The Washington Post can never decide whether its Page Two columnist Dana Milbank is writing news stories or editorials or "news-itorials." But his "Washington Sketch" on Al Gore's Wednesday testimony is artistic indeed, casting Gore as the "champion of scientific thought" and conservative Sen James Inhofe as the William Jennings Bryan character in "Inherit the Wind," the sad back-woods Bible-thumper arrayed against the wisdom of modernity:
Al Gore, star of an Academy Award-winning film, was in town for a double feature on Capitol Hill yesterday. But instead of giving another screening of "An Inconvenient Truth," the former vice president found himself playing the Clarence Darrow character in "Inherit the Wind."
....It was, in many ways, a 21st-century version of the Scopes trial. Only this time, Gore, like William Jennings Bryan a failed Democratic presidential nominee, was playing Darrow, champion of scientific thought. Inhofe was playing the Bryan character, defending his beliefs against the encroachments of foes such as the National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations and the Oscar-hoisting former vice president.
Milbank does allow readers to hear a little of the "savage" conservative "ordeal" Gore was under from Inhofe and Congressman Joe Barton, but mostly, Gore was a superstar:
There was opening-night enthusiasm as hundreds lined up to see Gore make his first appearance in the Rayburn House office building. The demand for seats led staffers to set up two overflow rooms. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, by contrast, attracted barely a glance as she arrived for another hearing moments before Gore's appearance.
This does not qualify as objective reporting.