Monday, October 31

The Collected Wisdom of the Ages

So there I am, barely ambulatory, reading the Sundays with the teevee on. Turner Classics was gracing me with South Pacific, and in my usual fashion I checked to see how much of it I could take before my head exploded. Just to the beginning of "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." I flip over to where I think they store the networks, and catch Timmy announcing The Panel That Time Forgot.

Now, just how is it that after the worst week a Republican administration has suffered without anyone named Milhouse involved the panel discussion is a world bound in a can of soggy nuts? Well, here they are in a nutshell:

MR. DAVID BRODER:  It's very hard to imagine that somebody as smart and as organized as Scooter Libby would disremember where he heard that kind of information...

MR. WILLIAM SAFIR(E): ...a complicated series of accusations of a cover-up, but the most important single fact that emerged from the indictment is what was not in it.  This whole thing started as an investigation of the violation of a law....And what the special counsel found is that law was not broken.

MR. RUSSERT:  That's a very important point.

MS. JUDY WOODRUFF: ....I think Mr. Fitzgerald did a pretty credible job of explaining why truth is central to our judicial system.

MR. DAVID BROOKS:  Well, I agree with that.  But listen, nobody's going to remember most of the details of this six months from now.  What people want to know, is there a dark, malevolent conspiracy in the middle of the White House? Is there a cancer on the presidency, to use John Dean's phrase.  And I think what Fitzgerald showed, you know, he was in there for 22 months.  He had full cooperation from everybody.  And what he found was no criminal conspiracy to out a covert agent.  He indicted one person of perjury, which is serious.  But the White House has to be breathing a sigh of relief, and the American people have to know that the wave of hysteria, the wave of paranoia, the wave of charges and allegations about Karl Rove and everybody else so far is unsupported by the facts.

Got that, America? After a two-year investigation, all Fitzgerald found was that this one guy lied. And that's a bad thing, and he should have known better. But this proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that nothing else bad was going on. In fact, why are you even watching Meet the Press? Get a jump on it, start the forgetting process now.

Once again, it's impossible to believe that even this panel, two dead guys sitting up, the Nostradamus of Lawn Care, a woman who told Andy Card on the eve of the 2000 Inaugural that she "looked forward to working with your administration", moderated by a guy who kept mum about his own involvement for two years while still pitching softballs to Dick Cheney, does not contain one member who understands that "Fitzgerald found no criminal conspiracy" is not a supportable statement. Impossible. It's impossible to believe that a group of Beltway insiders with an aggregate experience of 4,738 years, has no appreciation for the subtleties of language or of matters left unaddressed which someday soon just might be. Did Judy Woodruff leave even the slimiest stone unturned during the Clinton administration? Did Timmy? But now indictments are returned against Libby, and the matter is settled?

Funny, but with this superannuated group you'd imagine one or two of 'em would have remembered when Watergate was just a third-rate burglary, wouldn't you?

Then, seeing as how there was little chance of a news program breaking out, they decided to try their hands at slapstick comedy:

MR. BRODER:....I have to say that I thought the president had taken sensible steps to try to ward off second-term problems.  He was well aware of this history.  And he had, particularly in the terms of agenda, laid out a very ambitious second-term agenda that he thought would give a real focus and purpose to it.  Turned out that he misjudged what the country was looking for in a second term.  And the question that I think now confronts the president is:  "Can I really rely as much as I have on my own sort of gut instincts to guide my policies?... 

MR. RUSSERT:  If the president does try to recover, does try to reach out, will the Democrats join with him or will they resist him?...

MR. BROOKS:He's bloody and they want to kill him.  I mean, let's look at the agenda for him....I would say go back to the issues that are really on people's minds:  gas prices, keeping up with China and Iraq, the fundamentals....

MR. SAFIRE:  And I think in the next month or two you'll see a turnaround and a swing of the pendulum.  I hope next week the president really does address a crisis that may be developing in bird flu.  And that suddenly is more important than all of this.

MS. WOODRUFF:....I just want to say on this whole privileged reporters protecting their sources--I don't know a reporter who wants to go, you know, and talk before a grand jury.  I'm sure Tim was uncomfortable with it....

MR. RUSSERT:  Well, we resisted and the court orders you...

MS. WOODRUFF:  It's an investigation where reporters were central to the case...

MR. RUSSERT:  But it's awkward.

MS. WOODRUFF:  ...and to proving that somebody lied.  And can I just quickly double back to--go ahead.

MR. RUSSERT:  We've got to go.

MS. WOODRUFF:  You've got to go.

Dammit, it takes to the very end of the program before somebody says something reasonable. Yes, Judy. Tim has got to go.


Anonymous said...

I'm speechless. During the "Al Gore, Liar" phase of media mendacity, I thought that they had sunk as low as they could go. At least then, the events they lied about were in the distant past and had few witnesses. Apparently, they are ready to lie about something that happened less than 48 hours ago, on national TV.

OK, I'm not speechless.
David Broder, thou jarring clay-brained wagtail!
William Safire, thou poisonous beetle-headed codpiece!
Judy Woodruff, thou tottering puke-stockinged flax-wench!
Tim Russert, thou paunchy open-arsed lout!
David Brooks, thou vain ill-nurtured strumpet!
I feel better now.

Anonymous said...

Enh. Judy's still scared over the whole Bushy Knoll thing. She knows what ineffectively happens when you don't work with a Bush.

This has been your Nutjob Paranoid Moment for the weekend.

And now, on to the forgetting!

Anonymous said...

Codpiece. Oh, Bunny, I haven't heard the word "codpiece" uttered in ages. I miss it. I would add that he is a sweaty codpiece.

As for each of these tools:
1. Broder: I thought digging up graves was illegal. Someone throw the WaPo in jail!
2. Safire: You want bird flu to hurry up and get here? Are you mad?
3. Russert: Aw, heck, someone's already calling him Timmeh.
4. Judy: "a credible job of explaining why truth is central to our judicial system" By golly! I think Judy's synapses fired for the first time in a decade!
5. Brooks: Move on, there's nothing to see here! (said in the same way Frank Drebin said it in the "Naked Gun")