Mainstream media has long relished the unethical tactic of employing alleged Republicans and conservatives as “balance” on their biased panels, when the individuals are really integrity-free chameleons, ready to change colors for a buck. It’s a particularly odious trick: the audience is led to believe that because the particular talking head is criticizing his or her own “side,” the typical majority of partisan Democrats and progressive shills in the discussion must be “right.” CNN’s dim-bulb anti-Trump hack Ana Navarro is one of these double agents (but she’s Hispanic and female, so her obvious deficits don’t matter); Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post columnist who is now MSNBC’s go-to guest when character assassination of a GOP leader is required, is another. Kellyanne Conway’s husband George also is on the list.
Matthew Dowd is in a special category. He was a ruthless Bush political operative who found a lucrative new gig by playing the “Once Evil Republican Who Has Seen The Light,” usually on ABC. Recognizing the power of the cognitive dissonance scale as W’s popularity declined, Dowd became the alleged conservative voice on TV policy panels that somehow always agreed—anti-Bush, pro-Obama, anti-Trump.
Now he’s announced himself as a candidate for lieutenant governor of Texas…what’s this? As a Democrat? But…but… all these years we’ve been told that Dowd was a Republican! That’s how we knew his criticism of other Republicans was sincere! What’s going on here?
Dowd expected a friendly softball interview when he went on CNN’s “New Day” yesterday to discuss his candidacy. After all, he’s a Democrat. To his shock and awe, co-host Brianna Keilar used the opportunity to out the opportunist. It had been reported that Dowd, no fool he, had deleted 270 thousand messages on Twitter before announcing his party flip-flop and quest for office. Gee, why would he do that? It’s a mystery! So Keilar decided to press him on it…
KEILAR: Matthew, you’re well aware you’re being attacked by Republicans and Fox for deleting thousands of tweets. How many tweets did you delete?
DOWD: I don’t know. I think — what I did — and this was long before — what’s funny about Fox who looks for anything to sort of come up with some conspiracy theory as they do — earlier in the summer, I thought, “I have 260, 270,000 tweets that have just been accumulating.” I just decided to go through and deleted all of my old tweets, whatever they happened to be, so there’s no conspiracy theory —
KEILAR: But why?
DOWD: I was just cleaning up my files long before I thought about running in this race, but, again, it’s a typical Fox thing to turn to some conspiracy, thinking it has more meaning than it actually does
KEILAR: Why did you do it then?
DOWD: I just said, Brianna, I did because I just wanted to clean up all of my files and get rid of all of the stuff that accumulated over time. There’s no reason, as you know —
KEILAR: Matt, I understand that, but this isn’t like emptying your email inbox, to be clear, getting rid of all your old tweets.
DOWD: Well, I empty my email inbox every single day, and I’m a type of person that empties the trash and all this stuff. There’s no reason, Brianna — you can Google “Matthew Dowd” and find out everything you possibly want to know about my history and everything I’ve said. So everything I’ve said has been public for the last 20 years. It’s not a problem. It’s been complete — everybody knows who I am, what I’ve done, what I’ve said because I’ve said it on national television over and over and over for the last two decades.
KEILAR: Then why delete them? Because you know that that is going to raise eyebrows — that’s going to elicit scrutiny ,I mean, in the age of “When anyone deletes anything or isn’t forthcoming with, say, emails. I mean, look, we know where this goes. You know that it’s going to grab attention.
DOWD: So what I think is happening, Brianna — and I think it’s unfortunate — is Fox News does this — which is dream up some conspiracy theory as they always do — which is obviously has nothing to do with anything that we’re talking about — and then people begin to repeat it. Again, I cleaned up my inbox in — I think it was May or June, deleted all my old tweets. I think I have 5,000 sitting there. And so I just think we shouldn’t play into Fox’s new sort of conspiracy theory.
KEILAR: All right, I mean, I think it’s an important question to ask. Which is why I’m asking.
DOWD: Well, you asked, and I answered it. You asked it, and I answered it three times.
Touchy touchy! Dowd obviously deleted tweets that showed the extent to which he has been playing both sides against the middle for more than two decades. His pathetic explanation to Keilar was a lie and an obvious one, which he compounded by defaulting to CNN’s “Blame Fox News” trope and showing himself to be offended that a CNN anchor whom any Democrat should be able to trust as an ally was actually asking tough questions that exposed his hypocrisy.
There was a similar exchange years ago on Fox News when CNN exile Greta Van Susteren grilled another opportunistic turncoat, the repulsive former Clinton pollster Dick Morris, asking him uncomfortable questions. Morris angrily informed the lawyer-journalist that she was on Fox News now, and shouldn’t be treating conservatives like him so critically.
This isn’t hard. Cynical, venal flip-floppers like Morris and Dowd may be useful to the partisans they pander to, but ultimately they won’t be trusted by their new “friends.” And why should they be? They have shown by their conduct that their positions, loyalties and alliances will shift with the prevailing breezes, or whenever a 180 degree turn will result in more attention, dollars or gigs.
After Dowd’s revealing tantrum over the CNN co-host’s surprising resort to journalism, she launched another “Gotcha!” at him:
KEILAR: I do want to ask you about something that you wrote in 2018. You said, “I would humbly suggest that we as white male Christians to step back and give more people who don’t look like us access to the levers of power. As a white male Christian in America, I am part of a dwindling subset that has held the levers of power politically and economically in nearly every field for the entire history of the United States.” So obviously you were expressing sentiment that there needed to be more representation, and now you are running for lieutenant governor. How do you square that?
Of course, he couldn’t.