Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If Anyone Out There Knows Bob Schieffer, Please Make Sure He Gets This?

I have something really important to ask Bob Schieffer. I don't know how to reach Mr. Schieffer directly, so I'm going to just throw this arrow in the air and hope it comes to Earth in his view.

At tomorrow's debate, Mr. Schieffer, please, please don't ask about William Ayres.

And don't ask "around" him, either. By that I mean, don't ask those hacky journalist questions like, "You've been critical of Senator Obama, drawing attention to what you call his past association with Mr. Ayres. Do you think that kind of thing is important to voters?" Or the Couric-esque, "What would you say to those who criticize you..."

Please. Don't do it. And not just because they're creampuff questions that are beneath a journalist with your astounding talent and experience. And not just because it'll only provoke six or seven minutes of blather that is completely unimportant and demeaning to us all.

Don't ask the question because:

If John McCain wants to track this filth into the debate, make him do it himself.

If you ask about it, it will just give him political cover. He'll go around saying, "Hey, I wasn't going to bring it up, but Bob Schieffer asked me about it."

Please, I'm begging you. Avoid any question that could remotely lead to hauling out the Ayres smear. If McCain truly thinks Barack Obama pals around with terrorists, he will be honorbound to confront him on it. Perhaps he could turn his evidence over to the Justice Department (along with his secret plan for catching Osama bin Laden. Unless he's keeping that to himself unless elected, in which case he's a traitorous scumbag.)

If he doesn't bring it up, he will prove the last two weeks were just bullshit, red meat and pitchforks.

And if he does bring it up? He'll be the one responsible for it. He's disavowed pretty much everything done on his behalf for the last six months. Enough. Make John McCain own his own campaign's tactics, once and for all. Please.

One more thing: Please do what Tom Brokaw and Gwen Ifill and Jim Lehrer refused to. Please ask follow-up questions. As many as necessary, whenever you detect the foul odor of mendacity.

For example, whenever Sarah Palin is asked about Friday's report, the astounding thing is not that she claims it cleared her. The astounding thing is that no journalist flat-out says to her, "That's a lie. It's the exact opposite of the truth."

Why not?

Don't let them get away with it. Please.


norm said...

Well....so much for that hope.
Though Obama handled it well.

I also wonder about the people who say McCain did well because he stayed on the offensive.
By that standard would he have won outright if he'd just sneared and kicked Obama in the privates?

And...what about McCain's definition of an "attack ad" He equated Obama's critique of his health plan with McCain's outright personal attacks and smears.

Michael Markowitz said...

As usual, Norm, we are in sync. In this case, however, you read my next post's mind.

Obama runs an ad criticizing McCain's health care plan. McCain runs an ad calling Obama a terrorist sympathizer. In what universe are those equivalent?

This morning I made the mistake of watching Morning Joe and a litle of the Today Show. As long as the media equate those two as "attacks" it gives the right wing cover.

And Andrea Mitchell this morning on Today was typical, saying that independent studies show both campaigns have run negative ads. HUH?? First of all, not so. Second of all, even by the ridiculous equivalency above, the independent studies came down 60% on the Obama side, and 100% on the McCain side. Perhaps Andrea could ask her husband to do math for her in the future.

Speaking of which, one more mini-rant. How is it that Andrea Mitchell can sit on panels and pundit-icize on a financial crisis her husband helped create?? Maria Shriver was cautious and sensible enough to recuse herself from NBC News, why hasn't Andrea Mitchell done the same??

And finally, my favorite lines of the night. On MSNBC before the debate, Rahm Emanuel compared John McCain to a "grumpy old man in slippers." Fantastic.

Then, after the debate, the always-great Joan Walsh of Salon said if McCain wanted to avoid looking like a grumpy old man, it was probably a bad idea to crab about how when he is trying to watch an Arizona Cardinals game the Obama commercials keep popping up. That really does sound very Grandpa Simpson, doesn't it?