While Bob Schieffer spent a goodly amount of time on Sunday's Face the Nation discussing the allegations made against Herman Cain this week as well as Rick Perry's strange speech in New Hampshire, Liz Cheney was the voice of reason asking why he was wasting so much time on these irrelevant issues.
"With all due respect, you know, the American people are out there afraid. They're afraid that the economy is going off a cliff...I think that that's what we ought to be talking about" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: You know, Ed Rollins, we all remember back out in Iowa when Herman Dean (sic) made that victory speech, what people call "the scream" now. And I think a lot of people think that's what done him in, in that race out there. What do you make of this?
ED ROLLINS: Howard Dean is a good friend of mine. Basically that was sort of the end of his candidacy. I don't think this is the end of the Perry candidacy. But I think it's an image that's going to stay there a long time.
And nobody has made a worse first impression than Governor Perry, who has been an extraordinary governor. He has been elected to office for 25 years, never defeated, three times elected governor of Texas against some very tough opponents.
At the end of the day, his impressions here that the American public has and Republicans have, both in the combination of the debates and this speech, he has got to overcome.
Someone is going to emerge as the alternative to Romney here, and become the chaser. Now whether that's Mr. Cain or Mr. Perry or one of the other candidates that's behind, we'll see. And Iowa will be probably the trigger out. But he's going to have to live with this.
And what they all need to know is that the day of the old day of the casual speech in front of a New Hampshire audience or an Iowa audience is gone. Everything is now on a camera, on a telephone, or something. And any attempt at humor, if you're not a comic or any attempt at basically saying something stupid is going to be there, out there with you the rest of the campaign. You have got to live with it.
SCHIEFFER: What do you think, Liz?
LIZ CHENEY: You know, I think, again, I find this all pretty frustrating. This country faces huge, huge challenges. And, you know, frankly, watching a morning show like this one where first we're talking about Herman Cain allegations, and then we're showing a YouTube mash-up of Rick Perry.
SCHIEFFER: Well, we're covering the campaign, Liz.
CHENEY: Well, but the issues are what matter, Bob. And with all due respect, you know, the American people are out there afraid. They're afraid that the economy is going off a cliff. They're afraid that this president wants higher taxes and more spending and bigger government. And in the midst of all of that, I think that that's what we ought to be talking about. [...]
SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, I take your point. But I would also make the point that we in the media, it is not our job to make the campaign. That is up to the candidates. The candidates determine what the campaign is going to be out...
CHENEY: But you guys choose what you're going to cover, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: And we show up and cover what's there.
SCHIEFFER: So you and I can talk about this for a long time.
CHENEY: All right. We'll talk about it later on.
SCHIEFFER: We have for a long time.
Cheney was of course spot on.
The economy is a mess, unemployment remains stubbornly high, debt is threatening to bankrupt the nation, and our media spent the entire week discussing anonymous allegations of sexual harassment by one candidate and the seemingly intoxicated musings of another.
Maybe when so-called journalists start focusing on the real issues instead of what they believe will help reelect the President we'll actually have a serious conversation about solving what ails us.
This seems especially important given how often press members in recent months have talked about the absence of an adult in the room.
From what I can tell, they're the ones mostly acting like children these days.
Brava, Liz! Brava!