Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cry Me a River

Couric & Williams Paint Obama as 'Culture of Washington' Victim All of the broadcast and cable network anchors challenged President Barack Obama in some questions during their Tuesday afternoon Oval Office interview sessions, but CBS's Katie Couric and NBC's Brian Williams also painted Obama as a victim of Washington's culture which forced HHS Secretary nominee Tom Daschle's withdrawal. "You campaigned to change the culture in Washington, to change the politics as usual culture here," Couric noted as she empathized: "Are you frustrated? Do you think it is much, much harder to do that than you ever anticipated?" Williams noted "you lost two nominees, two appointments today," so, as if Obama were an uninvolved casualty of unfairness: "Did that make you angry, I imagine?" Echoing Couric, Williams fretted: "How do you prevent the lesson from being that, no matter how lofty the goals of the new guy coming in, Washington wins, in the end?" Maybe it was just following the law and paying a penalty for avoiding taxes which won in the end.

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Mitchell: Public Will Blame the GOP for Bringing Down Daschle During MSNBC's live coverage on Tuesday of the sudden resignation of Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle, reporter Andrea Mitchell suggested to Republican Senator Jim DeMint that the American public will see this as the GOP having "brought him [Daschle] down." The Democratic nominee resigned over a growing controversy which revealed that the former Senate majority leader owed $140,000 in back taxes. (He has since paid them.) Mitchell sympathetically described talking to the ex-Senator: "I just got off the phone with Tom Daschle. And it was an emotional conversation. He was clearly, it sounded as though he were tearful, overwrought." Later, while speaking to DeMint, Mitchell bristled at the South Carolina Senator's contention that Democrats were also skeptical of Daschle's nomination. The journalist chided: "Well, Senator DeMint, you can say that the Democrats were uncomfortable as well, but they were all supporting him publicly." She then lectured: "So, this does read to the public as though the Republicans went after this man, someone that the President very much wanted, and brought him down."

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© Janet Crain

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