Ugh. Why in God's name does NPR send its talking heads to do the work of journalists. On Friday's ATC the hapless Michele Norris goes mano-a-mano with National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley.
In round one it looks like Norris might actually put up a challenge. To Hadley's defense of Bush wanting Congress to back him 100% Norris counters:
"I'm wondering if the President is in some way asking members of Congress to abdicate their role to advise and consent and guide the President, particularly on foreign policy, and in doing so to defy the wishes of their constituents..." (I could almost here the crowd shouting 'Mee-chele! Mee-chele!')
Hadley does a little bob and weave and Norris follows up with this jab: "...when you look at this administration there have been a number of missed signals on the level of violence in Iraq after the invasion, on Saddam Hussein's weapons stockpiles, on a number of decisions about when and where to place troops, and when and where and how to replace certain people who were architects of the war--is [sic] the American public looks at what happened in the past, why should they trust this administration...?" (Uh oh, trouble - courage fatigue? - missed signals is pretty wimpy, but at least she is bringing up some legitimate points.)
Hadley, sensing that things might be getting a little too truthy retorts with the tried and true 9/11 brass knuckles: "...we should not underestimate the challenge that came to this country after 9/11..." It has the desired effect. Norris crumples. In a voice that can only be described as pleading she tries to make a comeback with "...and we're told this week that al-Qaeda is as great a threat now as it was before 9/11."
Hadley then lets loose with an astounding roundhouse: "No that's not actually what you're told." Not actually what you're told! Hey, Michele you are a journalist, not a schoolgirl in the principal's office. It doesn't have squat to do with "what you're told;" it has everything to do with the FACTS (old and new) that this administration has helped al-Qaeda regroup, train, and recruit. Does she make any protest? Not a peep; and she just lets him pound away:
- "It is certainly not where it would be if we had not as a nation taken all these actions that we've done since."
- "al-Qaeda continues to be a threat....going after them operationally, overseas so we don't have to deal with them at home....come up with an alternative vision...that is the freedom and democracy agenda."