FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2003
INVASION OF THE NO SPIN ZONE SNATCHERS: We couldnt help chuckling as we watched Bill OReillys interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger Wednesday night. Arnold appeared on the fearsome OReilly Factor. First topic? The California state budget. Here was OReillys first question:
OREILLY: In order to get control over the spending, which you have an $8 billion shortfall coming up next year. I dont know why you want this job, anyway. Give me a massive headache. But anyway, in order to get control over the spending, youve got to cut. Youve got to cut. You know where youre going to cut?In a word, the answer was no. Here was Arnolds reply:
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, the most important thing is, and its the first thing I will do when I get into office, is to open up the books, do the auditing, look at the budget line by line and look at where the waste really is. Because right now, what no one really knowseconomists have told me that our budget deficit is anywhere between $5 and $9 billion. We really dont know. But I think the people deserve to really look, what is underneath this rock? Let the sun shine in and let the people know what is really going on. So the bottom line is, is to take the waste out of there. Theres a lot of waste in there.No one really knows whats in the budget? Tom McLintock, Arnolds GOP rival, seems to think he has an idea. But Arnold doesnt seem to know, as became clear under Mr. Os questioning. For example, here was Arnolds brilliant answer to a specific question:
OREILLY: Mr. Schwarzenegger, if you cut the drivers tax down, that money was earmarked for local towns, all right? Like where you are now, San Jose, for the San Jose cops. Youve got to find money to fund those local towns, because youre taking away the money that Davis, you know, raised by tripling the drivers fees. How are you going to do that?Cliffs Notes version of Arnolds answer? I dont have the slightest idea. But so it went all through the first segment, as OReilly asked about budget matters. And in segment two, when Bill limned immigration, the same know-nothing attitude prevailed:
OREILLY: Now, one of the reasons you have that [security] problem to begin with is the border is a sieve from San Diego right out to Imperial County. People can come into California. Are you going to do anything about the border? If so, what?See how this works? After finding out whats in the budget, Arnold would start to work with other governors about immigration. Bill broke in, seeking specifics. Sorry, Mr. O. They arent there:
O'REILLY (continuing directly): Yes, but how do you do that? I mean, its been going on now for 20 years, how do you do it?So in fact, Arnold does have a specific idea. His idea is we just have to bring leadership. He restated this idea near the end of this segment. It needs leadership. It needs leadership, Arnold said.
Readers may recall a similar episode. When John Edwards went on Meet the Press last year and over-played the leadership card, Washingtons pundits hammered him hard, saying his vagueness showed that the solon may not be prime time-appropriate. And since Arnold was in the No Spin Zone, you can just imagine the whuppin he got! It was clear that Mr. S didnt have a clue about Californias budget or borders. For example, here was the candidates thoughtful reply about whether he would raise taxes:
SCHWARZENEGGER: I wont raise taxes, because like I said, like I said, I do not want to punish the people for the politicians mistakes I think it should go the other way. Its like the same thing when someonewhen Im overweight, what do I do immediately? I stop eating food. Im not going to go and supply myself with more food. The only way you reduce weight is by stop feeding the food.In theory, you can also exercise more, but why spoil such a thoughtful discussion?
In short, Arnolds performance was simply a joke. And uh-oh! As noted, he was sitting right there in the No Spin Zone, the toughest hot-seat in television! Surely Bill just let the man have it. Sorry. The tough-talker was meek and quite mild:
OREILLY: All right. Well, you made it through the No Spin Zone there, and I hope you enjoyed it.In the next segment, Bill assessed the session with Dick Morris. Was he smart to do this? Mr. OR asked. He knewcoming in hereyou got to be, you know, prepared. Low, mordant chuckles could then be heard all over our sprawling campus.
VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: As we noted yesterday, Gloria Borger just wont stop writing that Al Gore said he invented the Internet. We sometimes forget that our newer readers may not have read all the work on this subject. To review the workings of a press propaganda campaign, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/3/02.