Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wolf Blitzer Says Lynne Cheney Knew She Would Be Asked About Politics

Think Progress has the video of Wolf Blitzer challenging Lynne Cheney's use of the traitor card against him, and CNN. Blitzer says that L.C. had no reason to be shocked or outraged that their interview would be about more than her children's books:

BLITZER: On Friday in the Situation Room on CNN, I interviewed the wife of the Vice President, Lynne Cheney. The interview generated quite a bit of commotion and we are going to replay the unedited version. First, some history. I have been covering the Cheneys for many years, including on a day-to-day basis when he was the defense secretary during the first Gulf War and I was CNN's Pentagon correspondent. This -- Mrs. Cheney has been a frequent guest on my programs. I have often invited her to discuss her new children's books. She always is open to discussing the news of the day.

In this most recent interview, she, of course, knew we would be speaking about politics. That was reaffirmed to her staff only hours before the interview. As a former co-host of Crossfire during the 1990s, she knows her way around the media. She was never shy about sparring with Democratic strategist and co-host.

I was surprised when she came out swinging on Friday, surprised by what she said about the "Broken Government" series and the excellent one-hour report by our chief national correspondent John King. One of the most precise and respected journalists in Washington. The decision to air sniper video which Anderson Cooper branded, I'm quoting now, "a single propaganda tape." Surprised at her sniping at my patriotism.

Digby notes that L.C.'s "offended Republican mom" routine has long since gotten old:

Lynn Cheney has a schtick and it's the "offended Republican mom responds with righteous indignation." You'll recall her excellent use of it in campaign 2004 with her "this is not a gooood man" line. In this case she aped Bill Clinton's earlier complaint when he was sandbagged on FoxNews by Chris Wallace, but it doesn't hold water --- Blitzer says the wide ranging topics were reaffirmed by her staff before the interview.

Cheney likes to pretend that she is just an indignant political wife and mother, but in fact she's a Republican political operative well-known in her own right --- far more than Hillary Clinton ever was before she became first lady. Lynn and Dick Cheney are the Borgias of American politics.

Unfortunately, Blitzer did not have the guts to challenge the very notion that it's his, or CNN's, job to help the United States "win the war." Lynne Cheney's question to Blitzer -- "Do you want us to win the war?" -- reveals the same fundamental misunderstanding of the free press's role that I discussed here.

John at AMERICAblog thinks L.C. knows how a free press is supposed to work -- she just does not want a free press:

I'd also add, as an aside, that Cheney had the audacity to ask Wolf "do you want us to win?" the war in Iraq. A comment I find extremely troubling from a national political figure in a democracy. CNN's job isn't to help the US, or anybody else, win or lose. Their job is to report the news. Aside from reporting a story that they know, or suspect, will cause massive damage to US national security, it is not the media's job in a democracy to further some governmental agenda. Mrs. Cheney knows that, but she, like so many others now leading the Republican party, don't really believe in democracy. So it's no wonder she wants to know whose team the press is on since in her sick little world freedom is always partisan.

Think Progress reader Uncle_Ho has the retort that should be on everyone's lips when Dick Cheney or Lynne Cheney (or George W. Bush or Donald Rumsfeld for that matter) talk about patriotism and winning wars:

WTF would any of 5-deferment Dickhead's family know about patriotism. Did Dickhead join the army? Is any of his family enlisting to fight in Iraq? No? I didn't think so.

Let it also be noted that Cheney's off-mic response when asked about his five deferments was that "[he] had other priorities in the 60's than military service."

Unlike, of course, the 2,812 Americans who have died since March 2003. They had no pressing priorities other than to lose their lives in Iraq.

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