Did Katie Bar the Civility?

Until she was anointed America’s first solo female network news anchor (how’s that for a string of qualifiers), Katie Couric was mostly known for her freakish 10,000 watt smile and hosting cooking sessions on the Today show. CBS executives changed all that when they chose her to replace the disgraced Dan Rather. In hindsight, that wasn’t such a good move, not because a woman is incapable of filling Dan’s wingtips, but because Couric is a bad fit for the job. The result? CBS currently dwells in the dank basement of TV news ratings – an appropriate punishment for the “crime”.

Earlier this week, Katie interviewed John and Elizabeth Edwards about Liz’s reconstituted cancer. By most accounts, America overwhelmingly backs the Edwardses‘ decision to keep running, so the interview forecast called for a light-weight interview designed to trade on the Edwardses‘ courageous decision. Instead, things went awry and instantly, sweet little Katie became known as a snarling tiger of an interviewer with the morals of Matt Drudge.

“Some People Say…”

Smilin‘ Kate made the mistake of questioning the Edwardses‘ judgment to continue their White House run, frequently beginning questions with, “some people say…”. Detractors lit up like a Christmas tree (no offense to those who are differently religioned) and accused Katie of moral hypocrisy, especially since she hadn’t quit her job during her late husband’s terminal fight against cancer.

The detractors’ central argument seemed to be that Katie’s questions were out of bounds and needlessly invasive to the Edwardses‘ privacy and scruples. To them, “some people say…” was code for, “you contemptible publicity hounds…”. To many talking heads, Couric’s use of the vague “some people…” was a cop out that imposed her own moral criteria.

One could reasonably argue the questions were poorly phrased. One could also reasonably argue there may have been too many of them. One could even argue that using the vague “some people” attribution was not as proper as citing actual names. But, none of those shortcomings make the questions inappropriate.

Reporters Ask, You Decide

Reporters ask questions about events of interest. Sometimes the questions are not pretty or are invasive, but those in the public eye voluntarily put themselves in a different category than Joe Schmo – rightly or wrongly. When a reporter asks a question, it’s a proxy for Joe Schmo, who doesn’t have the opportunity to ask for himself. Clearly, there’s interest in this case – as evidenced by the Edwardses‘ calling a press conference to announce it – and also clearly, “some people” are asking if it was the right decision, even if only privately.

“Most people” supported the Edwardses‘ decision. They saw it as courageous and didn’t take kindly to questions they perceived as antagonistic. In fact, that’s a bit of a double standard. In this case, most people applauded the Edwardses‘, but what about the questions the Big Dick routinely fields about his serious bouts with heart disease. That behavior is acceptable because Cheney has a generally reviled face, unlike the sympathetic one of Elizabeth Edwards. People don’t mind joking about Dick’s health because he’s – the charitable word here – “unsympathetic” in general. The diseases both carry a death sentence eventually, both Edwardses and Cheney are integral players in public life, and both have to deal with the trauma on the public and private levels. Both also had an opportunity to reinforce their courage or shoot themselves in the foot with it. The Edwardses truthfully seem better at it just as Dick seems to suck at it.

Rubbed the Wrong Way

Katie’s questions weren’t out of bounds, they rubbed people the wrong way. The proof lies in the classy approach the Edwardses took when the dustup unfolded. They thanked Couric for the opportunity to get their story out, not only keep John’s bid on track, but also to allow some of that sympathy to rub off on the millions of other Joe and Josephine Schmos who battle cancer anonymously. The Edwardses are courageous to battle towards the White House for dozens of perfectly valid reasons and a few questions from an unskilled interviewer won’t change that. They embrace the hand life deals them – both the good and the bad – and cope with it in the way their public and private lives require. Katie didn’t take one shred of that dignity away. She asked legitimate questions and the Edwardses answered them.

And, that is how it should be.

I Just Don’t Get It

I’m honest. I’ll cop to sometimes not being the sharpest tool in the shed. I’m sure some wing nut will chirp in here and back me up on that – and come to think of it, probably a moon bat or two as well. On a good day I have trouble finding my ass with a Klieg light and compass, but I’m still ahead of the chuckleheads who apparently never have a good day.

They constantly amaze me with their overwhelming blindness to their own words. They often defend themselves with the perfect counter-argument without a pinch of irony. They prattle on as if the physics of the real world is nothing more than a cruel joke they’ve decided to ignore – “sticks and stones may break my bones, but reality always evades me”.

