anyone was expecting NBC's Tim Russert to sink
his fangs into Putsch's neck the way he does with
Democrats, well, you just haven't seen our Timmy
in action. Or "inaction," as the case may be.
give you an idea, his first question to Putsch
was about the sham commission on the "intelligence
failures" that he named the other day. Now I say
"sham" because any commission where the person
most affected by their investigation gets to hand
pick the members is a sham. One where one of the
members is Laurence Silberman, plumber for the
October surprise, and mechanic behind numerous
other GOP dirty deeds, including letting the traitorous
Oliver North walk, is a sham. One where the most
"prestigious" member, John McCain, has already
opined that intelligence failures WILL be found
to justify George's leetle mistake is a sham.
other words, the commission is a complete joke,
and there isn't a member of the press who doesn't
realize that. Including Tim Russert.
noted the existence of the commission, and finished
up by asking, "You have been reluctant to do that
for some time. Why?"
spent several minutes avoiding that question,
and wound up not answering it. Russert didn't
try to follow up.
the idea? The whole interview was like that. Russert
would ask questions -- mostly softball questions
-- and Putsch would avoid answering nearly all
of them, and Russert would let it slide. A real
reporter would have had George for breakfast,
but it's been a long time since they had anything
resembling journalism in the corporate media punditocracy.
example of Russert's inability to dig for a story,
and Putsch's inability to answer any question
more complicated than "Spell your last name" followed
"Shouldn't the American people have the benefit
of the commission before the election?"
that this commission has benefitting the American
people in mind is a real howler, but check out
G-Dubs' answer: "Well, the reason why we gave
it time is because we didn't want it to be hurried."
giving it until May of 2005. They don't want to
be hurried. They couldn't give the UN inspectors
that much time to verify that Iraq no longer had
any WMDs at all, but now they don't want to hurry.
was Russert's response to this answer, which a
real reporter would have considered a beautiful
asked if George was going to testify. George spoke
for several minutes, and failed to answer that
question, either. It was a pretty amazing performance
by two men, each half-heartedly following by rote
what used to be a valued American tradition of
the press keeping the politicians accountable
to the people.
one point, Russert actually asked Putsch if he
should have waited to make sure he had iron-clad
evidence before attacking. It was probably the
toughest underhand girls' softball pitch of the
responded, "Let me take a step back for a second
and there is no such thing necessarily in a dictatorial
regime of iron clad absolutely solid evidence.
The evidence I had was the best possible evidence
that he had a weapon."
Putsch didn't need evidence before murdering over
ten thousand people because Saddam wouldn't need
such evidence. Nice to know the Prez wants to
operate on the same level Saddam did. And notice
the "-a- weapon" Last we heard from Streetwalkin'
Powell, the man had hundreds of pounds of anthraxd,
tons of ricin, sarin, missiles, and maybe even
we're talking about -a- weapon. A paper bag filled
with doggie poo, perhaps.
No, he didn't follow up on that.
failed to follow up on other howlers Putsch uttered.
"Well, I think we are welcomed in Iraq. I'm not
exactly sure, given the tone of your questions,
we're not. We are welcomed in Iraq." "Well, Tim,
I and my team took the intelligence that was available
to us and we analyzed it, and it clearly said
Saddam Hussein was a threat to America." Using
weapons that, um, didn't exist, that's right.
"I strongly believe that inaction in Iraq would
have emboldened Saddam Hussein." Just as the previous
12 years of inaction emboldened him so much he
completely dismantled his WMDs, right, George?
one that should show up in quite a few sig files
was, "See, free societies are societies that don't
develop weapons of mass terror and don't blackmail
the world." Well, we had noticed that Republicans
rarely talked about America being a free society
any more, but we had no idea it was because America
had 70% of the world's nukes and outspent the
next 40 nations combined on its military. But
in announcing our right to invade and occupy any
country we deem "a threat", there's no blackmail
there. Just protection. Yeah, that's the ticket:
at another point, he said, "In nine months' time,
there's -- we're now saying, democracy must flourish.
And as I recall from my history, it took us quite
a while here in the United States, but nevertheless
we are making progress." That's right: it took
nearly 210 years to get from the Bill of Rights
to Kathleen Harris and Antonin Scalia. But we
finally achieved Putsch's notion of what freedom
and democracy are!
breaking for commercial, the subject of AWOL's
Texas Air National Guard "service came up. Putsch
tried to portray questions about his service as
an attack on the national guard, and didn't get
him any traction., Russert asked, "When allegations
were made about John McCain or Wesley Clark on
their military records, they opened up their entire
files. Would you agree to do that?"
"Yeah. Listen, these files I mean, people have
been looking for these files for a long period
of time, trust me, and starting in the 1994 campaign
for governor. And I can assure you in the year
2000 people were looking for those files as well.
Probably you were. And absolutely. I mean, I .
Well, we kinda thought you might have a little
trouble finding them. I wonder if Rush will howl
derision about that for the next year, the way
he did when Hillary couldn't find some obscure
15 year old billing records. C'mon, Rush: maybe
someone will offer you some great drugs if you
about the economy, Putsch blamed Clinton ("The
stock market started to decline in March of 2000."
-- but of course, it climbed back up to 10,000
by early 2002 before it tanked again), 9/11, but
despite all that, the deficit is going down and
my tax cuts will still create a million new jobs
in the sweet by and bye.
was a spectacularly bizarre performance, by both
Putsch and Russert. A parody of the American custom
of the interview.
saved the best for last, and will quote from the
MSNBC transcript of the "interview" with no further
comment. It speaks for itself:
"Were you favor of the war in Vietnam?"
Bush: "I supported my government. I did. And would
have gone had my unit been called up, by the way."
"But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go."
Bush: "No, I didn't. You're right. I served. I
flew fighters and enjoyed it, and we provided
a service to our country. In those days we had
what was called "Air Defense Command," and it
was part of the air defense command system. "The
thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as
I look back was it was a political war. We had
politicians making military decisions, and it
is lessons that any president must learn, and
that is to the set the goal and the objective
and allow the military to come up with the plans
to achieve that objective. And those are essential
lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War."
direct quotes taken from MSNBC Interactive.
Posted: February 9, 2004