November 13, 2007

Blitzer better not "pull 'a Russert.'"

Crazy talk from the Clinton campaign.

UPDATE: Wolf Blitzer denies the report that the Clinton campaign is trying to intimidate him into treating better than Tim Russert did.
JACK CAFFERTY (commentator): ... I was clicking on the Drudge Report, and there you are, big as life, in the middle of the Drudge Report this afternoon, with a headline suggesting that the Hillary Clinton campaign is trying to intimidate you before you moderate this big debate in Las Vegas. What up with that?

BLITZER: Not true. No one has pressured me. No one has threatened me. No one is trying to intimidate me.

CAFFERTY: They'd better not. I'll come down there.

BLITZER: No one has even called me to try to pressure me or anything like that.

CAFFERTY: Where do -- where does a silly thing like that come from?

BLITZER: I don't know. You know, I try to suspect that maybe some rival campaigns are trying to create a little mischief, try to get her embarrassed a little bit getting into the debate Thursday night, but I have no idea where it's coming from. I have no idea who generated this story, but I can tell you I have not felt any pressure whatsoever.
What's going on? Did Drudge or some Drudge source just lie? Or is Blitzer lying? Blitzer could be fudging. You can parse his statements: "No one has pressured me. No one has threatened me. No one is trying to intimidate me." That could mean there was no communication at all or it could be a characterization of something that was in fact said.

"No one has even called me to try to pressure me..." He could have gotten a message other than through a call directly to him, or there could have been a call that he will not characterize as "pressure." Maybe it was just a friendly suggestion. And don't blame me for hair-splitting. We're talking about the what-the-meaning-of-is-is Clintons.

"... or anything like that." Another matter of opinion. What is "like" pressuring? A little friendly conversation, putting down his rival Russert, and promising better access to the candidate/future President? Would that be "like that"?

"I have not felt any pressure whatsoever." Subjective. Maybe someone in the Clinton campaign simply inspired him to feel positive about distinguishing himself from mean old Tim Russert.

Anyway, I don't know. Let's keep discussing this. I'm going to watch how Blitzer handles himself as he moderates the debate. But he could figure out on his own, with no help from the Clinton campaign, that he should avoid pulling a Russert. Isn't it in his self-interest, however he arrives at that insight? Surely, it wouldn't be because he was intimidated and bullied into it. But he could never say so if it was.

20 comments:

Maxine Weiss said...

"They are so poor, and so Black."

"So very Black"

former law student said...

"Make me look good, Wolfy Darling"?!

downtownlad said...

National Review is skewing the facts, as usual.

Russert had something like 80%+ of the questions targeted towards Hillary Clinton herself, rather than about real issues. She's absolutely right to complain about that.

B said...

dtl,

She shouldn't complain about anything. The NYTimes is her public relations arm, and with it's syndication across the nation, roughly 20 million people across America are treated to every Hillary puff piece they shill. Which so far equals 1.4 front page pieces* - every one of them glowing for Hillary - per week since she announced.

Which includes their take on that big ol' mean Mr. Russert.

Her don't like him very much.


* Do the math yourself. Using the Times own search engine, add up just the Times front page pieces on Hillary since her announcing and divide by 42(weeks). Not one - ONE - negatively worded headline or first 2 paragraphs. Sulzberger and Keller are definitely p****-whipped.

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

They needn't worry. Despite his name, Wolf Blitzer is quite tame.

Revenant said...

Russert had something like 80%+ of the questions targeted towards Hillary Clinton herself, rather than about real issues.

Of course it was nowhere near 80%, as anyone reading the transcript can see for themselves.

But what were these horrible "gotcha" questions? Well let's see. Russert asked her:

(1): If she supported the war in Iraq.

(2): If she'd make her communications with Bill, from her time as First Lady, publicly available.

(3): If she supported raising the cutoff on Social Security taxes (she had previously said both "yes" and "no").

(4): Asking her to reconcile her claim that the Social Security crisis was invented by Republicans with the fact that her husband believes in it too.

(5): If she favored repealing the AMT and replacing it with a tax hike on upper-income Americans.

(6): If it made sense to give drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants, and if she opposed it (the latter portion of the question was asked of all the candidates). Clinton's response was to complain that she was being asked the question and refuse to answer yes or no.

So let's sum that up. She was asked for her positions on key issues relating to four of the major issues facing America today -- Iraq, Social Security, the AMT, and illegal immigration. She gave vague, evasive answers to the first three and whined about the fourth. I guess she was waiting for those "real issues" to be brought up. Who cares about taxes, the war, social security, or illegal immigration, after all? They should have asked her important questions, like "Senator Clinton, is it true that you think the Bush Administration totally sucks?". Of course, that was the question she actually answered all six times anyway. Senator Clinton, do you favor or oppose a tax hike to fix Social Security? Well I'm not sure, Tim, but George Bush sure does suck a whole bunch!

I guess you could take issue with the fact that Russert called her on a transparent lie with question #4, or complain that Russert had his facts wrong on question #2 (although I dispute that he did), but the notion that Clinton was pounded with one unfair, irrelevant question after another is pure, unadulterated Clintonian horseshit, and I'm not the slightest bit surprised to see DTL peddling it here.

Verso said...

Is anyone here aware that Wolf Blitzer raised this issue throughout the day today, and denied that anyone from the Clinton campaign or anywhere else had said anything at all to him about how to treat Hillary this Thursday, and that the first he heard of it was from Drudge?

Does that matter? At all?

Is anyone here aware that he said he has no idea what Drudge is talking about?

