Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Great moments in journalism!

If you were channel surfing Monday night looking for anything on TV besides the Republican convention, then you missed what will arguably go down in history as one of the great moments in television journalism.

CNN anchor Campbell Brown had McCain mouthpiece Tucker Bounds on her show. It was must-see TV.

If you've ever wondered what animal some people may have been in a previous life, Bounds gave ample proof that he was probably a weasel....and still is.

Brown wanted to question Bounds on McCain's decision to pick Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate and ask a just few questions about her experience as commander of the Alaska National Guard.

In other words she wanted to ask more questions about Governor Palin's background and experience than McCain's campaign apparently did when vetting her.

Brown first asked Bounds why he thought Gov. Palin was ready to be commander in chief.

Bounds was having none of that and proceeded to evade just about every question Brown asked.

Brown kept pressing for over 7 minutes and in the process beat up on Tucker-the-Candy-Ass-Bee-Yotch like he was a red-headed stepchild.

Bounds just couldn't bring himself to answer why McCain thought Palin was ready to be commander in chief or even recount one command decision she's made as Commander of the Alaska National Guard. Apparently they don't know and are still checking on that.

Brown: ...So I don't have to tell you that there's a feeling out there by some that you're not holding your VP pick to your own standard, the standard that you defined. So explain to us why you think Governor Palin is ready to be commander-in-chief.

Bounds: Governor Palin has the good fortune of being on the same ticket with John McCain, who, there is no question, is the most experienced and shown proven judgment on the international stage; he understands foreign affairs, he has a familiarity with the players across the globe—

Brown: Well, we know all that about John McCain, Tucker. I asked you about her, though, because we all know the role of the VP, as John McCain has defined it, is to be able to step into the job of the presidency on day one if something should happen to the president. So I'm asking you about her foreign policy experience.

Bounds: Yeah, Campbell, certainly there are a number of people who are supporting Barack Obama's candidacy and are feeling like he's experienced enough to take on the Oval Office. Our feeling is that Governor Palin has just as much experience as Barack Obama. She has just as much experience as the presidential candidate of our opponent.

Brown: But—but you're not answering my questions. Okay, but—but you set a different standard, that was— So does she—?

Bounds: Pardon me, Campbell?

Brown: You said—what I'm saying is, that you set a different standard by arguing how important it was with John McCain—and, no one's arguing with you that he has much more experience than Barack Obama—so I'm just trying to get someone from the campaign to explain to me what foreign policy experience she has or what qualifications she has that would allow her to be ready to be commander-in-chief if something should happen to Senator McCain? That's a fair question, isn't it?

Bounds: Well, Campbell, let me be clear: I don't think there should be any problem explaining her experience. She has executive state-level experience; she's been in public office reforming Washington; she's been in executive office longer, and in a more effective sense, than Barack Obama's been in the United States senate. She's been the commander of the National Guard, of the Alaskan National Guard, that's been deployed overseas—that's foreign policy experience. And I just want to mention that these are—

Brown: [as Bounds is speaking] So, so—okay, but—okay, okay, Tucker? All right, all right—just, give me, Tucker, sorry, just, if I can interrupt for one second—

Bounds: Uh-huh.

Brown: Commander—'cause I've heard you guys say this a lot—

Bounds: Yeah.

Brown: Can you just tell me one decision that she made as commander-in-chief of the Alaskan National Guard, just one?

Bounds: Yeah, she has made…any decision she has made as the commander of the National Guard that's deployed overseas is more of a decision than Barack Obama has been making as he's been running for president for the last two years.

Brown: Okay, so tell me! Tell me one of the—give me an example of one of those decisions. I'm just curious. Just one decision she made in her capacity as commander-in-chief of the National Guard.

Bounds: Campbell—Campbell, certainly—Campbell, certainly you don't mean to belittle every experience, every…every judgment that she makes as commander of the National Guard—

Brown: I…I'm belittling nothing! I just want to know one judgment or one decision! I would love to know what one decision was. I'm not belittling anything, Tucker, I'm really not. I'm just curious.

Bounds: Mm-hmm. Yeah. As she makes a decision as to how to equip, how to command, the National Guard in Alaska, that is more experience and more of a judgment than Barack Obama's making on the campaign trail. That's my only argument.

Brown: [as Bounds is speaking] But Tucker, those are the Pentagon's decisions. That's General Petraeus. That's the White House. No governor—

Bounds: Pardon me?

Brown: No governor makes decisions about how to equip or deploy the National Guard. That…you know, when they go to Iraq, that's decisions that you well know are made by the Pentagon.

Bounds: Actually, actually, Campbell, they do. Campbell…Campbell, on a factual basis, they certainly do. In Alaska, if you, if you have any sort of emergency, as things are happening in your state, the National Guard is under the command of the governor. That is more of a command role than Barack Obama has ever had. I would argue that, on our ticket, John McCain and Governor Palin, between the two of them, have far more command experience in the military than either of the candidates on the Democratic side. And I do want to argue that this is about the top of the ticket. Ultimately, when people go into the ballot box and decide between Barack Obama and John McCain, they're going to decide between John McCain's record of reforming Washington and Barack Obama's rhetoric on the campaign trail. Doesn't have a lot of experience, certainly has no military experience, no command military experience, which both of our candidates have. That's an important distinction; I think voters will make the right call in November.

Brown: All right, Tucker, umm…I'm gonna just give it to you, baby. [laughs] We'll end it there.

Bounds: I appreciate it.

McCain's campaign was so pissed at what they thought was the unfair treatment Bounds received at the hands of Brown that they cancelled McCain's scheduled appearance on the Larry King show tonight. There, take that CNN!

By the way, lest anyone think that Campbell Brown was exhibiting some liberal media, anti-Republican bias, a quick Google search reveals that she's married to a Republican strategist and Fox News analyst!

So while the McCain campaign may not have vetted Palin properly, the press is showing that they are more than happy to pick up where McCain's people left off, thank you very much.

This is better than any movie.

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