Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The wrongest generation

What’s up, Tom Brokaw? I used to love listening to you even if your Ls do kinda lie there on your tongue like dead clams.

A couple of weeks ago, I called you out for some comments you made during the Republican Convention, after the Republicans showed their hateful little “if you don’t elect us, we’ll take our 9/11 and go home” video:

Tom Brokaw, on the other hand, revered mother superior of NBC, could have responded to the Republican’s little video by pointing out that it was an odd message for a party whose president had been in office for over 7 months when 9/11 occurred, or that the Republican’s president had been warned that the attack was coming and yet failed to act to prevent it, focusing instead on more desirable oil-producing targets.

He didn’t. Instead he responded by delivering a mild discourse on how Barack Obama would have to prove his “defend America” mettle during the debates and the remainder of the campaign. As if it were Obama’s task to disprove their lies.

Now, isn’t Brokaw’s reaction politically biased? Doesn’t it, as mild and yet authoritative as it sounds, still betray Brokaw’s personal point of view, which is that the Democrats, against all evidence to the contrary, have to prove themselves when it comes to national defense?

Earlier this year you went to the network and pressured them to pull Olbermann (and Chris Matthews) from the anchor seats during debate coverage, relegating them to commentator status instead.

Why? Because they are, in your opinion, too biased. You said this:

“Keith is an articulate guy who writes well and doesn’t make his arguments in a ‘So’s your old mother’ kind of way,” Mr. Brokaw said. “The mistake was to think he could fill both roles. The other mistake was to think he wouldn’t be tempted to use the anchor position to engage in commentary. That’s who he is.”

Commentary? Do you mean commentary like when, at the end of a debate, the debate moderator pulls a non-existent poll from his ass in order to spin the ending to favor one candidate over another?

Because you did that. Remember? It was just two days ago, when Obama spokesman David Axelrod was sparring with McCain spokesman Steve Schmidt on your show:

AXELROD: What has happened is, as Sen. Obama predicted from the beginning, that we got distracted in Iraq and now Osama bin Laden, who is the person who attacked the United States, killed 3,000 American citizens is now resurgent. He is stronger and that is the result of the misbegotten decisions of John McCain and he stubbornly wants to continue, even as the Iraqis won’t take responsibility, sitting on $79 billion of their own surplus, while we spend $10 billion a month. It doesn’t make sense. We can’t take more of the same, Steve.

BROKAW: In fairness to everybody here, I’m just going to end on one note and that is that we continue to poll on who is best equipped to be Commander in Chief, John McCain continues to lead in that category, despite the criticism from Barack Obama by a factor of 53 to 42 percent in our latest NBC/WSJ poll.

I mean, wha?

I could understand if you wanted to give the McCain shill the last word, and then not correct his lies, since that was your M.O. up until then, but it really is quite remarkable that you went so far as to actually adopt Schmidt’s roll as McCain cheerleader.

And p.s., Tom, I find it a little hard to swallow that you didn’t know that the latest NBC/WSJ poll didn’t even cover the question of “who’s best equipped to be Commander in Chief.” Nor do I buy that you are unaware that McCain does not continue to lead in the polls on that issue. And neither do I believe that it was an accident that the poll you were citing was taken weeks ago, right after the Republican convention, and is as obsolete as McCain’s $500 Ferragamo moccasins.

And p.p.s., Tom, you might want to rethink your modest assumption, as you described in loving detail in the NY Times, that the McCain camp wants you moderate the NBC debate because you are the most “fair.”

Oh, and sorry, but…p.p.p.s., Tom, all the really great newsmen said what they thought was the truth and didn’t give a damn what the campaigns for either party thought. So, do you want to be one of the great ones, or do you want to retire to Arizona in 2009 and be John McCain’s golfing buddy?


Larry Jones said...

Brokaw's behavior is disappointing. I heard him say that, and -- because he's Brokaw -- I assumed it was true. I only found out later that the poll was outdated and skewed by proximity to the Repub convention. I only discovered it because I am a news and politics junkie. Of the other six million people who heard that remark, many might still be thinking it's gospel because, hey, it's Brokaw.

I probably shouldn't be, but I'm surprised that he's doing this. Obviously he thinks there's been too much bashing of one side in recent campaign coverage, but he should know better than to artificially try to tip the scales back to even. He will have to work a long time to regain credibility.

Some Guy said...

He's a company man to the bitter end. I saw some roundtable discussion once with Brokaw, Jennings, and Dan Rather on the state of the media. It was after they had all left their anchor jobs. Rather expressed remorse at the poor job they had all done in regards to the Iraq War. Brokaw continued to make excuses. It was very telling.

SkylersDad said...

It is right now that I miss Tim Russert most, nailing people to the wall.

Grant Miller said...

He wanted Olbermann and Matthews off so he could move in. He's like Brett Favre - he doesn't want to stay retired.

Dad E said...

When an outrageous comment is made on either the left or right (but let's face it, it's usually the right) some people in the media try to move to the center with it. What they don't understand is that they don't achieve this goal because the position stated is so far away from the center that attempts to move it still keeps it to the right. Only by pointing out the distorsions and possible lies does the position move to the center. Rove understands this.

dguzman said...

Wow, I knew there was a reason I never much liked him. Thanks for the thorough ass-kicking of him. I liked Rather.