Friday, July 6, 2007

Did David Shuster Pull a Fox Noise Attack on his Guest?

Since the Commander values journalism instead of stenography I normally do not tune into MSNBC's Hardball. But while channel surfing I noticed that David Shuster was substituting for Tweety, so I paused to listen. His guest was Fouad Ajami

Short version: Shuster ripped the neocon apologist a 2nd asshole. He refused to allow the Professor to get away with half-truths (sample statement FA: Richard Armatiage was the leaker in the CIA Case. DS: It came out at trial that 7 different people talked with Scooter Libby about Plames identity) and whole lies (sample statement FA: The attacks of 9/11 and the terrorist trail preceded the Iraq war. DS: I am not going to let you end this with the idea that Iraq was part of 9/11) while attempting to justify his statement that Libby the perjurer was the equivalent of a fallen US soldier in Iraq because he is an "authority".

However, one thought did bother me after reading the comments section of Crooks and Liars for this post:

    16 throwthembows Says:That was kinda hard to watch. I don’t think it was a very honest debate. I don’t agree with anything this jerk-off has to say, but the interview was Fox News-ish in its execution.
Because I am committed to excellence in Journalism (see Murrow, Edward R) regardless of Party affiliation, this question deserves thoughtful analysis. And my conclusion is no, it is not Fox News-ish. Mr. Shuster is not reading a script or repeating Republican or even Democratic talking points. He is simply

  • Holding Proffessor Ajami accountable for statements he has made, statements that are patently false.

  • Refusing to allow Proffessor Ajami accountable to change the subject in order to avoid answering these outlandish statements (Clinton did it defense).

  • Refusing to allow Proffessor Ajami to get all self righteous just because his authority was called in question.

    In short, David Shuster was being a Journalist, not a stenographer. He was investigating and if necessary instantly correcting the Professors mendacity's. He refused to play the Fox News game of two sides to every issue.

    There are not two sides if one side is lyng. And it is not liberal bias when a journalist calls them on a lie. It is reporting the facts.
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