“I can’t take it any more,” guild member finally says: This Sunday, CNN’s Candy Crowley asked a ridiculous question.
She was interviewing Darrell Issa on CNN’s State of the Union, one of the big five Sunday programs.
Because he’s chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Issa is a very important figure at present. Among other things, he has been trying to whip up a very large scandal about the IRS.
Midway through the interview, Crowley asked a ridiculous question. We’ll include Issa’s response:
CROWLEY (6/2/13): What does your gut tell you? What does your gut tell you now this far into the investigation?What does Issa’s gut tell him? Shouldn’t Crowley have been asking Issa about the facts?
ISSA: My gut tells me that too many people knew that this wrongdoing was going on before the election. And at least by some sort of convenient benign neglect, allowed it to go on through the election, allowed these groups, these conservative groups, these, if you will, not friends of the president, to be disenfranchised through an election.
Now, I'm not making any allegations as to motive, that they set out to do it. But certainly people knew it was happening that could have done something and would have done something, I'm sure, if these had been progressive groups or groups that supported the president. That's what I think we know.
We're really more interested in fixing the IRS. This, we cannot quit our investigation until we're sure this couldn't happen again. And, Candy, the I.G. himself said he doesn't know that this is the only time something like this happens because he said that he doesn't believe the controls are in place for the IRS to tell us that this doesn't happen in other places.
CROWLEY: And I got to quickly turn you to one more subject, and that's Eric Holder...
That was a ridiculous question. Issa took advantage with a rambling, speculative answer, after which Crowley simply moved on. But the problem here began with Crowley—with a question which invited Issa to talk right out of his ascot.
Why did Crowley ask that question? We think we can probably tell you.
You see, at the start of the interview, Crowley actually challenged Issa’s unfounded speculations. In considerable detail, she challenged the short, selective quotations he has released from interviews with IRS employees.
“I want to talk about how problematic it is to get excerpts,” Crowley said, “because we know that you interviewed these people probably for hours and you get little excerpts which it's hard for us to kind of judge what's going on.”
Those little short excerpts were “totally not definitive,” Crowley correctly noted. “You know that your critics say that Republicans, and you in particular, sort of cherry-pick information that goes to your foregone conclusion, so it worries us to put this kind of stuff out.”
Crowley’s complaints were right on point; she should have pushed them harder. But by normal standards, that was very tough stuff from a mainstream journalist in the face of a right-wing scandal storm.
As has been clear since 1993, that simply isn’t the way it’s done. We’ll guess that explains why Crowley went on to ask that ridiculous question.
In effect, it was a “make-up call.” Crowley lobbed a big fat softball at Issa. Her ridiculous question let him say whatever dumb shit he preferred.
We’ll guess that’s why Crowley ended up asking that question. We’ll also guess this explains why Crowley didn’t challenge Issa when he referred to White House spokesman Jay Carney as a “paid liar.”
That was a very unusual statement. Crowley simply let it go, without comment or request for justification.
Whatever! Crowley asked a ridiculous question. In response, Lawrence O’Donnell did something extremely unusual at the start of last evening’s Last Word.
Good lord! Right at the start of his program, O’Donnell directly criticized Crowley for asking that question. “That was the most ridiculous questions asked on television this weekend,” O’Donnell said, naming Crowley by name over and over again.
He said her question typifies the way “the Washington press corps” functions. Plainly, he wasn’t discussing Fox News. He wasn't discussing Sean or Rush.
He was plainly discussing the mainstream press corps. “I can’t take it any more,” O’Donnell finally said, having ridiculed “the way they talk to each other:”
O’DONNELL (6/3/13): They pride themselves on their guts. They believe that their guts are of value, real informational value. That is why the groupthink of the Washington press corps delivered that question to Darrell Issa through one of its most distinguished members.(To watch this whole segment, click here.)
As with O’Donnell’s program last Thursday, so too here: We have never seen a major career liberal talk this way on TV. We have never seen a major “made man” like O’Donnell directly challenge the mainstream press corps in the way he did.
For the record, a great deal that O’Donnell said last night was actually quite dumb. As a general matter, he has an approach to the IRS matter which is fact-based but very dumb.
Still, we have never seen a major mainstream liberal criticize a major press figure in the way he did last night. And we think you know where all that group silence has taken us down through the years.
For decades, conservatives have pounded away at mainstream figures like Crowley. The “liberal” team has refused to fight. Let's say that nother way:
They’ve refused to tell you the truth.
So congratulations to Lawrence O’Donnell for his belated breakdown! For ourselves, we decided we couldn’t take it any more in the fall of 1997. That’s when we started trying to design this web site.
Sixteen years later, O’Donnell has cracked. Again, we’ll state an amazing fact: We have never seen a major made man talk that way on TV. If you watch that entire segment, we think you'll have to admit it too:
You've never seen a major insider talking that way either!
Last night, O’Donnell broke the code of silence. Among other things, that code sent George W. Bush to the White House. To this day, these horrible people won’t even cop to that.
Way to go Larry!ReplyDelete
On the rare occasions I look at cable "news," I renew my appreciation for the perspicacity of Paddy Chayefsky.ReplyDelete
We need Eco and Eso. Read more on my blog (please click on my nickname).ReplyDelete
Issa is one of the most radical, extreme, partisan, far right-wing people in a Party dominated by his ilk. That makes Crowley's question even more ridiculous.ReplyDelete
"not definitive" and "cherry picking" are different. Issa would be "cherry picking" if he mentioned only negative things about the IRS and omitted exculpatory things. I don't think he did that. I don't know of any exculpatory things about the IRS scandal that are being left unsaid.ReplyDelete
OTOH Issa's comments are indeed not definitive, but that's not his fault. The reason is that a lot is not known. Why not?
1. IRS employees are not cooperating with investigators.
2. There's no indication that the Obama Administration is putting pressure on IRS personnel to cooperate.
3. The investigation isn't independent. One arm of the Obama Administration is investigating another arm of the Obama Administration. That setup leads to a natural suspicion that the investigation may not be vigorous as it might.
From what IS known, this is nothing near a scandal.ReplyDelete
Maybe if it's investigated something will turn-up.
But isn't this where conservatives complain we're too broke and investigations cost money we don't have?
Just kidding, I realize conservatives know we're the richest nation in the history of the world, and they only make believe it isn't true when they want to cut the social safety net.
I'd like to ask LD what his gut tells him as to why he is the only one making a big deal about his concern of a perceived disparity between internal IRS regulations and legislation.ReplyDelete
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