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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


O’Reilly's Host-Errors

I just caught two segments (the transcript is not available yet, so here's the best I can do) of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox wherein he talked to Michelle Malkin and Terry McAuliffe (separately). There are a few things about both conversations that bothered me.

First, Michelle’s segment. Bill started off by plugging her new book and then commenting on the fact that today is the RNCC’s day of Compassion (which he had mentioned in his Talking Points Memo at the show’s opening). His stance was that this alleged Compassion is only good if the true meaning of Compassion is understood. Specifically, that Compassion is along the lines of the old adage about giving a person a fish or teaching them to catch fish on their own...and that the Left prefers giving fish away while the Right tends to teach people to fish. I agree. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that Bill and Michelle were on the same wavelength and I think it was Bill’s fault. Here’s a paraphrased version of what he said (since the transcript isn't yet available):

Bill: I’m pleased to have Michelle Malkin on our show tonight. Her new book, In Defense of Internment, is out and, Michelle, that doesn’t sound very compassionate. You’re not suggesting that we go around and lock up all Muslims, are you?

Michelle: No, no, no, Bill. Of course not…and I make that clear in my book. However, I do have to say that I disagree with this whole day of Compassion. I think we need to get tougher in this country and show that world that we mean business.
See the problem? Bill is referring to Compassion in the sense that we need to get tougher…but, with his question, he forced Michelle to either defend the definition of Compassion that he had just argued against, or to argue against Compassion itself. I don't know whether or not this was done on purpose...but it's not the type of thing an experienced host should be doing.

As the conversation progressed Michelle managed to pull it out when Bill asked something to this effect (again, paraphrased):

Bill: Don’t you think that it’s time to get out of the mudslinging game? I mean these Swift Boat Vets, they’ve been really brutal. They’re not showing much Compassion, are they?

Michelle: Actually Bill, I think they’re showing Compassion to the Vietnam Vets who have felt insulted by John Kerry all these years.

Bill: Wow, what a great response. I thought I was going to stump you with that one. I have no comeback.
His interview with Michelle illustrates the first of two errors a host should never make. Bill went to the trouble of defining Compassion in his Talking Points Memo, and then he puts his guest in a position implying that she needs to defend the erroneous definition of Compassion he just disavowed.

All things considered I think Michelle did a great job and came off looking just fine.

Now…for the Terry McAuliffe segment. Let’s just get this out in the open: McAuliffe makes me want to vomit. I don’t mean that in a metaphorical or figurative sense. Listening to him makes me physically ill. Here’s a few examples of illustrating why he makes my want to spill my lunch on my shoes…

Bill asked Terry what he thought about the speeches given last night by Sen. McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Terry said Giuliani was too harsh and McCain was ok…blah, blah, blah. Then the conversation turned to Bush and his now infamous line that the War on Terror is quote-unquote unwinnable. I just happened to listen to Bush clarify that statement on Rush’s show today and I’ll tell you what…this is just another example of quoting out of context.

Bill, to his credit, asked Terry a number of salient questions…although while doing so he committed at least the second serious host-error in only the second segment, which I’ll get to shortly. First, though, Bill asked Terry if he was tired of the Gotcha game, referring to the Left jumping the unwinnable comment and the Right jumping on the sensitive War on Terror Kerry gaffe. Terry got really defensive and said it’s all “Politics.” I give him credit for candor…but negative points for being a slimebag and quoting out of context.

Then…as if to prove that he really does relish quoting out of context…Terry went on to say something to this effect:

Terry: Bush said the WoT is unwinnable. That’s just wrong, a Commander-in-Chief doesn’t say those things. I’ll tell you this, John Kerry will win the WoT.

Bill: He’ll win it? He’ll wipe them all out? Get every last one?

Terry: He’ll win it!

Bill: But there will always be Madrids, there will always be people strapping bombs on and blowing people up.

Terry: Well, there will always be small incidents…

Bill: Small?!

Terry: …yeah, small incidents. But I promise you, John Kerry will win the WoT.

Bill: But how can we win it? We're fighting a Movement, not a Country. How can we get them all?

Terry: John Kerry will win it. John Kerry will win it. John Kerry will win it. John Kerry will win it. John Kerry will win it.
Did anyone else catch the host-error? Bill kept on implying (and saying outright) that Bush was correct in the sense that we’re fighting a Movement and not a Country. Therefore, we will never see a surrender agreement and thereafter be able to say “We won.” The error that Bill is guilty of is that he assumed that he and Terry agreed on the conditions under which the WoT would be considered “Won.” Specifically, Bill neglected to pin Terry to the mat and make him admit how his definition of Winning the WoT differs from Bush's definition. The former is a slimy way of saying that we will have won when Kerry is in power and we say we've won (using the circular reasoning so favored by Democrats). The latter is a blatantly honest statement that we can never kill all the Terrorists. The part of the unwinnable quote that Terry left out was this part:

"I don't think you can win it," Bush replied on NBC's "Today" to the question: "Can we win" the war on terror. "But I think you can create conditions so that the -- those who use terror as a tool -- are less acceptable in parts of the world." (emphasis added)
Bush's approach is just exactly correct (although not well articulated in this particular quote). Here's what it boils down to:

We have gone after the Terrorists' money (freezing assets).
We have gone after their safe havens (Afghanistan and Iraq).
And now we're going after their recruiting grounds by transforming the 14th century dictatorships of Afghanistan and Iraq into functioning representative governments.

Bill could have forced Terry admit that he was using Bush's words unfairly by saying, “Ok Terry, you say JF-ingK can win the WoT? Would you please tell me how we’ll know that we’ve won?” Instead he let Terry get away with this crap, allowing him to plainly state that Kerry will win, although we don’t know how long it’ll take…but we will win under Kerry. What a load. Did I mention that McAuliffe makes me want to puke?

In the end, Bush is right and the McAuliff's of the world are just grubbing in the dirt. They've got their heads buried so far up their...I mean, they've got their heads buried so deep in the sand that they wouldn't know a Bad Terrorists from a Dead Terrorist.

Thank God that Bush can identify the difference, and that he knows how to transform the former into the latter.


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