; more Trump revelations

    Breaking news: a deadly explosion in Manchester, England. Also, more incendiary reporting from Washington on Donald Trump's poor political behavior.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Waiting to die. An account from Death Row

    Ibby Caputo, who contributed to our coverage of the legislature this year, has written an article for Slate about Morgan Holladay's experience as a spiritual helper to Jack Jones, one of four men executed in Arkansas last month.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Trump's budget could hit Arkansas hard

    If Donald Trump succeeds in cutting "entitlements" by $1.7 trillion, the impact will be felt particularly in poor states. In other words, Arkansas.
    • May 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in Max Brantley

  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
    • May 18, 2017
  • French Hill's photo op

    The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a health care bill that only the blind, dumb or dishonest could call good for any but the wealthy. For its many flaws, it has been hailed as a ticket to congressional gains for the Democratic Party.
    • May 11, 2017
  • For the kids

    Early voting is underway for the special election May 9 on extension of 12.4 property tax mills dedicated to debt of the Little Rock School District.
    • May 4, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Trump unfit

    • Well, Al - I'll give it to you - I can't find, again, that phrase…

    • on May 22, 2017
  • Re: Trump unfit

    • Well, not only does Al do the Projection shuffle, he also does the Strawman two…

    • on May 22, 2017
  • Re: Trump unfit

    • Al, you're a little late to the party, and have arrived with dated info. The…

    • on May 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation