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Hugh Hewitt (born February 22, 1956) is an American radio talk show host with the Salem Radio Network and a lawyer, academic, and author. A conservative and a Catholic,[1] he comments on society, politics, and media bias in the United States. Hewitt is also a law professor at Chapman University School of Law, and a regular political commentator on MSNBC and CNN.

Hugh Hewitt
Hugh Hewitt by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Hewitt speaking in January 2017
Born (1956-02-22) February 22, 1956 (age 62)
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
Residence Orange, California, U.S.
Alma mater Harvard University (A.B.)
University of Michigan (J.D.)
Occupation Radio talk show host, lawyer, academic, Television host, political commentator, author
Years active 1983–present
Employer Salem Radio Network CNN, MSNBC
Television Hugh Hewitt
Political party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Betsy Hewitt (m. 1982)


Early lifeEdit

Hewitt is the son of Marguerite (née Rohl) and William Robert Hewitt.[2][3][4] He attended John F. Kennedy Catholic High School[5] in Warren, Ohio, and Harvard University, and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in government in 1978. After leaving Harvard, he worked as a ghostwriter for Richard Nixon in California and New York, before studying at the University of Michigan Law School, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Hewitt received his J.D. degree in 1983, then moved to Washington D.C. to clerk for Judges Roger Robb and George MacKinnon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1983–84.

Hewitt worked in many posts in the Reagan administration, including Deputy Director and General Counsel of the Office of Personnel Management, General Counsel for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Assistant White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the Attorney General.[6]


Hewitt returned to California in 1989 to oversee construction of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum as the library's executive director from groundbreaking through dedication and opening. In 1990, Hewitt sparked controversy by proposing screening of researchers wishing to use the library resources. Hewitt suggested refusing admission to researchers deemed "unfriendly" – specifically Bob Woodward, whom he characterized as "not a responsible journalist." John Taylor, a spokesman for Nixon, overturned Hewitt's decision after two days.[7] It became the subject of editorial rebuke in The New York Times.[citation needed]

Hewitt left the Nixon Library in 1990 to practice law, and began a weekend radio talk show for the Los Angeles radio station KFI, where he broadcast until 1995. In the spring of 1992, he began co-hosting L.A. PBS member station KCET's nightly news and public affairs program, Life & Times, and remained with the program until the fall of 2001, when he began broadcasting his own radio show in the afternoons. Hewitt received three Emmys for his work on Life & Times on KCET, and also conceived and hosted the 1996 PBS series Searching for God in America.

He used to be a weekly columnist for the Daily Standard (the online edition of The Weekly Standard) and World. He also occasionally appears as a political/social commentator on programs such as The Dennis Miller Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Larry King Live, The O'Reilly Factor and The Today Show. On April 24, 2006, Hewitt appeared as a guest on The Colbert Report.

Hewitt has been criticized by Andrew Sullivan, who calls him a "Christianist."[8] When Sullivan appeared on Hewitt's radio show to promote his book The Conservative Soul, a lively exchange ensued and Hewitt criticized Sullivan's book as intellectually messy.[9]

Hewitt also became a Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law during that time. He currently teaches constitutional law.[10] In addition to his contributions as a professor, Professor Hewitt founded and continues to guide the legal scholarship of the Nexus Journal of Law and Policy.


The Hugh Hewitt Show (radio)Edit

Hewitt at a book signing session, 2010

Hewitt's nationally syndicated radio show, The Hugh Hewitt Show, is broadcast from California from 6 to 9 am ET on weekdays. The show appears on more than 75 stations[11] and is syndicated by the Salem Radio Network. Beginning April 4, 2016, the show moved to a morning drive time slot.[12]

Although Hewitt's background is in law, government, and politics, he also covers American cultural trends and the entertainment industry. He frequently critiques the mainstream media on air, often inviting journalists to defend their work on the show. Past interviews with Mark Halperin, then atABC News, and British historian Andrew Roberts lasted for the entire three hours of the show.

His regular contributors include law professors John C. Eastman, former Dean of Chapman University School of Law, and Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Irvine Law School (whom Hewitt calls "The Smart Guys"), James Lileks, Mark Steyn, United States Naval Academy English professor Dr. David Allen White (who does a monthly Shakespeare showcase),[needs update] and Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), as well as frequent callers from around the country. He used to spend the 15th hour of the week discussing movies with "Emmett of the Unblinking Eye".

Hewitt's show is also marked by its interaction with listeners through Twitter. During the broadcast, the show's producer, Duane Patterson, communicates with listeners using the hashtag #hewitt. Hewitt refers to those using the #hewitt hashtag as Tribbles, in reference to the harmless, annoying, and constantly multiplying alien race from Star Trek.

Hugh Hewitt (television)Edit

Hugh Hewitt
Genre Political news/opinion program
Presented by Hugh Hewitt
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Running time 30 minutes
Original network MSNBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)

On June 24, 2017, Hugh Hewitt debuted, a half-hour television show on MSNBC in the Saturdays 8 a.m. EST timeslot.[13]

New mediaEdit

Hewitt is a longtime promoter of what he and other conservative pundits call the new media (talk radio and blogs) as a means to balance what they regard as liberal bias in the mainstream media. Hewitt was described as one of the five "best-read national conservative bloggers" in a 2007 memo from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.[14]

In early 2006, in an article for The Weekly Standard titled "The Media's Ancien Régime," Hewitt outlined his belief that traditional journalism was supplanted by the ease of information exchange on the Internet.[15]

There is too much expertise, all of it almost instantly available now, for the traditional idea of journalism to last much longer. In the past, almost every bit of information was difficult and expensive to acquire and was therefore mediated by journalists whom readers and viewers were usually in no position to second-guess. Authority has drained from journalism for a reason. Too many of its practitioners have been easily exposed as poseurs.

Hewitt at a campaign event for Doug Ducey for Governor of Arizona, October 2014

A recurring theme on Hewitt's show is accusing the mainstream media of liberal bias and lack of transparency, and the unwillingness of reporters to answer questions about their own political beliefs. Hewitt has said that the modern paradigm of reportage, whereby journalists make a claim to objectivity while never answering questions about their own beliefs, allows a deep-seated culture of liberal media bias to be perpetuated. He has said that financial reporters are never allowed to write about companies in which they have an interest, but political reporters routinely refuse to answer questions that might reveal their own political positions and thus allow the reader to adjust for any bias, whether conscious or subconscious, their reporting might contain.[16] He credits the right-wing blogosphere with destroying the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry in 2004.

Hewitt frequently invites members of the mainstream media to his show and quizzes them about their political beliefs and why they think those beliefs should remain a secret. Eric Black of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Helen Thomas of the White House Press Corps and Mark Halperin of ABC News, among others, have appeared on Hewitt's show and debated whether they should be obliged to disclose their political beliefs. During a 2006 exchange with Hewitt, longtime Washington Post reporter and columnist Thomas Edsall said that Democrats outnumbered Republicans 15–25 to 1 among members of the mainstream media.[17]

After Hewitt wrote the book A Mormon in the White House?, Robert Stacy McCain of The Washington Times wrote that "Hewitt finds himself under suspicion of being a cheerleader for the Romney campaign."[18] Hewitt donated $2,300 to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2008, as well as many other Republican candidates over the years, including U.S. Senator Norm Coleman and President George W. Bush. In the leadup to the February 5, 2008, Republican primaries, Hewitt became known for the slogan "A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain."[19]

2016 presidential electionEdit

Hewitt participated in several of the 2016 Republican primary debates, where he clashed with Donald Trump.[20][21] In February 2016, Hewitt wrote that, despite being repeatedly publicly insulted by Trump, he would support him should he become the Republican nominee for President.[22] In June 2016, after Trump's controversial remarks concerning Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Hewitt publicly called on the RNC to disendorse Trump as nominee. A week later, Hewitt reversed his position.[23] On August 3, he publicly floated the idea of replacing Donald with Ivanka Trump on the ticket.[24] On October 8, he called on Trump to drop out of the race because of a controversial recording of Trump that was published the previous day.[25] Hewitt has said he ultimately voted for Trump.[26]


