Bring It On!

Chris, You Ignorant Slut

September 27th, 2006 | by Omnipotent Poobah |

There’s plenty of buzz about Sunday’s Chris Wallace/Bill Clinton interview on Fox News. No one can dispute that it made for interesting television and pumped up Fox’s ratings, but beyond that, it’s debatable whether it accomplished much else.

For liberals, it was a much deserved smackdown by a man who’s been blamed for just about anything bad that’s happened in the last 15 years and who was hounded unmercifully during his stint on Pennsylvania Ave (J’ACCUSE! BLOWJOBS!). For Conservatives, it was a tirade aimed at a non-existent right-wing conspiracy by a man who has never told a truth in his life (J’ACCUSE! BLOWJOBS!…er, RULE OF LAW! RULE OF LAW!).


Some suggest that Bill - one of the savviest politicians on the planet - was well-prepared for the questions and said exactly what he meant in exactly the tone he chose. Others argue that may be true, but there was some real steam under the collar too. I personally believe a little of both. I think Bill expected the question and practiced his answers - he’s too smart not to have done so - but I think there was real anger there too - and, it showed.

The question Wallace asked was perfectly valid, albeit phrased in an accusatory fashion, “…why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put him (bin Laden) out of business?” A less provocative version might have been, “Do you think you did enough to put bin Laden out of business?” But, that’s a quibble. Presidents, ex or otherwise, aren’t allowed the luxury of going ballistic when confronted with an accusatory tone or an unflattering implication. After all, George has been testy lately and it’s made him look less Presidential - as if the cowboy boots, brush cutting, and bounty hunter language hadn’t already - even if we spot him to a low “Presidentialness” bar.

While many of Clinton’s points were true, his delivery - uncomfortably close to his finger-wagging, “I did not have sex with that woman…Miss Lewinsky” speech - came across as more unbridled anger than a cool summation befitting an elder statesman. If he was preaching to those not already in the choir, his delivery made it all too easy to say, “He’s the same sniveling, depraved bastard he always was.” If he was preaching to the choir, it probably wasn’t necessary. They’ve had the hymnal open and started singing long ago. The litmus test for this comparison is easy, the White House response looked reasonable and sensible by comparison - never a good sign.

Was his defense justified?

For me, that’s an unqualified yes. Most people in a position to know the details of what happened, seem to back him up. They say he instituted several campaigns to off Osama bin Cuckoo. They also say he showed an impressive inquisitiveness and interest about the situation that stands in stark contrast to George’s unsurprising, “I ’spose I oughta mosey on over and see if sumpin’s up with this here bin Laden boy” approach the first six months he was on the job.

The 9/11 Commission said Bill should shoulder some of the blame and he did. During the interview he admitted that he’d been unable to tighten the noose on Osama. While I give him points for voluntarily admitting a failure - something George seems pathologically unable to do - he did, nevertheless, fail and the Commission was correct to apportion some blame to him. There’s plenty of blame to spread around in a cock up as big as 9/11 and he owned up to his share while making a point that he at least had tried. I can’t fault him for that.

So he presented his case and acquitted himself rather well on the facts. I’m sure he gained plenty of satisfaction from taking a swipe back at those who blame him and I’m sure finally saying something after five years was cathartic.

But did the fireworks change the political calculus? Not so much.

The polls won’t rise or fall on the basis of the exchange. Most people have already taken a stand on Bill’s guilt or innocence and George’s incompetence or leadership. They will continue to respond accordingly.

It seems the only winner here may be Fox News. They reaped some nice ratings, can tout Chris Wallace as a tough interviewer who asks difficult questions, and garnered plenty of free publicity from all the other news outlets that jumped on the exchange like cats on a june bug.

In light of that, maybe it’s time for Fox News to jettison the “Fair and Balanced” oxymoron and go with a new one, “Our Programmers are Smarter Than You Think“.

Cross Posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

  1. 3 Responses to “Chris, You Ignorant Slut”

  2. By sumo on Sep 27, 2006 | Reply

    Good one as usual Poobie!

  3. By Dusty on Sep 28, 2006 | Reply

    Well, Bill’s rant on Chrissy Wallace’s Faux Sunday show drove me to create a masterpiece of my own..I watched it three times..and I got more and more pissed as it went along, kinda like ol Bill did.

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