Friday, January 26, 2007

Remedial Journalism for Wolf Blitzer

When it comes to the Cheneys, CNN’s dapper little anchor is a slow learner.

In October, Lynne Cheney, plugging her children’s book, weighed in to question Blitzer’s and CNN’s patriotism.

Last night, the VP, plugging a childlike version of the war in Iraq, pasted poor Wolf for asking about right-wing criticism of his lesbian daughter’s impending motherhood.

Cheney (glaring): “I think frankly you’re out of line with that question.”

Blitzer (defensive): “That’s just a question that’s come up, and it’s a responsible, fair question.”

Wrong. Better answer: “Yes, sir, I agree. It’s a personal matter. But don’t you agree that conservative politicians are wrong to make a political issue out of it for millions of other American families?”

In a 1988 Presidential debate, the shoe was on CNN’s other foot when Bernard Shaw asked the Democratic candidate: “Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?”

Dukakis (calmly): “No, I don’t, Bernard. And I think you know I’ve opposed the death penalty all my life...”

Wrong, and it may have cost him the election. Better answer: (glaring) “You’re out of line. That’s an offensive way of asking the question, Bernard. But let me explain the difference between my reaction as a husband and as a public official...”

Much too late for Dukakis, but I’ll be billing Wolf at my usual rate as a retired journalism professor.

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