On CNN, Ralph Nader Again Promotes Moyers for President; Blitzer Gushes
On Sunday’s "Late Edition," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer conducted a syrupy interview with consumer advocate and frequent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Blitzer allowed the former Green Party standard-bearer to once again promote left-wing PBS host Bill Moyers for President in 2008. The CNN anchor also gushed over Nader’s new work of non-fiction, "The 17 Traditions," a liberal tome about rasing families. Blitzer described it as a "beautiful book with a lot of emotion." But first, he prompted Nader to plug the Moyers for President campaign:
Wolf Blitzer: "Here's what you wrote back in October on Bill Moyers, the PBS commentator: ‘Moyers brings impressive credentials beyond his knowledge of the White House, congressional complexes. As millions of viewers and readers over the decades know, Bill Moyers is unusually articulate and authentic in evaluating the unmet necessities and framing the ignored solutions in our country.’ You'd like him to run for president?"
Ralph Nader: "Very much. I got a great response to that column."
Blitzer: "What -- What response did you get from Bill Moyers?"
Nader: "We haven't heard from Bill Moyers, but people ought to Google Bill Moyers and let him know that they would like him to run. I think he could raise clean money and substantial money. He's well- known, he's very articulate. He's been in the White House with Lyndon Johnson. He knows the media and his speeches are just wonderful renditions of American history, the progressive moment, and the way forward for our country."
Perhaps now that someone like Ralph Nader has claimed Moyers as a liberal, the PBS host will no longer assert conservative credentials.
In the segment, which aired on February 4 at 12:05pm, Blitzer hit the usual, whiney media talking points that Nader elected George W. Bush in 2000:
Blitzer: "Let me talk briefly -- and then I want to move on to your book -- about this new documentary that's come out called ‘An Unreasonable Man.’ It's about you. It deals with your life, but it also has some criticism of what happened back in 2000 when the suggestion is the votes, 20,000 or whatever you got, 90,000 -- how many votes did you get in Florida?"
Nader: "Ninety-six thousand."
Blitzer: "Ninety-six thousand."
Nader: "But a lot of them would have stayed home."
Blitzer: "That, that could you have tipped the ballots in favor of Al Gore who lost by less than 600 votes. Let me run a little clip from this film entitled ‘An Unreasonable Man.’"
[Blitzer plays a clip from ‘An Unreasonable Man’ that claims Nader reneged on pledges not to campaign in competitive states]]
Blitzer: "All right, those are two supporters, people who are sympathetic to you."
Nader: "Unfortunately, it's false. The film has a professor at Harvard who looked over our schedule. I spent 28 days in California, two and a half days in Florida, for example. So those statements are factually false. But if we all have equal right to run for public office, Wolf, then we're either all spoilers of one another, or none of us are spoilers. I mean, why should third-party candidates, which historically have given the new ideas, such as in the 19th century, anti-slavery, women's right to vote, labor, farmer, why should they be second-class citizens? By the way, I've spoken to Al Gore. You ask Al Gore what cost him the election. He thinks he won the election. I agree. I think he won it in Florida, but he lost it because it was taken from him from Tallahassee with all those shenanigans all the way to the 5-4 political decision in the Supreme Court."
Blitzer: " All right, we're not going to rehash what happened in 2000."
Finally, on safer ground, Mr. Blitzer fawned over the consumer advocate’s new book. At one point, he told Nader, "You had a wonderful childhood growing up." (How would Blitzer know?)The CNN host’s gushing reached a level reserved only for liberals. (Read the below quote and ask yourself: Is this an interview or a dust jacket blurb?)
Blitzer: "I want to talk a little bit about ‘The Seventeen Traditions’ by Ralph Nader. This is a lovely new book, a little one, but it's got some really deep significance for you and I assume a lot of people who read it. Tell us what you mean by these 17 traditions."
Nader: "Well, there are 17 ways my mother and father raised four children, two girls and two boys, in a little factory town in northwest Connecticut. And their traditions, I think they'll resonate with a lot of people, especially young parents who think everything's out of control for them, including their children. So the first tradition is learning how to listen. My mother would say, learn how to listen so you'll listen to learn, something I wish George W. Bush grew up learning. There's a tradition of history, a tradition of the family food table, where a lot of discussion was conducted. The tradition of history, it was very important for us. Tradition of work. Father had a restaurant where they said for a nickel, you got a cup of coffee and ten minutes of politics. So it was a lot of town meeting activity, with the factory workers and others."
Blitzer: "You had a wonderful childhood growing up. You had parents who were intimately, directly involved in raising you and your siblings. But you fear that a lot of these responsibilities, parental responsibilities that you had, that I had are now being outsourced in a new generation."
Nader: "Tremendous pressure on families. More commuting, more than one job, sometimes single moms. Not enough time for the children. So, more and more family functions. Day care, entertainment, food, fast food restaurants, all being outsourced. That's not very good for raising the next generation of Americans. I think this book will help a lot of other families establish their own family traditions. Their own grandparents and great grandparents' wisdom, insight, experience. Why have the children keep reinventing the wheel? We have a civic tradition in our family. And I think the greatest source of civic advocates in our country doesn't come from the schools. It will come from the parents and the family upbringing."
Blitzer: "Let me read to you from the book and get your response: ‘Today, more and more families are farming out their responsibilities. The family industry is swiftly becoming a real factor in our economy. And this comes with a price, as more parents lose confidence in their own judgments, in their ability to make decisions without the help of the, quote, 'experts.' ‘As corporations deliberately encroach on the parenting of our children, and children spend less personal time with their parents, those all-important traditions are falling by the wayside.’Now, that's a depressing thought."
Nader: "But it's realistic. And I wouldn't blame the parents. The economy is designed to separate more and more, during the day, the parents, from the children, number one. The companies are marketing direct now to two-, three-, five-, eight-year-olds in a massive advertising campaign, junk food, military toys, over-medication, cosmetics for girls age seven. I mean, it's just unbelievable what's going on that we're not thinking enough about because of these distractions that we're seeing in our country. And that's one of the prices of the Iraq War."
Blitzer: "Of the 17 traditions, and they're all one chapter each, which is your favorite?"
Nader: "The civic tradition. My parents, by example, were active in the community, helped expand the hospital, for example, helped to get from Senator Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the President, a dry dam so that the Mad River wouldn't overflow and destroy the main street, as it did three times in 50 years. We saw all that. And it sunk in."
Blitzer: "Anybody who reads this will know that the Ralph Nader that all of us have come to know over these past decades, the roots were strong here, and they are documented in this book, ‘The Seventeen Traditions.’ Thanks for writing it."
One thing’s for certain, Lynn Cheney interviews are nowhere near as pleasant.