Liz Cheney Takes On Sam Donaldson, TV Critic Calls Her 'Rude'

Liz Cheney fans got to see quite a faceoff between her and Sam Donaldson on Sunday's "This Week."

As the panel discussion turned to Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate the terrorist interrogation procedures of the CIA, Cheney and Donaldson predictably shared opposing views.

Despite both parties being guilty of interrupting and stepping on one another, television critic Tom Shales, in a column published by the Washington Post Tuesday, felt Cheney was "intentionally rude" while employing "guerrilla rhetoric."  

Not surprisingly, Shales had nothing negative to say about Donaldson's behavior (highlights below the fold with video of the exchange, h/t Jennifer Rubin):

Perhaps it was good TV when, on Sunday's edition of the estimable and ever-excellent ABC News program "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," veteran network nabob Sam Donaldson tangled with rising purple pundit of the right Liz Cheney over matters related to terrorists, torture and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

There was acrimony, there were scowls and, as is a habit of Cheney's -- honed during what was for her a sort of Chatterbox Summer -- there was simultaneous talking that rendered both participants unintelligible. Cheney has a way of continuing to talk, charging forward in single-minded determination, when someone else has the floor, even if that "someone" might be moderator Stephanopoulos, who is supposed to set the agenda.

She doesn't just finish a thought, she doesn't just finish a sentence, she'll go right into a new paragraph and ignore all attempts to head her off. [...]

Cheney's behavior on the talk shows is guerrilla rhetoric to some degree, and intentionally rude; its flouting of civility helps brand her a hero to her constituency, as someone who'll stand up to opposing forces and keep up a steady stream of words even if she renders herself incomprehensible, too.

It may not matter to Cheney that her own argument can't be understood as she continues on her course of rudeness as rhetoric. Content is moot; this is "discussion" as obfuscation, the use of language not to communicate but to obliterate. And it works.

Here's what actually happened on Sunday. You decide whether Cheney was rude or marvelously informed and effective:

Commentary's Jennifer Rubin aptly stated of Shales's critique:

It used to be that the high-brow media critics deplored the sound-bite culture and pined for intelligent debate where guests could finish their thoughts. Well, what is really going on is a recognition among members of the Left punditocracy that Liz Cheney is a force to be reckoned with, and that their side lacks anyone with a similar command of detail on national-security matters and the ability to explain that detail to ordinary viewers.

I agree, and wonder if this is just another example of liberals being thoroughly incapable of tolerating an outspoken conservative woman. 

Brava, Liz!

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.