Tuesday, November 09, 2004


weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm

Poor Wolf. No matter how distorted his reporting gets, he always seems like such a decent guy to me. He just seems weak, cowed, afraid to wander off message and get clobbered. Tonight he was reading from the new post-election script, the one that reflects all that new political capital the President says he's amassed. There's a trapped look in his eyes, and I can't see his fingers when he's on TV. Maybe he's using hand gestures like the USS Pueblo sailors did, signalling to us that he doesn't want to say these things but they put him under so much pressure.

Tonight on NewsNight Wolf told us thatBush "visited injured solders, which he does from time to time." He should take notes from CNN's own Dana Bash, who reported today that the President made "his sixth trip to Walter Reed (to visit injured soldiers), but he hasn't been there in about eight months, since March 19 ... Now, the White House denies that the campaign, either the campaign schedule or politics, was the reason for him not visiting wounded soldiers there in eight months." Dana, maybe you can talk to your anchorman and let him know you can still slip a little truth onto TV in Red America. For the moment.

The President "visited injured solders, which he does from time to time." That sounds so ... nice, like it's something he remembers to do on the way back from the grocery store. From time to time. Like when it's not politically inconvenient. Wolf, his spine torqueing from the administration's headlock, papers over the unpleasant but embarrasingly obvious reality that even our wounded soldiers are nothing more than props to be hidden or paraded as deemed expedient.

The CNN anchor: he can be ... persuaded.

You know, I hope Wolf really is caving under pressure, because I don't know how he can believe this stuff. Wolf, Rush's girlfriend Daryl Kagan, Paula Zahn ... I'd love to see what the employment application forms at CNN look like. "Describe an incident in your career where you successfully made a Mobius strip out of factual information." "Please provide the names of three references - one from the American Enterprise Institute, one from the Cato Institute, and one from the Republican party - to provide a broad political spectrum of opinions about your capabilities."

I still want to believe, though, that Wolf is a good person in a bad situation. Maybe it's the beard. Maybe I just wish we still had a Fourth Estate in this country. Edward R. Murrow, the nation turns its lonely eyes to you.