WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2003
DONT MISS IT: In this mornings Post, Howard Kurtz reviews the way Ted Koppel prepared for last nights New Hampshire debate. Tomorrow, well discuss this report in detail. Clearly, Koppels staff gave Kurtz full access thinking the process would make them look good. But how do Koppel and staff really look? You know what to dojust click here.
MOTIVE MOUTHS: Somehow, the Washington Posts Michael Powell managed to hear what Gore said. This morning, he reports on Gores endorsement of Dean. Why was Gore endorsing Dean? He starts with one of Gores stated reasons:
POWELL (pgh 1): Former Vice President Al Gore returned Tuesday to a well-worn campaign trail and gave an emphatic endorsement to Howard Dean, proclaiming him the only presidential candidate with the courage and judgment to oppose the war in Iraq.As Powell continues, he does the improbablehe actually quotes what Gore actually said! Our nation in its 200-year history has never made a worse foreign policy mistake, Gore tells an Iowa audience. Therefore, its no minor matter to me that the only candidate with the judgment to articulate the right choice was Howard Dean.
Was the war in Iraq a gigantic mistake? That is a matter of judgment. Was Dean against the war from the start? Some Dean opponents dispute that. But Gore savaged the war in yesterdays statementsand he said thats why he was backing Dean. Somehow, Powell managed to state these facts right at the start of his story.
But you know those Washington pundits! If such empty suits didnt exist, they would be very hard to imagine. How did pundits respond to Gores statement? Of course! All over TV last night, Motive Mouths swung into actionsimpering cyphers who deftly explored the real reasons behind the endorsement. On Fox, the clowning was hugeand predictable. Brit Hume thumbed his list of Fox Democrats, and Susan Estrich was soon on the air.
What was behind this? Hume asked Estrich. Why was Gore endorsing Dean? And let us only make this pointin her entire session with Hume, Estrich never even mentioned the reason Gore himself had given. Why was Gore endorsing Dean? Breaking out her ouija board, Estrich rummaged through every earthly reasonexcept for the one Al Gore gave!
Was Gore backing Dean because of the war? Estrich never mentioned Gores statement! We offer you the entire session. Normal humans just cant get this dumb:
HUME: So why did Al Gore abandon his former running mate to back a man who appears to be heading in the opposite direction from which Bill Clinton and Al Gore at one time, at least, tried to take it? For answers, we turn to Susan Estrich, law professor, Fox News contributor and long-time Democratic Party activist. Hi, Susan.I just dont get it, Estrich said. Was Gore really angling for Secretary of State? Was he really getting back at the Clintons? The puzzled pundit cited every possible reasonexcept for the one Al Gore actually gave! You keep coming back to the point of why, Estrich pondered. But Gore explained why, as Powell reported. Somehow, Estrich knew not to care.
Alas! Such consummate clowning was widely indulged as Insider Pundits reviewed Gores endorsement. Motive Mouths were all over the dial. They made a large joke of your discourse.
RUNNING ON EMPTY: Why did Gore endorse Dean? According to Gore, its because he thinks our nation has never made a worse foreign policy mistake than the war in Iraq. But what sorts of problems were on Susans mind? The very big issues, which drive modern pundits. Gore should have called Lieberman on Monday, not Tuesday. Gore shouldnt upset his past campaign staffers. And never mind about that war! Gore just shouldnt be kicking Dick Gephardt around! Remember, nothing will make these people get serious. They are a deeply addled eliteand they dont waste their time on real matters.
ESTRICH SPEAKS: What does it mean to be a Fox Democrat? For one thing, you reliably trash liberals and other key Dems. In her most recent screaming blunder, Estrich took after Hollywoods Laurie David, who had helped plan a meeting of tinsel-town liberals looking for ways to defeat Bush. Uncritically citing a Matt Drudge reporta report she didnt attempt to confirmEstrich wrote a nasty column, claiming that David had stupidly dubbed the meeting a Hate Bush affair. (Note the Standard RNC Spin-Point: If youre against Bush, then you must be a hater.) Reliably, Estrich began sliming David. This is a self-inflicted wound by another silly Hollywood liberal, she thundered. Claws out, she continued scratching. Me-ow, everybody! Me-ow:
ESTRICH: Who is Laurie David?Tough, tough talk from a tough-talking talker! Estrichs column appeared on December 3. But by the next daysurprise, surpriseher Drudge-derived info turned out to be bogus. The tough-talking pundit turned up on Hannity, and meekly withdrew what shed said:
ALAN COLMES (12/4/03): Susan Estrich, it is called, not the Hate Bush event, but A Mandatory Meeting to Change Leadership.David is now denying it? David denied it all along! But Estrich doesnt even know David, and plainly hadnt bothered to call her. She simply typed what Drudge had saidand told the nation that David was silly.
But then, reliable trashing of Hollywood liberals is one of Estrichs principle services. Get the feeling that lawsuits may have been in the air as Estrich cow-towed, back-tracked and slip-slid? But no matter! Days later, Estrich was cast in the role of Fox Dem once again, whining about Gores rudeness to Joe. Was Iraq a disastrous foreign policy error? Thats what Al Gore actually said. But Susan is a paid Fox Dem. Something told her she just shouldnt go there.
AND ESTRICH RETRACTS: Here was Estrichs official correction, offered in a December 6 column. Congratulations to Creators Syndicate for putting this pundit into print:
CORRECTION: I wrote earlier this week about the Hate Bush meeting in Beverly Hills. Published reports, based on emails circulating in this community, had identified Laurie David, the wife of Hollywood actor-writer Larry David, as the author of the Hate Bush title for the meeting. Ms. David has since denied adding the label to the emailed invitations, and a Midwestern man is claiming to have done so. My apologies to Ms. David if she was not in fact the individual who was so foolishly sabotaging the Democratic effort. Somebody was.Somebody was! It cant get dumber. Published reports. Published reports by Matt Drudge. Still describing a Hate Bush meeting, Estrich offered a clowning correction. In coming weeks, well offer more thoughts about the growing legion of Tammy Bruce Dems.