I was standing at the "New Non-Fiction" table at Barnes & Noble paging through FUBAR
, the new Sam Seder book. Just as I was skimming the section on the liberal media myth, I looked up and saw a guy who looked very much like Tim Russert wandering around. After a double take, I confirmed that it was Tim, there to sign and plug his new bit of Dad treacle Wisdom of Our Fathers
. Just then my wife called on my cell phone. I told her Tim Russert was standing just a few feet away, and asked her whether I should tell him what I thought of him. Horrified, she said of course not.
But having written the above comment on the Pelosi interview, I could not let the moment pass. On Tim's way out, I introduced myself and told him I watched his program regularly. He was pleased. Then I said I saw his interview with Nancy Pelosi, and asked him why he was so concerned about potential investigations.
He said he was "curious" not "concerned," and it's his job to ask about these things.
Then I asked him one of the questions I wished Pelosi had asked: "Do you think the loss of $9 billion in Iraq should be investigated?"
He said it was not his job to have an opinion about that. His job is simply to play Devil's advocate to each side -- to ask the questions Dems might ask Reps and vice versa.
By this time, he was halfway out the door, and anyway, a two minute conversation is inadequate to point out what people like Somerby, Arianna and Driftglass point out each week in depressing detail: the ways in which he's a pussycat to Reps and an attack dog to Dems.
But even so, isn't it startling for the pre-eminent Sun. morning newsman to say that he has "no opinion" about whether $9 billion was lost in Iraq?
If he were interviewing Eichmann would he have "no opinion" about whether the Holocaust happened?
If he were interviewing Abramoff, would he have no opinion about whether bribery is a good thing?
In two minutes, I saw "up close and personal" the pernicious false "balance" of the media.
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