Does that make a difference to anyone here?

I suppose it's just "proof" that Wolf is a Clinton sycophant, right? A willing agent from the liberal media, part of the vast liberal conspiracy to deliver the Clintons into the White House.

Revenant said...

Is anyone here aware that Wolf Blitzer raised this issue throughout the day today

Is this the part where we just take your word for it, or do you actually have a link?

B said...

A willing agent from the liberal media, part of the vast liberal conspiracy to deliver the Clintons into the White House.

Uh,more like the vast liberal-leaning "we-deny-it-but-everyone-knows-better" media effort to deliver a Democrat into the White House.

Verso said...

From the November 13 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

JACK CAFFERTY (commentator): Usually, we only do one question at a time in these segments, but, today, I have an extra question. And it has to do with the Drudge Report and my pal, Wolf Blitzer. I was clicking on the Drudge Report, and there you are, big as life, in the middle of the Drudge Report this afternoon, with a headline suggesting that the Hillary Clinton campaign is trying to intimidate you before you moderate this big debate in Las Vegas. What up with that?

BLITZER: Not true. No one has pressured me. No one has threatened me. No one is trying to intimidate me.

CAFFERTY: They'd better not. I'll come down there.

BLITZER: No one has even called me to try to pressure me or anything like that.

CAFFERTY: Where do -- where does a silly thing like that come from?

BLITZER: I don't know. You know, I try to suspect that maybe some rival campaigns are trying to create a little mischief, try to get her embarrassed a little bit getting into the debate Thursday night, but I have no idea where it's coming from. I have no idea who generated this story, but I can tell you I have not felt any pressure whatsoever.

CAFFERTY: What about Drudge just rushing this thing right onto the website without knowing if it's true or not?

BLITZER: Well, that's another story.

CAFFERTY: Well, that's -- we may get into that at some point.

BLITZER: Maybe we will.

Verso said...

Ann is always demanding apologies from people.

Will she now apologize to Hillary Clinton for helping to spread the latest Republican lie?

Bruce Hayden said...

The New Republic, not a fan of the GOP, has an interesting article: Bunker Hillary on what is going on with the Hillary! campaign in respect to Russert, Blitzer, et al. It is not a pretty picture.

Let me add that this TNR piece is obvious opinion, and I don't know how much fact is there. And they are still reeling from their Scott Beauchamp fake Iraqi war stories. Nevertheless, it does attempt to answer the question of what is going on with the attacks on Russert, and, indeed, the preemptive attack here on Blitzer.

B said...

Will she now apologize to Hillary Clinton for helping to spread the latest Republican lie?

1) What lie? Obviously someone in the Clinton campaign is trying to "float" and control the narrative. And it doesn't have to be said directly to Wolf Blitzer to make it true.

2) So how do you get "Republican"?

Something waking you during your wet dreams of Hillary?

Bruce Hayden said...

Will she now apologize to Hillary Clinton for helping to spread the latest Republican lie?

Interesting that the Republicans were able to coopt The New Republic. There is always a first for everything.

I would be interested though in how this poster knows that these are Republican lies. Was he/she traveling with the Hillary! campaign and was there whenever campaign staffers talked to the press? Or does the poster believe that Saint Hillary is so good and pure that her campaign could not do such a venal thing as threatening a debate moderator?

Of course, one alternative is that the TNR is right, and someone, possibly Brooks, was fed this by her campaign, and passed it on to Drudge. Rejecting this alternative as impossible seems a bit close minded and doctrinaire.

B said...

bruce hayden,

Thanks for the link. It is not hard to imagine that the vast majority of it is true to the letter, especially when you compare it - Hillary has many of the same media people - with the perpetual campaign of Bill Clinton's Presidency.

To Bill Clinton, point one is this:
"Perception is Reality". And that phrase describes His entire Presidency better than anything else. His entire life is about PR control - that's why he actually stands for so little inside, has so few lasting convictions.

IS Hillary the same?

From what we've seen so far . . .

Chip Ahoy said...

*fingers in ears*

lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalal....

Pogo said...

She seems to be using RM Nixon's memoirs as a field manual.

IRS audits on members of Hillary's extensive enemies list will begin January 21, 2009.

rhhardin said...

Nixon in real life

November 7, 1975
San Clemente, California

Dear Mr. Toth :

A friendly letter in the mail bag is always most welcome, and that certainly was the case with yours of October 23rd.

It was thoughtful of you to take the time to write as you did, and I wanted you to know of my appreciation.

With best wishes,

Sincerely,

Richard Nixon

P.S. Kimg Timahoe is with us and in the best of health ; Vicki has been in the family since 1962 and is amazingly active and well for her years.


One of the two unpretentious letters back to _The Lazlo Letters_ (the other was from Nguyen Cao Ky).

Revenant said...

From the November 13 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

The link is here. Why can none of the leftie trolls ever figure out how to post a link?

Verso, you asked why Ann was posting about the alleged intimidation when Blitzer had been denying it "all day". But the denial you cite didn't come until the evening, six hours after the Corner post Ann linked to was written. The transcript wasn't available until even later.

You tried to make it sound like Ann had been ignoring commonly available information. Won't you admit that that was dishonest of you? It may be that you are one of the few people who actually avidly watches "The Situation Room", but for the rest of us it takes some time for information about what happens on the various talking-heads shows to filter out onto the net.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Revenant. I really don't understand why people who think I've left something out jump right into accusing me of deliberately suppressing it. Why not start by saying have you seen this and giving me the link? Then see if I respond -- as I did here.