HUGH HEWITT’S TIRED PERRY MASON ACT….For the record, I have no opinion about whether John Zogby’s recent poll of U.S. troops in Iraq is accurate and reasonable. Mark Blumenthal has a sensible discussion of it here. But here’s Hugh Hewitt doing his usual ambush interview schtick in an interview with Zogby on Thursday:

HH: [After lengthy hectoring about the poll’s methodology, which Zogby had already said he would only discuss off the record for security reasons.] Why were no demographics released?

JZ: All the demographics were indeed released, Hugh.

….HH: John, I’ve got your entire thing here. You have not released the demographics.

JZ: You are clearly uninformed.

HH: You have not released the demographics.

JZ: (click)

HH: You have not…he hung up. He hung up. That’s John Zogby, not a pollster.

Guess what? Zogby had indeed released the demographics. Here is Hugh’s excuse for not knowing this:

In fairness, his office had sent the demographics info (which had not been released yesterday and still isn’t on the web) but did so in a PDF file that we were only able to read after downloading a new version of Adobe. When we were talking, we didn’t have the demographics. Had Zogby simply told me the demographics were now out after previously being withheld, that would have been fine.

Could Hugh possibly be any more pathetic? Zogby did send a copy of the demographics directly to Hugh’s office but had the gall to do so in the latest version of Adobe. Hugh’s crack staff was apparently stymied by this, and Hugh thinks that Zogby should have performed some mind reading to figure this out. Telling him that “all the demographics were indeed released” wasn’t enough. Instead, he should have told Hugh that “the demographics were now out after previously being withheld.” Right.

The entire right wing choir, of course, is now crowing about how Zogby was too gutless to answer Hugh’s questions and hung up on him. But go ahead and read the transcript and see if you wouldn’t have done the same. The real question isn’t why Zogby hung up, the real question is why anyone who’s not already a Republican shill ever bothers to appear on Hugh’s show in the first place.

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