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Clinton Kicks Some Fox Ass
And then wipes the floor with the sneaky fuckers. Clinton taped an interview with Fox' Chris Wallace. Deal apparently was, they'd focus on his efforts to raise $7 billion to alleviate global poverty and other problems. Early on, Wallace asked the kind of questions they never ask Republicans, and Clinton was having none of it:

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn’t you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President? There’s a new book out which I suspect you’ve read called the Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, Bin Laden said “I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of US troops.” Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.

CLINTON: OK..

WALLACE: …may I just finish the question sir. And after the attack, the book says, Bin Laden separated his leaders because he expected an attack and there was no response. I understand that hindsight is 20/20.

CLINTON: No let’s talk about…

WALLACE: …but the question is why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right wing conservative on the Path to 9/11 falsely claim that it was based on the 9/11 Commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report. I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say that I didn’t do enough said that I did too much. Same people.

When is the last time anybody on "Fair and Balanced" TV ever asked a hard question of a Republican? A sincerely hard question? And why is it otherwise smart, reasonable Republican friends of mine refuse to admit this?

Posted by aalkon at September 23, 2006 11:57 AM

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Comments

Guess they're just not as smart as you.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at September 23, 2006 11:33 AM

Republicans are brutally, unashamedly trashed in every communications medium in the country. Reagan benefitted from Teflon no more than did Clinton... People always think the other guy is getting off easy. Clinton has a lot to answer for, and his evasions are not evidence of good character or effective public service. "I tried, I tried, I tried" is not really what we're looking for here. Besides, he didn't, he didn't, he didn't.

Posted by: Crid at September 23, 2006 11:41 AM

Yep, the media sure do hate John McCain and Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani, and trash 'em every chance they get. And Fox news is Fair and Balanced.

Posted by: justin case at September 23, 2006 4:08 PM

I think both Reagan and Clinton were bashed with impunity, but I've never seen anything like the pass Bush has gotten. Still, all of a sudden, you see people waking up here and there. There was an op-ed about it in today's LAT mentioning a growing number of pissed-off Republicans.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 23, 2006 5:57 PM

Silliness. If you don't like Fox, don't watch it... There's a huge variety of streams for information available nowadays. People often complain that one or another of them (Fox or the New York Times) is warping the perceptions of the American voter. But these are just consumer products. All these media pander. No serious nutritionist is going to argue the merits of a Big Mac against those of a Whopper, because were talking about heavily processed burgers, fer Chrissakes. It's a waste of time to fume that Olbermann or O'Reilly or Dowd or Limbaugh is full of shit... All of them are. They're in the business of flattering *you*.

> all of a sudden, you see people waking
> up here and there.

Ridiculous. Politics and public oppion are always in motion, but there's no wave of insight in the ether, and if you think there is, the years to come are going to be very disappointing to you.

> There was an op-ed about it in
> today's LAT....

Arrrrgggh!

Meanwhile, for history's most famous lip-biter to complain about an interviewer's smirk, as Clinton is said to do in this interview, is just insane.

Posted by: Crid at September 23, 2006 8:44 PM

...we're talkin about... etc

Posted by: Crid at September 23, 2006 8:46 PM

Chris Wallace doesn't hold a candle to his old man (Mike).

Posted by: Doobie at September 24, 2006 12:27 AM

One thing he does hold better? His bowels.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at September 24, 2006 8:22 AM

Thanks for making me laugh, Crid, and for your wise comments... Nutritionally, the choice between Fox and CNN is pretty much a toss up between Big Macs and Whoppers.

Posted by: Lena at September 24, 2006 3:57 PM

"I tried, I tried..." is very much to the point, if he was hamstrung at the time by Republicans yelling "Wag the dog, wag the dog" who are now trying to pin 9/11 on him.
I do agree that it's a waste of time to get mad at any one pundit you disagree with, and that I may well be disappointed with the American "Half of us think Iraq was behind 9/11" public. But to just throw up your hands and say, All Media is Biased and Sucks and is like fast food, is inaccurate, and a cop out. All pundits are not alike, just because they're pundits. Olbermann's been on a tear recently, and I would be happy to sign my agreement to the transcripts of what he's been saying. Rush thinks the Guantanamo torture was no worse than a bad night in the frat house. Anyone want to sign on to that?
NOW can we get back to breast-talk?

Posted by: cat brother at September 24, 2006 6:26 PM

> to just throw up your hands and say,
> All Media is Biased and Sucks and
> is like fast food...

