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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lynnne Cheney/Wolf Blitzer Smackdown: Disingenuous Reporting At CNN

Wolf Blitzer started this when Lynne Cheney came on CNN to discuss her brand new children's book, Our 50 States. But Blitzer made it pretty clear he didn't want to discuss her book right away. He wanted to talk Jim Webb, and tried to draw the Second Lady into the same mud where the VA Senate race dove into on Thursday night. The exchange, courtesy of Hugh Hewitt:

WB: Democrats are now complaining bitterly in this Virginia race. George Allen using novels, novels that Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger, has written, in which there are sexual references. And they’re making a big deal out of this. I want you to listen to what Jim Webb said today in responding to this very sharp attack from George Allen.

LC: Now do you promise, Wolf, that we’re going to talk about my book?

WB: I do promise.

LC: Because this seems to me a mighty long trip around the merry-go-round.

WB: I want you to respond. This is in the news today, and your name has come up, so that’s why we’re talking about it. But listen to this:

James Webb: There’s nothing that’s been in any of my novels that in my view, hasn’t been either illuminating the surroundings, or defining a character, or moving a plot. I’m a serious writer. I mean, we can go and read Lynne Cheney’s lesbian love scenes if you want to, you know, get graphic on stuff.

LC: You know, Jim Webb is full of baloney. I have never written anything sexually explicit. His novels are full of sexually explicit references to incest, sexually explicit references…well, you know, I just don’t want my grandchildren to turn on the television set. This morning, Imus was reading from the novels, and it’s triple X rated.

WB: Here’s what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional Senatorial Campaign Committee. Lynne Cheney’s book featured brothels and attempted rape. In 1981, Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne, wrote a book called Sisters, which featured a lesbian love affair, brothels, and attempted rapes. In 1988, Lynne Cheney wrote about a Republican Vice President who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress. Is that true?

LC: Nothing explicit. And actually, that is full of lies. It’s not…it’s just absolutely not true.

WB: But you did write a book entitled Sisters.

LC: I did write a book entitled Sisters. This description…

WB: And it did have lesbian characters.

LC: No, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I’ll stand on that.

WB: There is nothing in there about rapes and brothels?

LC: Wolf, Wolf, could we talk about a children’s book for a minute?

WB: We can talk about the children’s book. But I just wanted to…

LC: I think our segment is like 15 minutes long, and we’ve now done ten minutes, so…

WB: I just wanted to clarify what’s in the news today, give you a…

LC: Sex, lies and distortion. That’s what it is.

WB: This is an opportunity for you to explain on these sensitive issues.

LC: Wolf, I have nothing to explain. Jim Webb has a lot to explain.

Kudos to Mrs. Cheney for not taking that sort of garbage from Blitzer. "Disingenuous" seems to be the word that best describes both Democrats and the MSM right now. Sorry for using it so often, but when the shoes fits, they might as well be wearing it. I discussed our thoughts further yesterday regarding this particular story, in addition to disagreeing with Michelle Malkin; that disagreement prompted a bunch of e-mail calling us traitors to the GOP because we didn't buy her line.

The GOP isn't full of a bunch of lemmings who buy every little talking point line handed down by the pundits. We're thinking people. And the last time I checked, we're pretty much on the same page with Michelle 99.9% of the time. So knock off the hate mail. A critique of the piece is a different issue altogether, but that was not the majority of the e-mails we received.

Regardless, Mrs. Cheney was invited by CNN to discuss her new book, and in typical fashion, CNN decided that the Webb issue was of greater importance than abiding by their word. As she pointed out, they had fifteen minutes for the interview, and they spent ten minutes on Jim Webb. In actuality, Blitzer spent the better part of the time allotted to play "gotcha" politics with Mrs. Cheney over her own book--one of the two books cited by Michelle yesterday. The OC Chronicle dug up a relevant paragraph from her book "Sisters", and put it up:

The women who embraced in the wagon were Adam and Eve crossing a dark cathedral stage -- no, Eve and Eve, loving one another as they would not be able to once they ate of the fruit and knew themselves as they truly were. She felt curiously moved, curiously envious of them. She had never to this moment thought Eden a particularly attractive paradise, based as it was on naiveté, but she saw that the women in the cart had a passionate, loving intimacy forever closed to her. How strong it made them. What comfort it gave.

Pardon the male side of me coming out here, but where's the lesbian stuff that Blitzer was so hot-to-trot to throw in her face? OC points out that it took him 2 minutes to locate this from a Google search. Could Blitzer have done the same thing, and seen that this is relatively innocuous? If this is what the hullabaloo was about when this first was dredged up by the MSM, no wonder why the controversy died down so quickly. I'll give Blitzer a "C" for effort in trying to put the Second Lady in the same boat as Jim Webb, but he failed miserably to make any sort of coherent connection.

And Mrs. Cheney made him pay for that slight. (Hugh has the full exchange on his site, and believe me when I say the lady wasn't pleased with CNN, or him.) And this is one of the many problems that CNN, and the MSM in general, seems to have. They cover this sort of junk all the time--dragging what used to be good news coverage into the tabloid mud--that they feel they have to be in the middle of all of it. When such objectivity is tossed by the wayside, it speaks volumes for viewers and readers. It also shows those same people that there is an agenda behind news coverage, rather than the intellectual honesty of actually covering the news, or the topic that people were invited to speak about.

Take, for example, Mark Steyn. His book is hardly one of those that goes without a level of controversy, and yet he can get a fair interview without the interviewer going off topic completely, and burning up the precious time allotted. The same goes for someone like Andrew Sullivan, who was given a more-than-fair interview by Hugh Hewitt earlier this week. They discussed his new book, or tried to. After listening to the interview one gets the impression that Andrew wasn't prepared to handle Hugh's dissemination of it. Whether that comes from his thought that Hugh wouldn't have read it, or wouldn't have read it by then is irrelevant. He had read it, and asked tough questions of Mr. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan's reaction during the interview speaks volumes not only to his professionalism, but dare I say his maturity.

But the interview with Mrs. Cheney is a loud and clear reminder of how far the MSM has fallen. Here is a woman who is asked to appear on TV for an interview about her new book--a children's book--and Blitzer decides he has to bring up her past writing endeavors trying to make a moral equivalency to her and Jim Webb. As I stated yesterday in this post, you can't draw a parallel to her work and his, really. She isn't running for office. Her position, and Scooter Libby's, were not one decided by the voters. Jim Webb's position will be. Mrs. Cheney, to my knowledge, has not dived back into that particular genre recently, and her past work there is a moot point.

Jim Webb's writing isn't. He has peddled his writing to the voters as a sign of his intelligence and nuance; prompting people to read his writing. Speaking for both of us, neither Marcie or I have ever read that sort of trash before. We read a lot, some fiction but mostly non-fiction, and that sort of garbage writing isn't for us. (That's not to slam those authors. Please, do what you do best, but to us it's pretty much garbage and a waste of our time.) If your goal is to turn voters onto your hobbies or intelligence is to point to your writing, make sure it's not something that is going to embarrass the H*ll out of you. It was clear as Jim Webb went into damage control mode yeterday that he isn't as proud of it as some would believe.

CNN and Wolf Blitzer should be asahmed of themselves. Of course, they should be had they any true conscience, and not the faux sort that outrage provokes. People aren't happy with them today because of how they conducted this interview, and the vast majority of opinion regarding this exchange put the win in Mrs. Cheney's column. Let this be a lesson to them in the future: When you invite someone on to discuss a subject, and you are working in a tight timeframe, stick to the subject. If there's time allotted at the end of the interview, THEN you may ask off-topic questions. But not before, and certainly not after giving your guest a pretext that was clearly NOT the reason why you wanted them on the air in the first place. Blitzer showed that he really didn't care about her new book. He wanted to dredge up the past--the same past the MSM tried to bring up way back when--and it backfired beautifully on him.

Publius II


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