Just as it ever was: Would Susan Rice have been a good secretary of state?
We have no idea. But we did recoil when our old friend, Chuck Todd, said this on last evening’s Hardball:
TODD (12/13/12): Look, I think that she’s a victim of an old-fashioned media feeding frenzy that we’re going to look back on and feel as if this is pretty unfair to her, the way this went down. But those are the breaks in Washington, and she made this decision that she made.Here at THE HOWLER, we love Chuck Todd. But why is he saying this now?
Todd could have confronted this frenzy in real time, when it might have mattered. But as recently as November 14, he presented one of the most absurdly cherry-picked quotations from Rice we saw in this whole feeding frenzy.
Last night, Chuck said the whole thing had been very bad. Why didn't he speak in real time?
The analysts also recoiled when they watched Chris Hayes last night. Speaking with Lawrence, Hayes said this:
HAYES (12/13/12): Look, the question to me is, and I think there’s a really deep question here, which is how much does the secretary of state affect the trajectory U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy?As usual, Hayes was after the “really deep questions.” He was appalled by the “stupidity” of the discussion surrounding Rice.
And I think there are different cases to be made and you make cases about, you know, what the Condoleezza Rice secretary of statehood meant as opposed to the Colin Powell one, and what Hillary Clinton has meant. But it’s just none of— We never have gotten to any of that during this whole thing and it’s just to me, is just this object lesson in the stupidity of our conversations and politics in the Beltway and specifically on foreign policy, where no one ever actually wants to talk about the stuff that is happening. They want to talk about these atmospherics.
We largely agree, but here's our question: If that discussion was so stupid, why was Hayes reciting its claims as late as October 13? See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/21/12. Prepare to avert your gaze.
As late as October 13, Hayes seemed to be thoroughly conned concerning Rice’s statements. Last night represented the second time we have seen him saying how stupid the attack on Rice was. But in prime time, he has never acknowledged that he himself was reciting the con four weeks in.
In real time, when it would have mattered, Hayes wasn’t sharp enough to smell a con. It didn’t occur to his gullible self that the real title of this scam should be this:
Susan Rice said she invented the Internet!
As with Gore, so too with Rice! Very bad paraphrases were ginned, then sold all through the land. And good God:
Thirteen years after the war against Gore, youngsters like Hayes couldn’t smell a familiar old type of right-wing/mainstream press con! More experienced hands like Todd weren’t willing to speak till last night.
Would Rice have been a good secretary of state? We don’t know. But we do know what happened on The One True Liberal Channel:
Until Obama spoke up in mid-November, Rice was completely left for dead on MSNBC. As she was slimed again and again, all the children kept their traps shut—all the children except Hayes, who was pushing the John McCain line.
Asleep at the switch! From September 16 through the end of October, Susan Rice was never mentioned on the Maddow Show. She was never mentioned on The Last Word, where Lawrence is always so fiery and brilliant. She was never mentioned on the Ed Show or on Al Sharpton’s program. She wasn’t mentioned on Hardball until October 26.
As the hustlers staged their frenzy, as they conducted their object lesson in the stupidity of our conversation, our TV liberals refused to act. And as with Gore, so too with Rice:
Now that the scalp has been attained, Todd and Hayes aren’t going to tell you why they were silent or how they got conned. If this was such a stupid frenzy, why didn’t they speak in real time?
You might even say it was like Gore on Rice! It was the same old type of attack, accepted by a new gang of Kool Kid liberals who failed to notice the con. And by the way—when they finally began to speak in mid-November after Obama took the lead, they never mentioned the big mainstream journalists who were still sliming Rice.
They never mentioned Bob Schieffer, for instance. And guess what? They never will!
You ought to be very unhappy about this—and suspicious of the new TV liberals you are being sold.