Phew! Good thing no one said that. What I said is that once we've had *our* lonely souls, egos, and thirst for simplicity stroked by these media, it's stupid to turn and whine about competing brands. Amy seemed completely oblivious to the irony of discussing the LAT editorial page in this context.

(Notwithstanding the above, I'm appalled by Olbermann. The fact that such a grotesque, irredeemably pompous voice could emerge from the persona of mildly-amusing sportscaster in a few short months is horrifying. Worse, he's young [defined as precisely my age], meaning we have to put up with him for decades to come. If every sportscaster in America does this, we're five kinds of fucked, no matter where they land politically.)

I like punditry and stupid chatter and blowhards of all stripes. But it's wrong to think we can build and sustain political views with the same sort of thrifty, Consumer Reports-style comparative shopping that we use in the rest of our lives. These are often trivial distinctions of personal taste, and the biggest challenges in our society deserve better. But Abraham Maslow said "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." People may not be able to make entirely sane political judgements, but they can judge TV stars. Hating Tucker Carlson while adoring Bill Press is like being a Julia Louis-Dreyfus partisan in an Anniston world. And it works that way in print, too.

Recommend reading, from one of the best blog pieces I ever read (especially the passage about "winking through the airwaves"):

http://tinyurl.com/qdh8n

Posted by: Crid at September 24, 2006 7:23 PM

Olbermann received an Edward R. Murrow award for his Sept. 11 coverage. His decision to leave sportscasting was apparently a good one.

Posted by: Doobie at September 24, 2006 9:25 PM

Oh, for fuck's sake... What do you care about Edward "R." Murrow? What exactly did that smoke-shrouded buffoon ever do for the Republic that makes you respect trophies given in his name? And for shit's sake, an award for *journalists*? Do you give greater faith to any industry that issues lucite mouldings? How about the local dry cleaner, who won the Santa Monica Boulevard Retailer of the Year in 1998? Does the fact that this person is successful make you consider his words less carefully? That would explain a lot.

Key-riste. Edward R. Fucking Murrow.

Posted by: Crid at September 24, 2006 9:46 PM

Goddam!

Does anyone else see that this is exactly the sort of fascination with brands that I talked about? They say if you buy Crest toothpaste on your 25th birthday, you'll brush with it on your 75th. If some fuck tells you that Murrow was a special figure when you're fourteen, you'll believe it until the day you die.

Posted by: Crid at September 24, 2006 9:53 PM

Andrew Sullivan = another good example. In the months leading up to the war, he was pretty blowhard-y, although generally open to reason, but not terribly readable. Since the prosecution of the war, he's seen how Bush/Rumsfeld has made a hash of things, the fallacy of the 'flypaper' argument, and how we've plummeted in world estimation, and has altered both his point of view and writing style. I stop by his site almost every day now.
Not a brand, not someone I loved/hated and will so think the rest of my life. He was just OK, and is real good now.

Posted by: Cat brother at September 25, 2006 7:12 AM

Crid,
Not sure Cat brother was particularly wide of the mark at all with his analogy to fast food as your take on the competing brands of punditry?

Hugely enjoyed the "winking through the airwaves" linked piece!

Though whether you swallow the premise depends on your interpretation of the wink. All your writer is saying, surely, is that Rush can be evaluated on two levels, depending on whether it's a wink of self-knowledge and irony you cleverly hear in his voice - or chiefly a wink of cynical complicity with the darker opinions of the great unwashed?

(Also could have done without the paean to Rush as the world's greatest martyr to hearing loss, frankly).

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at September 25, 2006 8:50 AM

> his analogy to fast food

That was mine. Catbro's right that we can have favorites. (Thirty years ago, I enjoyed the double cheeseburger from Burger King with lettuce, onion and pickles, no sauces or tomato.) Worrying about Fox is a waste of time for two big reasons. If you really hate it, you're probably a fan of the competing product, which mirrors it in most moral and ethical respects. And it's bad character to think that the cloudy little people around you are being deceived by clever manipulations that only you can discern... Though it's also a natural impulse.

> whether you swallow
> the premise

Thanks for reading that piece!

> chiefly a wink of cynical
> complicity with the darker
> opinions of the great unwashed?

Precisely! If you're the sort of person who thinks that there are masses of "great unwashed" out there, instead of just other human beings whose opinions and needs deserve consideration, then you probably think you should be able to tell them what to think.

