Monday, May 24, 2010

A Tim Russert of our own

Lewis Lapham on Tim Russert:
To an important personage Russert asked one or two faintly impertinent questions
the reply was of no interest to him, not worth his notice or further comment. He had
sprinkled his trademark salt, his work was done. The important personage was free to choose from a menu offering three forms of response—silence, spin, rancid lie. If silence, Russert moved on to another topic; if spin, he nodded wisely; if rancid lie, he swallowed it.

Embedding has been disabled on these two videos (alternate links) of Norman Robinson interviewing the heads of Richards Disposal and Metro Disposal, but he didn't ask any of the follow up questions that I would have asked.

Now read Bob Somerby
Yep, Russert can really be a bulldog when handed a story his cohort approves of. He pummeled Biden with six straight questions about Kerry’s deeply troubling vote. But when Miller attacked Kerry’s vote—two times—the bulldog crawled under his desk and died. According to Russert, his job on Meet the Press is to “learn everything you can about the guests and their positions and then take the other side on the air” (page 308). But somehow, Russert forgot “to take the other side” when Miller slammed Kerry’s troubling vote. Voters are hearing this “position” from every steeple. But Russert forgot to challenge it.
Tim hammered Biden with six straight questions on one single topic. With Miller, the bulldog wandered around, trying to find an old steak.

I didn't count, but on this clip (again, not embeddable), it sure seems like even more than six questions on one single topic. Norman Robinson asks absolutely no follow up questions of either Alvin Richards or Jimmie Woods, but several of James Perry. Tim Russert would be proud. I suppose we can at least infer that Helena Moreno was well-liked by her former colleagues at WDSU.

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