The Hayride — Louisiana’s one-stop shop for far-right perspectives — has come to the defense of state Rep. Lenar Whitney (dubbed the "Palin of the South") following her embarrassing interview last week with Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman.
Following the interview, Wasserman responded with a Washington Post essay calling Whitney — one of the many Republican candidates vying for Bill Cassidy’s 6th Congressional District seat — the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s met in seven years of interviewing congressional candidates.
As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I’ve personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I’ve been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions.
But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.
Wasserman’s questions on Whitney’s global warming stance and her belief that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States didn’t sit well with her handlers, who quickly pulled her from the interview.
Following the posting of Wasserman's essay, Whitney fired back on her Twitter account, calling the analyst a “liberal shill” whose account of the interview was “an outright lie.”
And in a blog posted Thursday, The Hayride came to Whitney’s defense, calling Wasserman’s interview another “hit-job from ‘mainstream media’ lefties” aimed “particularly against conservative women.”
The Hayride goes on to argue:
You practically have to be Margaret Thatcher not to get treated as a bimbo by those people if you’re a Republican woman running for office. ... [Y]ou quickly come to question why any Republican woman would put herself out there for this kind of abuse, and you also recognize that’s exactly the question the abusers want people to ask.
And yeah, Wasserman fits nicely into the box of ‘liberal shill,’ so it’s hardly a surprise if he snarled at her the entire time during that interview and then covered her in flames in his write-up about it.
So because Lenar Whitney, who is not a scientist but who represents a Louisiana legislative district heavily dependent on oil and gas and other carbon-related industries and whose opinion on global warming is by no means exotic among her people (not to mention lots of other folks within the mainstream of American politics), has an opinion Wasserman differs with his next question is to ask her how big a birther she is?
He’s surprised when Whitney’s people get pissed and pull her out of the interview?
And rightfully so; shouldn't tough questions be par for the course for anyone running for Congress?
But perhaps the most surprising takeaway from this story is that there are still people out there denying the existence of global warming, not to mention the resilience of the whole birther argument.
For more on this story, go here.
And check out The Hayride's blog here.