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."
Don't let them get away with it. Please.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
at 6:18 PM