The new anchor, David Gregory at Meet the Press, is interviewing Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice. Apparently the mission is to get “a frank assessment of President Bush” from Condi. And as is typical of recent US Military tactics -a full frontal assault with a barrage of embarrassing questions is being attempted. And of course Condi the Loyalist is easily deflecting and defending the tiny bastion that is the wisdom of the Bush Administration’s Foreign Policy. It is almost as if the movie Frost / Nixon were being adopted when its unquely inapproriate. – where a full frontal assault was successful precisely because it was so unexpected and Nixon “welcomed it” in his unique desire to set the record straight – has become the miguided approach de-rigeur by the press. See for example the NYTimes’ later than late assessment of the Bush Administrations Financial Regulation + Home Financing policy.
This party would prefer that the tough questions be asked and persistently before the fact. Even better, the due diligence of carefully building up the arguments as to why an answer to these questions is vital – this might then be used as a base to keep thepoliticians feet to the fire. For example, in the Auto Bailout, the tough questions and measure of a)how bad is the situation and b)what are the major range of options and what are their trade-offs are just being published now in the major Business Press venues. This is not leading journalism but closer to coinciding and realistically trailing in many dimensions. Here is a fifth estate of hope that the Press will be improving in this regard with the incoming administration