As criticism has poured in around the state on Mike Huckabee's childish, secretive and graspy exit from office, we've been somewhat surprised at his uncharacteristic silence.
He's personally defended the computer hard drive caper (destruction of state property, anyone?) only on KARN Radio, which has been reliably pro-Huck and pro-Republican over the last 10 years. (A real journalist, Bob Steel, new to KARN, did ask The Huckster, if those hard drives were so readily dispensable and the info was available elsewhere, how about releasing the info to the public? Hah.)
Huckabee apparently hasn't talked to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette news staff, which broke the details of the information purge. (But pat us on the back for tipping you to the essence, includng related server wipeouts, a day earlier than their careful work.)
Now, we are told second-hand that Huckabee has no intention of talking to the news staff on this. At least not yet. After all, it's not like Huckabee to admit a mistake or refuse to accept that he can't go over the heads of pesky reporters with his stylized version of reality. His ploy: A monumental op-ed, put in the hands of Paul Greenberg, for unfiltered placement in a prominent position in the Sunday opinion seciton of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state's dominant news medium. A destroyed hard drive is the modern equivalent of a used-up typewriter ribbon, the clever Huck apparently wants to laughingly posit.
It's brilliant -- Huckabee unfiltered. No cross-examination by Seth Blomeley, Michael Wickline, Bill Simmons and Co. And, if we know Huckabee, his piece will include plenty of snarky, if not downright nasty, remarks about that hard-working reporting crew. If we're lucky, he might even put them in league with that dastardly, cheap, throwaway tabloid at the foot of Scott Street. Oh, please. Just spell our name right, Bro. Mike.
The story goes that the editorial department, perhaps thrilled at the "get," wants to run The Huckster in the unfiltered version. Our tipster says the newsroom believes the normal reporting process should apply. If The Huckster has something to say in rebuttal, let him say it to the reporters working on the story first.
Imagine if Bill Clinton had told the D-G, "If you want answers from me about Whitewater, you'll have to take them in the form of an op-ed, I don't intend to talk to your reporters."
Today could be the day for a climactic meeting, given production schedules for the Sunday paper. Our tipster credits Publisher Walter Hussman with leaning, at least initially, toward the newsroom's point of view in the matter.
Or so the story goes. Maybe it was all a bad dream, inspired by a burrito and the salsa bar at the River Market.