Pat Hynes Speaks!
Whatever Patrick Hynes gets for his consulting work (actually, we sort of know), he's worth every cent. Shortly after we posted a follow-up on his John McCain sorta-scandal, Hynes himself called me up to clear the air about Straight Talk America, his cable TV blog, and whether he's only mean when people pay him to be mean. This marks the first time in my epic four-day saga as a guest-blogger than a libelled public figure has taken the effort to clear things up. Will it happen again? C'mon, Vern: Leave the dogs alone and give me a holler.
The interview starts up top and continues below the fold.
-- David Weigel
WONKETTE: Why did you consult without disclosing it when you'd attacked Daily Kos for the same thing?
PAT HYNES: About the Markos thing: Let me say in my defense, about a year ago I appeared on Washington Journal with Jerome Armstrong. And right then I acknowledged that Markos had appropriately disclosed his consulting work. So I was wrong before.
WONKETTE: What did you do for McCain and who knew about it?
PAT HYNES: The idea was not and is not "I'm going to be a blogger for John McCain." The idea is I'll promote his ideas through the blogosphere. I've acknowledged that to Danny Glover and acknowledged it to Jim Geraghty. The reason I didn't disclose it was, frankly, I didn't have a contact and I didn't have a relationship, and to be honest I was talking to other bloggers about McCain.
WONKETTE: But you didn't disclose that on the blog. You attacked Daily Kos for the same thing.
PAT HYNES: Right. I handled this wrong. But for Straight Talk America I was the go-between for the senator's Porkbusters guest-post and the Glenn Reynolds interview.
WONKETTE: When Daily Kos was attacked for his role in the Dean campaign, you dug up posts on the site and asked if Dean supported them. Would it be fair if someone grabbed your Ankle Biting Pundits posts and asked McCain to denounce them?
PAT HYNES: I don't know. I try to be open and honest about who I am at all times. I get the feeling that everyone knows who I am and what I'm about. And people are already saying it: Patrick Hynes is this, that and the other thing. Are other people going to attack John McCain because I work for him? They're already doing that.
WONKETTE: When you blog about presidential politics from now on, will you include a disclaimer?
PAT HYNES: I'm actually trying to get out of blogging - I've got a book coming out and a second kid on the way. But sure. I'll put it as a disclaimer.
WONKETTE: Do you consult for anyone in the cable and TV industries?
PAT HYNES: No. I've had no relationship with any companies since I started bloggin on Channel Changer. The reason I started that was because I moved from Annapolis, MD to Barrington, NH and I was still getting cable bills from Annapolis. It's the same thing with Vonage. That's what motivates that blog.
WONKETTE: So you don't anyone to pay you to get pissed off at things?
PAT HYNES: No. But that's a good line.
WONKETTE: Let's make sure we don't get into another situation where you're bashing somebody and people can't tell what you really think about them. I'm going to name the possible GOP presidential candidate and you go on the record with what you think of them.
PAT HYNES: So people can check this three years from now?
WONKETTE: Ideally. Newt Gingrich.
PAT HYNES: He was an effective revolutionary leader but I don't think in the end he'll be known for his skill in governing.
WONKETTE: Rudy Giuliani.
PAT HYNES: Strong leadership during 9/11. Not the right fit for a socially conservative party.
WONKETTE: Mike Huckabee.
PAT HYNES: I don't have anything to comment on, other than I sure would like to drop 100 pounds like he did.
WONKETTE: Condoleeza Rice.
PAT HYNES: I think she's great. She's going to have to go through the process of articulating herself on a whole catalogue of issues she's never had to go through before. That's difficult to go through.
WONKETTE: Chuck Hagel.
PAT HYNES: He's the wrong fit for a socially conservative party that strongly wants to continue fighting and winning the war in Iraq.
WONKETTE: Tom Tancredo.
PAT HYNES: One-issue candidate and I disagree with him on the issue.
WONKETTE: George Allen.
PAT HYNES: Good senator. Hopefully he's as conservative as his rhetoric and I hope he wins his Senate seat.
WONKETTE: Sam Brownback.
PAT HYNES: I really like and respect him. He's actually a good fit for a socially conservative party. But he's going to have difficulty running with so many senators running, and most of them with higher profiles.
WONKETTE: Bill Frist.
PAT HYNES: I think he's going to have a difficult time justifying his leadership of the US Senate to Republican primary voters.
WONKETTE: Anything else?
PAT HYNES: All I ask is if you have a question, email me and I'll answer you. Here's the bottom line: There is no concerted effort to play blog payola. There was a screw-up with the McCain thing. I acknowledged that and I want to move on.