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What if Andrew Sullivan moderated the Veep Debate?

Filed under: 2008 Election,Current Events,Politics — Karl @ 10:48 am

[Posted by Karl]

According to the New York Times, Excitable Andy would ask this question:

Governor Palin, since you were selected as a vice presidential candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has given more press conferences to American reporters than you have. Why do you have less confidence in the American press and people than the president of Iran does? And when will you dare to face the press for real?

Aside from its form as an insult, the question demonstrates Sullivan’s lack of political acumen, as this is one of the questions Palin has demonstrated she can answer.  She is quite comfortable talking about the “gotcha journalism” that the fanatical Iranian president never gets from US journalists.  She could respond that she likes talking directly to voters about their concerns in town halls, of the sort Barack Obama turned down holding with John McCain.  She might even mention that when she does speak to the press, she does not run away from tough questions, as Obama has done.

It as though Sullivan is ignorant of the fact that we entered this election campaign with solid majorities of the American public critical of Big Media for political bias, inaccuracy and failing to acknowledge mistakes.  Ignorant that Gallup found that only 40% of Independents trust Big Media.  Ignorant that Harris found found even worse numbers for Independents.  Ignorant that Harvard University found nearly two-thirds of Americans do not trust campaign coverage by the news media.  Ignorant that a Sacred Heart University Poll found that just 19.6% of Americans say they believe all or most news media reporting.  Ignorant that Rasmussen found that a majority of unaffiliated voters see reporters trying to help Obama and that about half say reporters are trying to hurt Palin.  Ignorant of year after year of polling data showing that Americans do not find journalists to be all that honest or ethical.

Of course, we know that the questions the Sullivan really wants to ask Palin involve gobsmackingly vile and stunningly hypocritical personal attacks that he admits are “crazy” and that he has “no proof” to support.  What we learn today is that if forced to operate in the arena of a sane and civil society, the question Sullivan would ask is so politically tonedeaf that it would likely help the very person he so obviously would like to destroy.


17 Responses to “What if Andrew Sullivan moderated the Veep Debate?”

  1. He would ask to see her stretch marks and then go eeeewwwww.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  2. So what would happen if Palin did okay, or even a little better than okay, in tonight’s debate? First of all, relative to prevailing expectations, it would be a triumph. The story would be how well Palin did, which could get people thinking maybe they had underestimated her, which could imply maybe they had underestimated McCain. Given the attention this matchup will receive, that might even be enough to nudge the momentum back their way.

    Huff Puff asks, what if?

    Joe (dcebbd)

  3. She might even mention that when she does speak to the press, she does not run away from tough questions, as Obama has done.

    Karl, what do you call Obama going on O’Reilly last month?

    Oh wait never mind you missed that because you were probably to gaga eyed over the nomination of Palin.

    Sorry, I forgot.

    Oiram (983921)

  4. I found it odd that Palin could not name another Supreme Court decision with which she disagreed. After all, we know that she is aware of at least one Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade with which she disagrees. Just over a month ago she criticized the Supreme Court’s decision in the Exxon Valdez case, slashing the punitive damages awarded by the trial court. So did she simply freeze up and forget? Was she afraid of a ‘gotcha’ comeback if she named a specific case? Or is she that much of a knucklehead that she can’t even remember what she thought of the Court several weeks ago? My read of the video is that the first is most likely, but I’m sure others will disagree.

    Biden, the constitutional law scholar and former Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke more smoothly and authoritatively on the issue. Yet while his defense of Roe may have sounded thoughtful at a superficial level, it was actually quite incoherent. Instead of saying that he thinks the abortion right is a fundamental liberty that deserves constitutional protection — which he only hinted at later, and would be a more straightforward way to defend Roe and an abortion right under the Constitution — Biden explained that the Court’s decision is “as close to a consensus that can exist in a society as heterogeneous as ours.” Setting aside his focus on Roe, and his description of Roe’s initial holding as if it were still the law of the land and had not been supplanted by Casey’s “undue burden” test, his rationale is problematic on several levels, particularly for someone who holds himself out as an expert on constitutional law…

    UPDATE: Brian Kalt has more thoughts on the interviews here. His conclusion:

    I would have been much happier if Palin had given better answers to Couric. But her lack of knowledge of constitutional law would assumedly lead her to rely on others for advice on such matters. She doesn’t know, but surely she realizes it. Biden, by contrast, has the smooth confidence of someone who has been immersed in these issues for decades. But he’s wrong. To me, that’s actually scarier.

    Volokh Conspiracy on Palin and Biden

    Joe (dcebbd)

  5. “Karl, what do you call Obama going on O’Reilly last month?”

    I call it Obama finally going on O’Reilly long after he won the nomination, after months of stonewalling the press on any issues of contoversy, secure in the knowledge that the rest of the MSM was focused the Republican National Convention.

    Karl (f07e38)

  6. Joe,

    I already made the same point about Biden’s answer yesterday.

    Karl (f07e38)

  7. Q. Why do you have less confidence in the American press…than the president of Iran does?

    Governor PALIN. [laughter] Well, Andrew…[more laughter]…Well, Andrew, ya kn…[more laughter]…No, but seriously, Andrew, just to give ya one example, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has never had to worry about having fake pregnancy rumors floated about him in the American press. Next question?

    Rich Fader (efae21)

  8. Andrew Sullivan = douche.

    bhead (02f28b)

  9. Karl if you and Jonathan Alder from Volokh were in a sled dog or snow machine race, you would definitely be top dog/iron man.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  10. Q. Why do you have less confidence in the American press and people than the president of Iran does? And when will you dare to face the press for real?

    A. I take it that you don’t read the American press. You probably also think conceding Iraq to al Qaeda will make us safer. Next question.

    Terry Gain (aab754)

  11. Andrew Sullivan was one of the staunchest supporters of the liberation of Iraq until Bush came out in favor of amending the constitution to define marriage as the union of two people of the opposite sex.

    Andrew then went all limp for the war and rigidly hard on all things GOP.

    Terry Gain (aab754)

  12. Andrew Sullivan can’t count to 11 without taking off his pants.

    Frank Drackman (af2a6b)

  13. Q. Why do you have less confidence in the American press and people than the president of Iran does? And when will you dare to face the press for real?

    A. Because I have more experience with the American press than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does. If the press here treated him like they treat me, he’d be planting IEDs in New York instead of in Baghdad. As for your snide assertion I have little confidence in the American people, you couldn’t be more wrongheaded. I trust the people, it’s the press in this counry which has lost the confidence of the American people. Americans are disgusted at the corrupt and perverse methods which have become common place among members of your profession, and Americans have every reason to reject such offensively dishonest propagandizing.

    A. I tried to face the press, didn’t you see Charlie Gibson disgrace himself trying to manufacture a gotcha moment to make me look bad? So, I’m just not at my best when reporters are appearing to ask me questions when all they’re really up to is lying so they can take cheap shots at a political opponent and trying to look up my skirt. Now, I’m new to national politics, I’m in a tough campaign, and I just don’t have time for dishonest people, like you. Your so-called questions are insulting, and are more the sort of nauseating construction a guttersnipe employs, than anything an honest reporter would ask. Don’t bother callin me for another interview, I’m not available to you again.

    Ropelight (1be620)

  14. Come on, folks. Baracky answered 8 fuckin’ questions until Rezko was mentioned …

    JD (f7900a)

  15. Karl – I think I like you.

    Josh (f6ffef)

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