Monday, March 26, 2007

Couples Counseling

Seems reporters like to go hard after the Democratic marrieds these days (or maybe this tradition goes back to the early 1990s? Look, left).

Exhibit A is Katie Couric Sunday night on 60 Minutes throwing flippy-cold and oddly aggressive questions at John and Elizabeth Edwards about Mrs. Edwards' cancer and the campaign (watch it here and be sure to check out a great Nora Ephron response from Huffington Post).

Regardless of your comfort level with Couric's approach, the Edwardses seemed poised and ready to talk. I don't hear them complaining about their treatment, but I am sure they would agree using strawmen communities (By gosh, it does take a village! I am totally on to something here...) as justifications for questions is an intellectually lazy endeavor. Maybe if Elizabeth had colon cancer Couric would have been more empathetic.

Update: I didn't take the time to listen to Couric's solo audio of the questions today, but thanks to Mickey Kaus at Slate pointing it out, I clicked and listened. Couric's repetitive rancor was as cowardly as it was pointless. What, exactly, was she after? When I wrote days ago that a "cynical march of snide doubt and division" would commence, I had far-right bloggers and say, Rush Limbaugh in mind as the drum majors. "Journalism" has fallen further than I thought.

Exhibit B is Chris Matthews today, going straight for the throats of Tom and Christie Vilsack on Hardball. Matthews skipped the "Some people say" approach Couric lathered up with and instead exposed the strategery behind the Vilsack endorsement with pointed, even impolite questions. It seemed to me that Matthews made the Vilsacks look unprepared and amateurish, but you watch and decide.

In contrast, Exhibit C is the transcript of not-so-tough questions from ABC News' George Stephanopoulos aimed at Willard and Ann Romney a few weeks ago. My favorite question was the first: "Okay, Mitt Romney, management consultant. Give us the PowerPoint presentation for your candidacy." Oh, those softballs are hard to swing at, I'm sure. Even for a guy nicknamed Mitt.

What I really want to see is Rudy and Judy Giuliani on 60 Minutes with Couric. Perhaps she can ask them if they are "in denial" thinking that their marriage will work (considering their respective track records). "Some people say," Couric might begin, "that you're both bad at keeping commitments. How can we trust you won't leave America halfway during your term?"

Maybe if President Bush started doing interviews with Laura we could get to the bottom of this whole Iraq War everyone's talking about...oh nevermind, he's in that Republic Party.

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