NBC Commentator and GOP Shill Hugh Hewitt Is Paid By Trump Campaign

Hugh Hewitt

NBC commentator Hugh Hewitt

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

NBC's Meet the Press hosted right-wing radio host and NBC News commentator Hugh Hewitt, who talked up President Donald Trump's reelection chances and touted his "sort of powerful energy on conservative media" for Republicans this week after being released from the hospital. In addition to the absurdity of hosting a dishonest shill like Hewitt, host Chuck Todd did not disclose that Hewitt has a financial tie to Trump's campaign: Last month, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee twice rented Hewitt's newsletter to raise money.

Hewitt is the host of a program on Salem Radio Network, a columnist for The Washington Post, and a commentator for NBC News. He is a pro-Trump and Republican hack who recently tweeted that "every Catholic, indeed every person of any faith, has to realize the left despises them and that the Democrats shelter this virulent bigotry and pretend it's something else" (the Democratic presidential nominee is Joe Biden, who is Catholic).

The Daily Beastreported last year on how "Hewitt has fallen in line with the rest of the conservative media ecosystem as a reliably Trumpian defender of the president's bizarre and potentially criminal behavior."

Hewitt also regularly turns over his radio program to guest host and unhinged bigot Kurt Schlichter.

Media Matters subscribes to Hewitt's email newsletter, which is run by Salem and sends paid advertising. In September, "Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee authorized by and composed of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee," rented Hewitt's newsletter twice -- on September 2 and September 21 -- for fundraising emails.

An image of The Hugh Hewitt Show's Trump emails, composite

The Trump messages state that they're "brought to you by The Hugh Hewitt Show" along with the disclaimer: "Occasional messages from sponsors allows us to provide our content at no cost to you. This message reflects the opinions of the advertiser alone, and not necessarily the opinion or editorial position of Salem Media Group."

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd did not mention Hewitt's financial tie to the Trump campaign. During his appearance, Hewitt stated that "this has been a week of enormous relief. I've interviewed a dozen Republican senators and the vice presidential debate really turned it around for a lot of Republicans, as did the president's sort of powerful energy on conservative media, getting back out there." He added: "I believe the president is down in double digits but closing nationally."

Hewitt has also done advertisements for Keep America America, a project of the pro-Trump Job Creators Network that aims "to activate the conservative base and boost turnout." (Meet the Press didn't disclose that financial connection either.)

Hewitt has had other conflict of interest problems related to former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt; the Clean Water Act; and the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.


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