“Friday Night Lights” author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger kicked up a firestorm after becoming the most recent public figure to endorse Mitt Romney last week.
Describing himself as a lifelong Democrat from New York’s Upper West Side, or “the country’s nexus of liberalogy,” he admitted in a Daily Beast article that he still clings to his roots, but moves further to the right as he ages. The article analyzes the policy positions of the two candidates, which he says he studied “assiduously,” and concludes with the assertion that “Romney has it.”
So what was the public’s reaction to his lengthy endorsement? He says about “6 to 1,” it was hateful, expletive-filled insults.
Speaking with Howard Kurtz on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” Bissinger joked that he should “at least” be in the Witness Protection Program given the public’s reaction.
“I would say between the Daily Beast comments, Twitter comments, Facebook comments– roughly…4,000 comments– I ran about 6-1 against. And it wasn’t just, you know, ‘I disagree with you.’ It was the f-word, it was ‘you’re a baby killer.’
“It was even friends, [but] among friends it wasn’t as vitriolic. There was this sense of, ‘How dare you, you’re traitor. You’re a writer. You’re a journalist. How can you possibly come out in favor of this man?’”
“…You could feel the anguish, you could feel the sense of perhaps traitorship. I am a lifelong Democrat…”
Here is video of the interview, via CNN:
From there, the two discussed what exactly it means that Bissinger’s friends have branded him a “traitor.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s a definite liberal bias in the mainstream media…You are simply not expected, when you’re a journalist and a writer, to endorse a Republican. And don’t tell me it does not seep into the coverage. I mean, you look at The New York Times, you look at their editorial today on Afghanistan, you would feel it’s the Republicans’ fault we’re still there, but that’s Obama’s decision. It does seep in, and I know because as a journalist it seeped in when I wrote for the Philadelphia Enquirer.”
So what has he learned from the experience?
I thought liberals were supposed to be ‘open-minded.’ I thought they were supposed to accept divergent viewpoints to at least say, ‘hey, everyone in America has a right to an opinion.’ But it’s really about– ‘I love free speech as long as it’s the free speech that I want’ … Liberals have this sense of themselves, but 90% are as nasty, as vitriolic, as vicious as the conservatives they say are…
When asked about why he came back swinging against his critics on Twitter, Bissinger remarked: “I don’t like taking crap, and I don’t like taking abuse when I feel it’s misplaced.”
(H/T: Daily Caller)