Battlepanda: Sweet...


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


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And wouldn't you know it. As soon as public sentiments starts turning against the Bushies, the media starts smelling blood. Here's the usually meek and mild Wolf Blitzer ripping into White House communications director Nicholle Wallace. It's hilarious stuff.

"BLITZER: Was it a mistake for the White House
to compare what John Murtha was saying to Michael Moore, the liberal filmmaker?

"WALLACE: You know, I think that words have such power in this debate. But if you look at the policy that Michael Moore advocated for the duration of last year's presidential campaign, it is the exact policy that the congressman proposed.

"But you know, again, I think the president and vice president have set the tone for this debate. I think we've made perfectly clear over the last five days that our differences with Congressman Murtha are in our visions for the best way forward in Iraq.

"We believe -- as do 79 United States senators, as do more than 300 House members -- that what he proposed, which is an immediate withdrawal or a withdrawal based on an arbitrary timetable, is the wrong way to guarantee victory in Iraq.

"And I think that, as people head home over the holidays, as people think about our troops over there fighting, it is comforting -- and everyone should be comforted by the fact that the Congress, both chambers, spoke clearly and embraced the current administration policy about the way forward in Iraq.

"BLITZER: Because when I heard the president speak about Congressman Murtha on Sunday and the vice president speak about Congressman Murtha on Monday, neither one of them brought Michael Moore into the picture.

"So I'll repeat the question: Was it a mistake for the White House on Friday to start bringing Michael Moore into this whole discussion involving John Murtha?

"WALLACE: I answer your question again directly: No, it was not a mistake."

When Wallace again said that Murtha "advocated an immediate withdrawal from the battle space in Iraq," Blitzer shot back.

"BLITZER: He didn't advocate an immediate withdrawal. He said over the next six months, and then to keep the troops in neighboring states like Kuwait, Qatar, over the horizon, to go back in if necessary.

"WALLACE: Well, look, you've had him on your air for a lot of the last five days and I think he's probably articulated his position much more clearly than I can do. We disagree with the. . . .

"BLITZER: That's what he articulated the first day when he made his long statement.

"WALLACE: Well, I'm not sure what you want to debate me on, Wolf.

"BLITZER: I'm not debating. I'm just saying he didn't call for an immediate withdrawal.

"WALLACE: Well, what he is advocating differs from current White House policy. And, frankly, I only saw two other Democrats, Democratic colleagues of Congressman Murtha's side with his position. But this is a healthy debate to have.

"BLITZER: I want to be precise on this, Nicolle, because words matter.

"WALLACE: Absolutely.

"BLITZER: The resolution that was in the Congress used the words 'immediate withdrawal.' And there were three Democrats who voted for that. Congressman Murtha talks about a six-month phased withdrawal and then keeping troops in the region, which is significantly different.

"WALLACE: We still oppose anything other than a conditions-based withdrawal from Iraq."

Blitzer then asked her to reconcile that position with Monday's agreement among Iraqi political factions that there should be a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Later in the show, Blitzer turned to Jack Cafferty, whose job is to keep an eye on viewer e-mails.

"CAFFERTY: You're getting a lot of high marks from our viewers for that interview with Nicolle Wallace, the White House communications director. Played a little hardball with the lady. . . . [P]eople said that they enjoyed you kind of pinning her ears back a little bit.

"BLITZER: Well, thank you.

"CAFFERTY: Well, you're most welcome.

"BLITZER: She's a very nice lady, by the way.

"CAFFERTY: Well, she's probably not real thrilled with you right now, but. . . .

"BLITZER: No, but she's a very nice person. I know her.


"CAFFERTY: Don't be trying to suck up after you beat her up on national television.

"BLITZER: I knew her when she was Nicolle Devenish. She's now Nicolle Wallace. She's a lovely woman.

Can you even imagine an exchange like this on CN-frickin'-N a few month, nay, a few weeks ago?

Like Josh Marshall said. There's nothing that newly-spined the press is doing now that couldn't have been done anytime in the last two years. Especially in the run-up to the '04 election, when it could have really fricking made a difference. Oh well. Better late than never.