Meet The Villagers

by digby

From the "you can't make this stuff up" files:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, what about a World Series Yankees and Cubs?

SEN. CLINTON: Well, you know, I’ve worried about that because I think, given the Cubs’ record, which of course I, I hope it happens, but it could very well be a sign of the coming apocalypse were that to ever occur. It would be so out of history that you’d have the Cubs vs. the Yankees, then I’d be really in trouble. But I...

MR. RUSSERT: But who would you be for?

SEN. CLINTON: Well, I would probably have to alternate sides.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: Well, the Cubs are in the playoffs, David.


MR. RUSSERT: Cubs, Yankees. You going to seat—sit behind each dugout?

MR. GREGORY: You can’t have it all. In the sports world, you can’t have it all.

MR. BUCHANAN: But, Tim...

MR. GREGORY: That reeks of calculation, which is a potential downside for her.

MR. BUCHANAN: The term “Nixonian” comes to mind on that response.

MR. RUSSERT: How so?

MR. BUCHANAN: In the good sense of the word.

MR. RUSSERT: How so, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I mean, which—“on the one hand, on the other.”

MR. SMILEY: That sounds like Romney is what it sounded like.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Dan Balz, it’s been tough getting these candidates to, to one, one, talk to the press and take real positions. They want to hide out in the Internet, they want to hide out on their blogs, they want to put out prefab commercials and brochures. But when you say to them, “Where are you on Social Security? How are you going to save that program? Where are you on Iraq? Where are you on immigration?” sometimes you get answers like that.

MR. BALZ: You know, it’s interesting. The, the Republicans have gotten a lot of criticism for not coming to Tavis’ debate the other night, and I think justifiably so, for all the reasons that have been discussed here this morning. But, as you point out, all of the candidates on all sides of this race are finding ways to avoid real interaction with the press.


MR. BALZ: Senator Clinton has had one real press availability out on the campaign trail since she announced. Most of them—she did all the Sunday shows last week. She’s basically not doing any others. Obama is very much the same way. They’re all using friendly sources. As you say, they’re trying to get their message out through the Internet. The Republicans go on Sean Hannity all the time. They’re looking for ways to avoid tough follow-up questions.

Right. The tough follow up question to "what would you do if the Cubs and the Yanks meet in the World series" would be ... what?

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick these people are insufferable sometimes. How deep must your massively inflated ego and lack of self-awareness be to not know that your silly, Dr Phil pycho-babble "character" coverage is what makes candidates look elsewhere to talk about substantive issues. These people won't allow them to. Everyone in the corporate press is obsessed with trivia and focused like a laser on any utterance that will "prove" the person fits their pre-conceived narrative. (Read this bucket full of utterly useless lightweight psycholanalytical drivel, if you don't believe me. Hillary the Empty Bore --- just like Gore! Awesome.)

The candidates are "hiding" from their tough questions like Russert's penetrating query on Cubs vs Yanks (or the equally stupid Russertesque "gotcha" questions calling them on something they said in 1978 or his mind-numbing hypotheticals about ticking time bombs and sanctuary cities) because they know that it doesn't matter what they say, the approved narrative will be advanced. Why the hell should any of them bother answering the corporate media's questions anymore?

The bigger problem is that they haven't stopped listening to them.


And, by the way, did David Gregory get too much sun this summer when he was vacationing with his fellow aristocrats in Martha's Vineyard? This has to be the most vapid piece of "analysis" I've seen in many a day:

MR. GREGORY: I think there’s a couple of issues. One, she, she will constantly fight this issue of being her own president, her own woman, and, and is Bill Clinton, the former president, lurking in the shadows, influencing policy? And the way he wrapped his arms around her answers say she’s her own woman, and she’s thought this through, and that’s what she should really be doing. It’s a land mine he’s always going to be walking through.

The second thing is that I think Republicans—all these Republicans that say she is the inevitable nominee, they want her to be the nominee. The only thing they could get Republicans excited right now in their doldrums is the idea of the Clintons running for president, the notion that it’s two-for-one again. And I, I was thinking about George W. Bush in 2000, ending every stump speech saying “When I put my hand on the Bible, I’ll restore honor and digerty—dignity to the White House.” They’d like to, to rehash some of those themes.

Yah think?

I guess that's why these top Village stenographers make the big bucks. Their superior "access" gives them unusual insights like that.

Update: Sommerby has more on the "important questions" that Russert posed during the debate:

PART 2—IT TAKES A VILLAGE BURGHER: Tim Russert didn’t ask about climate change at Wednesday night’s Democratic debate. We had no time for a topic like that. But we did have time for these ruminations. To Russert, these things really mattered:

1) Russert found time to ask John Edwards (for the ten millionth time) about his troubling haircuts.

2) He found time to present the latest 24-style hypothetical—and to play “gotcha” with Hillary Clinton, employing an old Sean Hannity trick. (You get your guest to disagree with a quote. Then, you try to embarrass your guest when you reveal who said it!)

3) He found time to bore the world with a question (to Dennis Kucinich) about a municipal problem in Cleveland—a problem which occurred in Cleveland in 1978.

4) He found time to collect a Bible passage from each of the hopefuls—after leading with the latest RNC-scripted suggestion about the troubling lack of faith among these bad vile Democrats. (“Before we go, there’s been a lot of discussion about the Democrats and the issue of faith and values. I want to ask you a simple question...”)

“There’s been a lot of discussion about the Democrats and the issue of faith and values!” And yes, that’s true, there has been such discussion—among the nation’s pseudo-conservative hacks. But then, Russert has increasingly become a parody of a corporate-selected, multimillionaire mogul.

There's more.