Judging him just by his twitter feed, ONN’s Jim Heath comes across as relatively knowledgeable, politically moderate and a pretty reasonable guy.

Jim is the host of Capital Square on ONN – the Ohio news channel owned by the Dispatch – and it seems like he’s the only anchor not on Fox News to actually get an interview with John Kasich.

Call it tight message control. Call it being a total pussy afraid of taking real questions from real reporters. However you describe his behavior, John Kasich has refused to give any public interviews to anyone that isn’t a well-known cheerleader for Republican candidates and causes.

And despite his moderate Tweets and his appearance as an unbiased news Anchor, Jim Heath really isn’t that different than the Fox News personalities Kasich typically uses for his free campaign advertising posing as news. Jim Heath may not be screaming out crazy conservative talking points on his weekly program, but he is in fact a long time, dyed-in-the-wool Republican.

Before he became a TV anchor Jim Heath had a long career in Republican politics. He was an elected delegate at the ’92 Republican National convention, the Republican Party Chairman for his county and a Republican candidate for State Senate in Arizona.

Heath may have had a long career as a TV anchor since then, but he’s got a lot in common with Kasich – both going from a career in Republican politics to a career in TV. And judging by his softball interview with Kasich, Jim Heath still has a good deal of that Republican love flowing through his veins.

On the surface the Jim seems to be asking the “tough questions”. For example, he asks Kasich about his plan to eliminate the state personal income tax which will remove 40% of the state’s revenue. But he then lets Kasich rant on about how he balanced the federal budget by making tough choices, about how business taxes are too high in Ohio and about how Florida is stealing all of our jobs.

Jim fails to respond with even one follow up question and fails to point out any of the half-truths and complete lies that comprised Kasich’s “answer”. The federal budget was balanced only because of higher-than-expected tax revenues not by “making tough choices” as John claims. John’s plan to eliminate the personal income tax has absolutely nothing to do with business taxes – which are already really low in Ohio. And Florida stealing our jobs? Florida’s unemployment rate is far bigger than Ohio’s.

Jim Heath follows politics, and he has for years. He’s a self-proclaimed political junkie and he hosts a talk every week that focuses on Ohio politics. Jim Heath is a smart guy with the experience and knowledge to know that John Kasich is full of shit and that his answers are completely not true. So why doesn’t Heath ask even one follow up question or point out even one of Kasich’s obviously false statements?

I can only conclude one of two things: A. Heath just isn’t a very good interviewer, or B. Jim Heath has a soft spot for Republican John Kasich. Either way, it’s clear why Kasich decided to give his only non-Fox News interview to Jim Heath.

 

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