The wives of incumbents are, for newsmakers, a special category of folk: they don’t require the same protocol-dictated silk gloves, on the one hand, and on the other, they are likely to be more outspoken than their spouses. This was brought home with a bang when Lynn Cheney spared with Wolf Blitzer this past week-end
The Vice-president’s wife had no compunction about accusing CNN of left-wing bias, even, oh horrors, of presenting “the Democratic playbook”! Why? Because CNN picked up an interview Dick Cheney did with a right-wing radio host in which he confirmed that he favors water-boarding, in contradiction with the administration’s stated policy of forbidding torture.
Poor Wolf was too rattled to point out that when CNN does (exceptionally!) present the Democratic Party’s point of view, it is merely fulfilling its obligation of fairness.
His pusillanimity gave Cheney the opportunity to actually turn the tables on him: “Tell me Wolf (or so many words), do you and your colleagues want us to win or not,” forcing him to defend his personal and professional attitudes!
Then she came in for the kill, accusing CNN of defeatism for airing a terrorist video of a US soldier being felled by a sniper. Blitzer then had to defend the corporate decision to run the video,protesting lamely that they had made a point of telling their viewers that it was a terrorist propaganda tool.
When the interviewee becomes the interviewer, it should make journalists wonder whether the time has come for them to jump the corporate media ship and go where they can legitimately present the left’s entirely legitimate point of view, even if it’s for less money.