Thursday, November 01, 2007

Russert's 'Gotcha Hillary' Game

If I'd been standing at Hillary's podium last night, I might well have blown it with a scream. Even a hint of anger would be enough to bring a woman down. You know how emotional we women are. The media would have loved that. But already the media is loving the fun they're having with Hillary. It's almost as much fun as they had with Howard Dean.

One thing I learned from last night's 'debate' -- I need to pay as much attention to the moderators as I do to the candidates. Alegre over at dkos and Taylor Marsh did that:

[T]here were 52 questions asked last night; 25 had to do with either Hillary or Bill Clinton, including very personal insinuations, with 22 of the 25 being abjectly hostile. Tim Russert asked 26 questions; 14 were to Clinton, with 5 directly targeting her personally.

Can anyone imagine Obama standing up to an onslaught like that; what about Edwards?

. . .
In contrast, Barack Obama got asked what he would do about air travel; whether there was life beyond earth; and the question on which all Americans' safety depends, What are you going to dress as on Halloween? When the air travel question drooled out of Russert's mouth I thought I'd accidentally hit the remote to the Travel channel. But Russert's softballs to Obama when compared to Clinton were nakedly obvious to anyone paying attention. When you couple Russert's penchant for his all boys pannels on "Meet the Press," there's only one conclusion to draw. . .

Russert's goal was to provide the headlines the media was salivating to see. He intended to diminish and discredit Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, using her former president husband Bill Clinton to help do the job, which included a document waving drama that was all for show. I'd say Russert has a problem with a woman being president, but that can't be the case. Nah, he was just doing his job.

Tim Russert sure didn't think to quiz Obama about his rough week with the Audacity of Homophobia. And why do I think Russert would have shown no mercy to Hillary if she'd been the one caught traveling with a known homophobe?

In my view, the lowest blow of the night was when Edwards and Obama (and I think Mike Dodd joined in too) repeated the Republicans' favorite Hillary talking point, the one about how Hillary is the GOP's dream candidate -- the one and only candidate that they can easily beat.

Because Giuliani is trembling in his boots over the prospect of debating Obama.

Yes, I know Hillary is not progressive enough, yet last night she was the only candidate progressive enough to defend Spitzer's progressive immigration policy. Everyone else was too busy doing favors for the Republican Party. I want a Democrat in the White House. If Hillary's not progressive enough, we can work on that after she moves in. Unless we, or the media, blow it, again.

Paul Waldman: Tim Russert: Stop the Inanity
Jane Hamsher: Thanks But I Think I'll Skip the Pile-On
Taylor Marsh: Russert Leads The Boys in All Out Clinton Assault
Howard Kurtz: Ganging Up
Ezra Klein: Russert
Debatableland: Tim Russert is Hurting America Too