NYT Meets Cute With ‘Conservative’ Margaret Hoover (Wrong) and ‘Centrist’ John Avlon (Wrong)

July 13th, 2018 3:59 PM

Reporter Penelope Green feted a "cute" new politically mixed couple in nauseating fashion and with a partisan edge, on the front page of The New York Times Thursday Styles section. The mischaracterizations started in the subhead of “At Home With...” feature: Margaret Hoover and John Avlon: Lessons of a Post-Partisan Union -- A great-granddaughter of a G.O.P. president and a centrist CNN anchor make peace.

Centrist? The same Avlon who said in June that President Trump’s anti-press rhetoric was “ratcheting up threats” and also accused him of racism?

Green, who formerly wrote stories on extreme environmentalism for The Times, encouraging readers to eschew toilet paper and fluoridated water, led off by ludicrously labeling Hoover a “conservative,” which is as inaccurate as the subhead labeling Avlon a CNN “centrist”:

Margaret Hoover, a conservative, and John Avlon, an independent, are television pundits who are married to each other. Quite happily, if a recent visit to their Gramercy Park apartment is any measure. Their telegenic union may be a lesson in overcoming the orthodoxies that divide us.

Green impressively managed to get in an anti-Bill O’Reilly and an anti-Trump dig in paragraph two:

Ms. Hoover, a former Fox News contributor who once scuffled with Bill O’Reilly when he got her name wrong (“I’m sorry, there’s a lot of blondes in this operation, I can’t keep you straight,” he told her), is a great-granddaughter of Herbert Hoover, the man who until recently held the double distinction of being the only civilian to serve as president, and also of being ranked by some political scientists among the top 10 of the worst presidents. (President Trump now shares that twofer.)

She is also the new face of “Firing Line,” the PBS talk show and playground of William F. Buckley Jr., the mischievous and polysyllabic conservative warrior who died in 2008. The show ran from 1966 to 1999.


Mr. Avlon, 45 and the former editor of The Daily Beast, is an anchor at CNN. A centrist with a liberal’s heart, he has written books decrying political partisanship, with titles that show a progression from scholarly concern to existential panic: “Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics,” out in 2004, was followed up in 2010 by “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.” Four years later, he published “Wingnuts: Extremism in the Age of Obama.”


The pair met cute during Rudolph W. Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid. Mr. Avlon had been Mr. Giuliani’s speechwriter when he was mayor, and came aboard to work on the campaign.

As if Hoover’s actual previous statements aren’t enough (accusing the GOP of racism, saying the Democrats deserve to "have a heyday in November”) Green again unwittingly showed Hoover may not be a conservative’s idea of a conservative.

She came to Washington after Bryn Mawr (and a job at a law firm in Taiwan), hoping to find like-minded Republicans. But she was put off by the social conservative policies championed by the younger Mr. Bush’s circle. (Ms. Hoover is a founder of the American Unity Fund, which promotes gay rights as a tenet of conservatism.)


The Obama years strained the marriage, philosophically: Health care, the remedies for climate change and the Iran deal were particular sticking points.

But President Trump has brought them together.

Not in favor, of course.

Another unlikely “conservative” who made a cameo was Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who has become more antagonistic to the conservative wing of his party in recent years. One last dig at Republicans:

There are a few theories about why bipartisan marriages are often composed of a Democratic male and a Republican female. One is that Democratic men are more attractive.

“Who would date a Republican? I would never date a guy with short hair,” Ms. Hoover said.