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Archive for March 16th, 2005

Purpose Driven Pander?

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So, Paula Zahn fills in for Aaron Brown tonight on Newsnight, and what does PZ bring us but a full-hour special edition of the show on the Purpose Driven Life. Fantastic. Complete with correspondents reading Bible passages, and 1001 stories of felons-alcoholics-porn freaks whose lives were turned around by the "best selling non-fiction book in American history."

Paula Z. does segments like this, just as she used to lay into war protestors, Michael Moore, etc with a horrible gleam in her eye, sandblasted teeth all a glitter.

Question I have is the same one that I had while watching Bush’s press conference today: pander or true belief, honest effort? Seriously, we need an answer right now. Zahn believes that this is what we need to hear about for an hour or she’s doing the red-state two step? I used to think I knew the answer, but I just can’t be sure now. At the press conference today, things were going well for a bit. Nice poke at him on rendition, and then this one, which was pretty good as well:

Q Paul Wolfowitz, who was the — a chief architect of one of the most unpopular wars in our history —

THE PRESIDENT: (Laughter.) That’s an interesting start. (Laughter.)

Q — is your choice to be the President of the World Bank. What kind of signal does that send to the rest of the world?

And then this, which is mind-bending.

Q Mr. President, you have spoken out about the need for owners,
coaches and players in all sports to stop steroid use. And you’ve also
voiced reservations about government getting too involved in that. And
as you know, Congress is issuing subpoenas to Major League baseball
players during spring training. Do you think that that’s an abuse of
power, or is it appropriate, in your view?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Congress generally has an independent mind of
its own. I spoke out and was pleased to see that baseball responded,
and they’ve got a testing policy in place for the first time ever — a
firm testing policy in place. And it’s very important that baseball
then follow through and implement the testing and, obviously, deal with
those who get caught cheating in the system.

And the hearings will go forward, I guess. I guess that’s the
current status. But I’m wise enough not to second-guess the intentions
of the United States Congress. I do appreciate the public concern about
the use of steroids in sports, whether it be baseball or anywhere else,
because I understand that when a professional athlete uses steroids, it
sends terrible signals to youngsters. There’s — we’ve had some stories
in my own state, one of the newspapers there pointed out that they
thought there was steroid use in high schools as a result of — in
order to make sure these kids, at least in the kid’s mind, could be a
better athlete. It’s a bad signal. It’s not right. And so I appreciate
the fact that baseball is addressing this, and I appreciate the fact
that the Congress is paying attention to the issue. This first started,
of course, with Senator McCain, who basically said, get your house in
order. And baseball responded, and my hope is the system will work.

Q You have no problem with the subpoenas?

THE PRESIDENT: No.

Again, this time for the reporter: Truly think that this is the question to ask, or are you just playing for future access? Seriously – I used to be sure that it was the latter, but I’m less and less sure…

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March 16, 2005 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Television