In taking offense at Limbaugh's "talent on loan from God" and Fox's "fair and balanced," the left comes off like a teenage girl who's meeting the guy their mother's dating. Their faces freeze in a humorless, unresponsive grimace. Arms are folded, nostrils are flared, and no conversational gambit can be rewarded. "You're not my Dad, O'Reilly!!"

I used to listen to Loveline on the radio, and the doctor once speculated that the cause of Limbaugh's deafness was the opiates (or synthetic opiates) that he was taking at the time. Apparently hearing loss is an effect of addiction to these meds. And what do you know, after being arrested and getting clean, his hearing came back. There's no need to sympathize with him.

Posted by: Crid at September 25, 2006 11:27 AM

Oh.. That hearing loss thing is in the piece, too.... Never mind.

Posted by: Crid at September 25, 2006 11:37 AM

..."the left comes off like a teenage girl who's meeting the guy their mother's dating."

And, sometimes Crid - when getting red-faced with admiration about Uncle Rush's "secret" wink, the right comes off like the same teenager who enjoys uncle's thumb down the back of her knicker elastic..

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at September 25, 2006 11:46 AM

Exactly... The theme continues. The left wants to judge all public matters in the most personal terms possible. It's the only way they can keep focused, by holding adolescent resentments close to the surface. Before this thread, where else had you considered Limbaugh's wink? The left is OK with sarcasm, but they can't handle irony.

Posted by: Crid at September 25, 2006 12:53 PM

"...What do you care about Edward "R." Murrow? What exactly did that smoke-shrouded buffoon ever do for the Republic that makes you respect trophies given in his name?..."


Among Murrow's achievements:


Four Peabody Awards (1943, 1949, 1951 and 1954).


Presidential Medal of Freedom (9/14/1964)


Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (3/5/1965)


"...He flew 25 missions in the war, despite the opposition of top executives of the Columbia Broadcasting System in New York, who regarded him as too valuable to be so regularly risked. In the endless German air raids on London, his office was bombed out three times but he escaped injury..."


"...His independence was reflected in doing what he thought had to be done on the air and worrying later about the repercussions among sponsors, viewers and individual stations. The fruits of his determination are shared today by newsmen at all networks; they enjoy a freedom and latitude not yet won by others working in the medium..."


Because of this, he was able to throw open the curtains on the horrible Sen. Joseph McCarthy.


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0425.html

Posted by: Doobie at September 25, 2006 4:15 PM

> Four Peabody Awards

I just don't do awards. I just don't care.

> Presidential Medal of Freedom

In short years that followed, thousands of young American men would think it ironic that Johnson could issue "Medals of Freedom." The Matthews book portrays LBJ as a brilliant retail politician who could only flounder about in the wholesale environment of TV-generation persuasion and populism. This sounds like just such a gesture.

> Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

Mick Jagger has one of those, too, right. It's not possible to care any less.

> despite the opposition of
> top executives of the Columbia
> Broadcasting System in New York

He covered a war, and bully for him. It's not like he fought in it.

> The fruits of his determination
> are shared today by newsmen
> at all networks

You bitchslap with faint praise.

> he was able to throw open the
> curtains on the horrible Sen.
> Joseph McCarthy.

As so often happens in television, the moment was more theatrical than meaningful. In the histories I've read Americans were tiring of the drunken Wisconsite at that point anyway. Television might well have been the end of McCarthy, but it probably would have done so no matter who was hosting the program, whatever brands of cigarettes they liked.

If you want to care about this guy, have at 'im. Some of us have a limited amount of hero worship to feel, and want the best possible recipients. Journalists very, very rarely qualify.

Posted by: Crid at September 25, 2006 8:27 PM

>I just don't do awards. I just don't care


And they don't care that you don't care.


>Mick Jagger has one of those, too, right. It's not possible to care any less.


So do Reagan and Bush I. QE has apparently lowered her standards over the years.


>whatever brands of cigarettes they liked


How is this relevant?


>Some of us have a limited amount of hero worship to feel


"Hero worship" is different from admiration.


>He covered a war, and bully for him. It's not like he fought in it


Once again:


"...He flew 25 missions in the war, despite the opposition of top executives of the Columbia Broadcasting System in New York, who regarded him as too valuable to be so regularly risked. In the endless German air raids on London, his office was bombed out three times but he escaped injury..."

Close enough.

Posted by: Doobie at September 30, 2006 9:08 PM

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