  • The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary and the Coming of a Second "Clinton Era" (2015, ISBN 1-4555-6251-3)
  • The Happiest Life: Seven Gifts, Seven Givers, and the Secret to Genuine Success (2013, ISBN 1-5955-5578-1)
  • The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency (2012, ISBN 1-4555-1630-9)
  • A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney (2007, ISBN 1-59698-502-X)
  • A Guide to Christian Ambition: Using Career, Politics, and Culture to Influence the World (2006, ISBN 0-7852-8871-6)
  • Painting the Map Red: The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority (2006, ISBN 0-89526-002-6)
  • Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World (2005, ISBN 0-7852-8804-X)
  • If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It (2004, ISBN 0-7852-6319-5)
  • In, But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition (2003, ISBN 0-7852-6395-0)
  • The Embarrassed Believer (1998, ISBN 0-8499-1419-1)
  • Searching for God in America: The Companion Volume to the Acclaimed TV Series (1996, ISBN 0-7881-9914-5)
  • First Principles: A Primer of Ideas for the College-Bound Student (1987, ISBN 0-89526-793-4)


  1. ^ "Hugh Hewitt To Catholic League President, Your Claim Is 'Deeply Embarrassing To Me As A Catholic'". Truth Revolt. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Happiest Life". Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Atty. Hewitt Obituary – Ohio –". Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Hugh Z Hewitt". Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ Golden Eagle Alumni Award John F. Kennedy Catholic School
  6. ^ Nomination of Hugh Hewitt To Be Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management The American Presidency Project.
  7. ^ Michael Schudson (1992). Watergate in American Memory: How We Remember, Forget, and Reconstruct the Past. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-09083-4. 
  8. ^ Hugh Hewitt (August 5, 2006). "Sullivan Fatigue". Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Transcript of Hugh Hewitt Show: Andrew Sullivan on The Conservative Soul". October 25, 2006. Retrieved March 26, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Hugh Hewitt". Chapman University School of Law: Law Faculty. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Hugh Hewitt Show – all stations and times". TuneIn Radio. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  12. ^ Hugh Hewitt, Larry Elder in Salem Radio Network Shake-Up Hollywood Reporter. March 30, 2016.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Carrie Budoff Brown. "GOP issues rules to avoid Macaca moments". Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ "The Media's Ancien Régime". Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ Nicholas Lemann (August 29, 2005). "Right Hook". The New Yorker. p. 34. Retrieved March 26, 2008.  (Scanned copy (archived October 11, 2006))
  17. ^ "The Hugh Hewitt Show". December 6, 2011. Archived from the original on February 15, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  18. ^ Robert Stacy McCain (December 9, 2007). "Romney speech sparks flame war?". Fishwrap. The Washington Times. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. 
  19. ^ "The Blogometer 2/4: : The Day Before The Storm". The Hotline. National Journal. February 4, 2008. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  20. ^ Gold, Hadas (December 15, 2015). "Blitzer, Hewitt contain GOP's barroom brawl". Politico. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ CNN, Daniella Diaz. "Everything you need to know about CNN's GOP debate". CNN. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  22. ^ Hewitt, Hugh (February 28, 2016). "Six reasons Trump is still better than Clinton". Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 28, 2016. 
  23. ^ Levine, Sam (June 16, 2016). "Hugh Hewitt Decides To Back Donald Trump After All". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Trump supporter Hugh Hewitt floats replacing Donald with Ivanka to win over #NeverTrumpers". The Week. August 4, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  25. ^ Politico Staff (October 8, 2016). "Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt calls on Trump to quit". POLITICO. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Dear President-Elect Trump... The Hugh Hewitt Show". The Hugh Hewitt Show. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2016. 

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