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Mailbag: More Wallace/Clinton

So Clinton upset Wallace..too bad...maybe he'll learn to do NEWS, not right-wing neofascist propaganda, but I doubt it...he just follows the party line like any good toadie.

Mal in Tallahassee

I'm curious, Mal. Was Chris Wallace a neofascist when he was working at ABC or NBC? Was he a neofascist when President Reagan's press secretary shouted "Screw you!" at him in the middle of a news conference and then refused to speak to him for four years? Was he a neofascist when he was hammering Condi Rice two weeks ago? Gosh, he must not be a very good one.

Well, don't just parrot every other inept (or worse, biased) reporter and commentator...Just answer the question:  "Why haven't the media asked ANY responsible Bush White House official why they did not do more to get O. bin Laden (and al Qaeda) in the EIGHT MONTHS-PLUS prior to 9/11?"

The Bush administration, with the complicity of 90 percent of the Main-Stream-Media, has succeeded in keeping their bad judgment re the 'terrorist threat to the U.S.' during 2001 shrouded in 'national security' necessities. 

Richard Clarke's views, if they are referenced at all, are usually presented in such a light as to reflect doubt on the Clinton administration's concern with bin Laden, but, if they are studied in detail, leave no doubt that George W. Bush and cohorts are preponderantly to blame for 9/11 and its devastation.

Craig Davie

So, let me get this straight: It was unfair to ask Clinton why he didn't get the job done in eight years. But it would be OK (more than OK, necessary) to ask Bush he didn't get it done in eight months?

And if you really think 90 percent of the mainstream media are lying, I don't know why you're bothering to read me or the Miami Herald. For that matter, I don't know why you read anything at all. All those progressive blogs you no doubt are so fond of get virtually all their information from the mainstream media. You think the Daily Kos has reporters in Baghdad and Kabul, or at the Pentagon or the State Department? Without the mainstream media, you'll be an even bigger fool than you already are, Craig, though I'll admit that's hard to conceive.

Mr. Garvin:

I just read your article and I would like to say who really gives a hoot over Clinton's pouting.   President Bush continuously endures personal attacks and disrespectful comments by the useful idiots of the media and you don't see anybody including the President get upset.   

As it was noted by one of the actors who played a warlord in the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11, when Clinton was in the White House, there were no men just cowards running the White House. Now, we have true men running the White House and the media is always undermining them.

Ileana Shafer
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Ileana, meet Craig and Mal. Whatever else you might say about them, it's pretty clear they give a hoot.

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Lance

I don't think Craig said it was unfair to ask Clinton about it, though Glenn neglected to note in his initial article that the interview was supposed to be about Clinton's Global Initiative, not to provide Wallace with a scoop on Clinton's response to the whole "Path to 9/11" scandal. I certainly think Clinton's anti-terrorist efforts are fair game and in fact his record is not bad by comparison, the Millenium bomb plot being one example. But surely some criticism is warranted.

I think the larger point is not the eight months time frame. It was the downgrading of attention to anti-terrorist activities once the Bush Administration took ofice, the lack of interest in Richard Clarke or his ideas, the admitted re-focus on state actors (Saddam, I presume, and we know how well that turned out, or should we rave about this Administration's diplomatic successes on North Korea and Iran?), the refusal to implement the bipartisan Rudman/Hart plan on terrorism, and the failure to address the gathering storm of intelligence that focused on the summer of 2001 (and in particular the August 6, 2001 PDF).

There is more than enough blame to go around. When is this Administration going to accept even a measly part of it?

Personally, I don't think Wallace is a neofascist, but that is really besides the point. He has producers and works for a network that is demonstrably cheerleading the party presently in power. His "hammering" of Condi elicited no headlines and did not generate a Glenn Garvin Miami Herald story for a reason -- he didn't break any news, and Condi was not challenged in any meaningful way. And the network he works for did not frame it and promote it the way they are overselling his interview of Clinton.

Wallace's feigned shock and overreaction at Clinton's demeanor, his failure to address or acknowledge Clinton's substantive points on the merits, and his schoolboy gossiping about Clinton and his staff after the interview suggest that Wallace is earning his paycheck at Fox in a way he perhaps never had to at ABC or NBC.

Geoff

Lance, you are not living in the real world. Journalists ask questions and then write down the answers (or in the case of TV journalists, their answers are recorded). It is up to the journalist to ask tough questions of everybody, especially of ex-presidents who after many years in public office should know how to comport themselves in front of journalists. Clinton completely lost his cool, jabbing Wallace, turning purple-faced and accusing him of having a "smirk" on his face. His behavior was both newsworthy and completely unseemly for an ex-president. Can you imagine Reagan or Truman or even Nixon behaving like this? No, you cannot because they had enough basic decency to control themselves in public. The real Clinton slipped out in this interview, and it is a very scary thing indeed.

Lance

Geoff, we'll have to agree to disagree on whether Clinton was aware of what he was doing, and whether it impacted the viewer in the same way.

An interesting way to look at this would be to compare the amount of US coverage of the Clinton/Wallace interview with that of Carole Coleman, the Irish journalist who dared ask the current President a challenging question, with follow up, in typical European style. This caused the President to bristle, angrily denounce her, walk off the interview, and have his handlers scream at her and tell her she and her network will never again be granted a high-level White House interview again. They cancelled a planned interview her network was supposed to do with Laura Bush. They denounced her as not showing the President the "proper level of respect." The White House even lodged a formal complaint about her with the Irish Embassy.

This example is not as well known, of course, and I don't think the Herald even covered it.

Oh well -- back to scary Clinton.

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