L.A. Columnist Rips Sawyer for Speech-Fee Query to Hillary: 'If Not Exactly Stupid, Pretty Ridiculous'

Diane Sawyer’s surprisingly challenging interview with Hillary Clinton makes some media elitists hopping mad. At the Los Angeles Times, columnist Meghan Daum began: “It's open season on Hillary Rodham Clinton again.”

Daum is furious that Clinton has now been scolded for failing “to realize that having temporary cash-flow problems when you're on the verge of getting rich doesn't exactly mirror the struggles of the masses.” Diane Sawyer asking about her speaking fee was “if not exactly stupid, pretty ridiculous.”

But stupid answers often arise from stupid questions. And let's face it, Sawyer's question, which essentially amounted to "how dare you accept what the market is willing to pay you?," is, if not exactly stupid, pretty ridiculous.

Not that moneyed political families don't take hits for being out of touch. But as easy as it was to knock the Romneys for missteps in the vein of "Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs," it's hard to imagine a news anchor asking a Bush or a Kennedy how he feels about his interest and dividend earnings far exceeding the U.S. median.

And that's because in some corner of the American imagination, a politician who lives off previously accumulated wealth is more palatable than one who is still in the process of accumulating it. He or she is less hungry, needy, and somehow just safer.

What? Daum somehow missed Brian Williams asking Bush about his "clueless patrician" insensitivity on the street in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.


As for Romney, Daum sang a different (transparently partisan) tune on April 19, 2012. She was one of those Obama backers that was furious that Jim Messina and David Axelrod  instantly distanced themselves from the Hillary Rosen gaffe dissing Ann Romney as "never worked a day in her life."

Never mind that Rosen wasn't dissing stay-at-home moms as much as pointing out the hypocrisy of Romney using his very wealthy wife as a spokesperson for the economic anxieties of American women who've lost their jobs. And never mind that no less than four months ago, Romney was telling a crowd in New Hampshire that government assistance should be provided for child care so that poor women can participate in the job market and have "the dignity of work."

For a serious dose of Daum's Democrat spin, try her convention goo from September 6, 2012:

At the risk of inviting legions of conservatives to swoop down and tell me I'm drowning in the Obama Kool-Aid (actually, it's not just a risk; it's a guarantee), I'm just going to come out and say it: Michelle Obama was spectacular at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night. She managed to do in 25 minutes what her husband has been struggling to do for nearly four years: remind us why we were once so excited about the prospect of seeing this family in the White House.

Almost immediately, the speech was being called "politically masterful," "a devastating attack on Mitt Romney" and "history making." Twitter reported that, by the end, tweets were going out at a rate of 28,003 per minute, double the number being sent as Romney wrapped up his address last week.

Oh, and speaking of the Romneys, Ann Romney gave a perfectly good speech last week. But it was little more than a wedding toast compared to Michelle's words...

That's why what struck me about Michelle's sentiments was actually how old-fashioned they sounded; how steeped they were in real conservatism, the kind that values all types of hardworking people, not just those who are businessmen or would like to be. And that's also why I hope that the excitement around her speech will afford us the opportunity to consider just how un-radical these supposed radicals are. From the looks of things, they're walking down the center of Main Street. It's the far right that's in danger of driving off the road.

[HT: Insti-Gator]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis