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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Gibson’

President Palin?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Last week’s column, on the declining popularity of several of talk radio’s most prominent conservative hosts, seems to have ruffled more than few feathers. Even some readers who in the past have agreed with the Monitor virtually down the line took issue this time – but, interestingly enough, not on the subject of talk radio hosts.
No, the umbrage – ranging from polite demurral to vehement disagreement – was directed at a parenthetical comment about Sarah Palin.
“Really,” I had asked, “how many times in a given hour can a listener with an IQ above room temperature abide hearing how Ronald Reagan was a precursor of today’s Tea Party activists (he was nothing of the kind) or how Sarah Palin is Abe Lincoln in heels (she is nothing of the sort)?”
My take on Sarah Palin is similar to what I feel about talk radio. When I hear a snooty liberal trash Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Palin, I immediately get defensive and want to go to war because I’m inherently sympathetic to much of what Limbaugh or Hannity or Palin stand for.
But when I think about it rationally, I have to admit that Limbaugh and Hannity have become boring and predictable and at times a little careless with facts. (And I think Hannity actually had a better show on Fox when Alan Colmes was there as the putative co-host – it gave Hannity a liberal foil to play off of).
Likewise, while it pains me to write this because I appreciate her deep support of Israel and detest the barrage of attacks launched against her by the mainstream media from the moment John McCain introduced her to America as his vice-presidential pick, Sarah Palin is in no way qualified to be president of the United States.
People joke about Barack Obama being disconcertingly dependent on a TelePrompter, but he’s generally able to answer questions and talk off the cuff without making the listener cringe. Sarah Palin has a real problem answering the most basic of questions in even a semi-coherent manner.
            Palin’s responses to interviewers make her seem vacuous and totally uninformed – if you disagree, there’s plenty of evidence available to prove you wrong on YouTube, where her stupefying responses to the likes of Charles Gibson and Katie Couric are available in all their gruesome glory.
            While some conservative pundits were willing to break ideological ranks in the heat of the 2008 presidential campaign and question Palin’s credentials, it’s only in recent months, with the 2012 presidential contest coming into view, that there has been a really noticeable surge in publicly voiced anti-Palin sentiment on the right.
            As the editors of the ConservativeHome website wrote last month, after making note of the various economic and foreign-policy crises facing the country, “[W]e need a strong, serious decisive leader on the Republican ticket in 2012. Let’s face it. Sarah Palin is clearly not that leader. She’s fun. She’s attractive. She’s appealing. She’s down-home. She’s got a populist vibe. She shoots animals. But she’s clearly not presidential timber. Not in times like these.”
   Former Republican congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough (“Morning Joe”) asked, “What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a resume as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run? It makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill’s.”
   To conservative columnist Mona Charen, Palin “would be terrific as a talk-show host – the new Oprah. But a presidential candidate? Someone to convince critical independent voters that Republicans can govern successfully? Absolutely not.”
   Janet Daley, a conservative columnist for the (London) Telegraph, wrote that “The virulent attacks on her from the liberal establishment [in 2008] reminded me uncannily of that mix of misogyny and snobbery which had been thrown at Margaret Thatcher, and if only for that reason, I was inclined to defend her. But enough is enough. She is not another Thatcher – nor is she another Reagan. She does not have the experience and substance of a Romney or the genuine warmth and charm of a Huckabee.”

   The last word this week goes to George Will, who said that after 2008, Palin “had to go home and study, had to govern Alaska well. Instead, she quit halfway through her first term and shows up in the audience of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and other distinctly non-presidential venues.”

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Media, Dems Team Up Against Bush

Wednesday, June 19th, 2002

Hold the presses for an unusual burst of candor from Newsweek assistant managing Editor Evan Thomas. “The incredible alarm everybody has about how Bush should have known – all of that is baloney,” Thomas acknowledged last weekend on the panel discussion program “Inside Washington.”

Continued Thomas, “The media beast was so happy to have a scandal here, that we jumped up and down and waved our arms and got all excited about it.”

Thomas was referring, of course, to the frenzy over the “revelation” last week that the Bush administration had advance warning of possible hijackings by members of al Qaeda. That this was hardly news mattered little to biased and dimwitted media types who immediately sought to inflate the issue into a scandal of Nixonian implications, with some going so far as to speculate that Bush may have known specifically about the Sept. 11 attacks

“What did the president know and when did he know it?” chirped the “Today” show’s Katie Couric at the top of the May 16 telecast. Couric also made the wholly misleading assertion that the whole thing was “raising more questions about whether the attack on America could have been prevented.”

On “Good Morning America,” meanwhile, Charles Gibson was once again proving himself every bit Couric’s equal as a morning show lightweight, at one point echoing Couric’s “What did the president know” question.

But Gibson went even further, insinuating that perhaps Bush was not at all caught unawares when he first learned of the Sept. 11 attacks. The news about the CIA briefings, said Gibson, “calls into question what happened when Andy Card, Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, that morning went and whispered in the president’s ear, as the president was talking to a group of school students in Florida. Was the president really surprised?”

The Monitor has come to expect nothing better from the television side of the media, where the rule seems to be that one’s salary grows in inverse proportion to one’s IQ. But the print media were hardly better last week, with tabloid headlines such as “9/11 Bombshell: Bush Knew” representing a new nadir in the utter and willful misreporting of a news story.

Predictably, Congressional Democrats - particularly those with rumored or verified interests in running for president in 2004 - were off and running with what they hoped was, at long last, an issue with which to bludgeon a popular Republican president.

One of the first political opportunists out of the gate was New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who repeatedly and vigorously voiced her profound appreciation for the beneficial aspects of full disclosure, thorough investigation and presidential candor – an appreciation that had been noticeably lacking for the entirety of her husband’s scandal-ridden presidency.

Another Democrat impossible to avoid as soon as the non-story broke was House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, a politician so devoid of substance that the only memorable thing about his short-lived 1988 presidential campaign was the news that he actually dyed his eyebrows on the advice of consultants who felt they were too pale and wouldn’t show up on television.

And what would a political story of purported serious consequence be without a starring role for Joe Lieberman, he of the suffering servant’s visage and the pol-on-the-make’s burning ambition for higher office? The thing about Lieberman is that he manages not to appear as transparently partisan as a Clinton or a Gephardt, even while peddling the same brand of hooey.

Cheers to Slate editor Michael Kinsley, a liberal’s liberal by the way, who in a dead-on parody of last week’s events managed to capture the essence of Lieberman’s furrowed-brow, long-faced shtick in the following quote he put in the mouth of the Connecticut senator:

“I hesitate to criticize or second-guess the president when we are at war with such a sinister foe,” said Kinsley’s Lieberman. “But I am deeply concerned that without a thorough inquiry into this matter, the American people may lose an opportunity for me to be deeply concerned.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/media-monitor-45/2002/06/19/

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