Leaked letters show Huckabee sniping at critical reporter
The former editor of the alternative Arkansas weekly Arkansas Times Max Brantley has released copies of letters he received from Mike Huckabee, the state's former governor and lieutenant governor, in which the future Republican presidential candidate snipes at him for what he considered overzealous coverage.
The letters, released to The New Republic, show a Huckabee meticulous in responding to his critic's attacks.
"In a series of unpublished private letters dating to the mid-'90s that Huckabee faxed to Brantley, a surprising--and furious--side of the former governor comes through," writes the magazine's Gabriel Sherman. "The four letters, which Brantley provided to The New Republic, are multi-page, rambling, and highly personal attacks that Huckabee wrote while in Arkansas office. In them, he excoriates the journalist, referring to the Arkansas Times as 'a local version of the National Enquirer,' a 'collection of carping columnists,' a 'newsletter for the Democrats,' an "irrelevant irritant; and the 'Theater of the Absurd,' among other sobriquets."
"I was just astounded at how vindictive he was," Joan Duffy, a reporter who covered Huckabee for a Memphis paper in the 1990s told Sherman. "He took it all so personally. . . . You're either with him, or you're a mortal enemy."
In response to a Brantley Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all of the then-lieutenant governor's public documents in 1995 while he was on vacation, Huckabee replied: "If you have singled out the only Republican among constitutional officers for this special 'honor,' then you've really disguised your intentions about as effectively as trying to hide Dolly Parton in a 32AA bra."
"If you are so juvenile as to FOI my schedule as a result of your not getting my staff to call me away from my family on my birthday so you can get information you could use against me in a column, then do it," Huckabee added. "I frankly don't give a rat's rear as to your regard for me as a public official, because you apparently will never overcome your boorish behavior toward those whose opinions you cannot challenge on a responsible or intellectual basis. "
Huckabee later released the records.
"I'm sure you're delighted to discover that you effectively ruined what had otherwise been a really nice week in my life," Huckabee wrote. "Given the tone of your writing, you're just the kind of person who would truly take pleasure in such a thing."
The letters can be read here.