Some cases in point:

Gonzo’s Big Adventure

Does anyone find it strange the Barrister-in-Chief doesn’t want his minions testifying before Congress because he fears the precedent will deprive him of the best advice available? I mean come on! If the advice he’s been getting for the past six years is the good advice, what the hell is the bad stuff like?

I’m also a little fuzzy on why it’s a bad precedent for the Dubya-serfs to talk without a transcript, but it’s OK to drop by for a little informal chit-chat that isn’t written down. Does he really think that not writing down what they say is going to stop committee members from telling the media herd, “Gonzo said it was all Harriet’s fault!“?

Oh, and Tony, Congress does have oversight. Oversight just like the executive has for the Justice department. You know, those guys you keep telling everyone to go talk to as if you didn’t have control over them. Although strangely, you keep reminding everyone they serve at the pleasure of your boss.

Fighting Them Over There

Despite repeated bludgeonings with proof that there were no terrorists in Iraq (at least before we created some) Mr. Bush still says, “we need to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.”

Respectfully Mr. President, I’d say that tens of thousands of casualties coming back over here in gurneys and body bags constitutes having the war “over here”.

And I don’t understand the Vice-Idiot-Savant either. He may be the only man in the known universe more out of touch with reality than his boss. He doesn’t seem to understand that cackling like the Penguin, denying the situation as it beats him about the head and neck, and pissing off every country from Britain to Botswana doesn’t constitute sound foreign policy. He prefers to characterize anyone who disagrees with him as a traitorous vermin hell-bent on, “not supporting the troops”.

Excuse me Dick, but other than drawing fire into Bagram during your recent jaunt to Afghanistan, what have you done to support the troops? I believe you best showed your support when you answered your first media question about what the bombing was like by replying, “Actually, breakfast was quite good.”

You’re doin’ a heckuva job Dickie. So’s Halliburton.

And All the Rest

I didn’t understand why Bill Clinton was stupid enough to get a BJ in the Oval Office. I didn’t understand how completely he and Hillary botched health care reform and gays in the military. I didn’t understand how Carter could have been such a bump on a log, Johnson could have been such an utter failure in Vietnam, or how Kennedy could be so stupid as to launch the Bay of Pigs.

I also don’t understand how a man who ran on a platform of “uniting, not dividing“, a loathing of nation-building, and as compassionate conservative can keep a straight face with all those lies blinking in his rear view mirror. I don’t understand how a man with soldiers and wounded vets shadowing every photo op can accuse others of politicizing the war. I don’t understand how he can praise cabinet members and underlings as they turn entire countries into pockmarked crapholes. However, the biggest thing I don’t understand is how he can stand at the podium for each scandal du jour or each incompetent accomplishment and say, “Trust me, I’m your President.”

I guess I’m just a fool.

Randomness Homo Devil Machine Style

Piratical Plunderin’ – “See what happens when swashbuckling pirates crash Beach Blanket Bingo.” (Any interest there Cap’n?)

Just Call Him Yahoo-Fed – He’s out on his own now and it’s tough out there for a pimp. A dude gotta be makin’ some cash any which way he can. Yo!

Eeeeew! – Now this is just gross and so is this.

Where’s the Beef? ® – “That stung like a Banshee Bitchslap.” Huh?

Hmmmm – “It goes down good.”

How Embarrassing – To pee or not to pee, that is the urination.

And In Other Urination News… – I wonder what Madonna would think of this or this. (Tip o’The Omnipotent Birdcage to Peacechick)

Everyone Needs a HobbyFolding paper for fun and profit (NSFW).

Mahalo Maui Rose – And now we break for a little taste of the island life.

Those Crazy Rooskies! – They say Russia has a big drinking problem. Here’s PROOF! (NSFW) (Tip o’The Omnipotent Chapeau to Grad Student Madness)

Shake, Rattle, & Roll – I love this thing. Grab hold, spin it all around, and give those billionaires in first class the scare of their lives.

Imagine the Frats on Saturday Night – The secret alma mater of George W. Bush.

Average American Voter – With voters like this, who needs elections?

Go Daddy Shatters Mirrored Ceiling – You have to hand it to Go Daddy. They’re a progressive bunch who really want to elevate a woman’s place in society. BTW, could someone tell me who wins?

Beauty is Only Bowel Deep – Clean the windshield, slap some lipstick and mascara on her, and lube up her innards while you’re at it. Oh, and check on that pollution control gear too.

MY EYES! MY EYES! OMIGOD! – Can Spongebob Cruise Lines be far behind?

Advertising on the GoThis gives a whole new meaning to the term, “double parked”.

Fashion Advice for the Ruling Class – Who’s gonna tell Commander Codpiece that his “piece” is so last year?