Future ‘Today’ Host Meredith Vieira on Gays: Bush is “Pandering” and “Cynical”
As noted by Tim Graham and Mark Finkelstein, the Today show has already portrayed the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment as nothing more then pandering to conservatives. Liberals will be comforted to know that incoming Today host Meredith Vieira concurs. The View, which Ms. Vieira leaves at the end of the week, featured a same-sex marriage discussion during the June 5 edition of the ABC program. Vieira introduced the segment by snidely stating, "President Bush is getting involved in someone’s marriage other then his own." She then referenced a Newsweek piece that quoted an anonymous Bush ‘friend’ as saying, "...He really doesn't care about this. He's just pushing it because he want to pander to conservatives." At one point she derided President Bush’s motives, saying, "So then it is just pandering." Later on she added, "It’s a response to a base falling out, I think." As Mr. Graham pointed out, liberals like Nancy Pelosi support repealing the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" ban on gays serving in the military. This is also an attempt at mollifying a political base, but don’t expect Katie Couric’s replacement to mention it.
Ever since the announcement that she would be joining the Today show in a few months, Ms. Vieira has attempted to tone down her vocal liberalism and today was no exception. She didn’t make broad sweeping statements, but couldn’t fully resist her natural impulses. At one point she began by saying, "But it’s so cynical if it’s purely-" and then trailed off. During the segment, which aired at 11:05AM EDT, she would simply ‘back up' what the other liberal co-hosts were saying.
A few examples:
Jones: "The United States Constitution is a document that should be sacrosanct, right? We give rights in the United States Constitution."
Vieira: "Right. Not take them away."
Jones: "It’s just something about taking the Constitution and playing around with it -- and this is a game right now. Because you know you can't pass it. You're going to spend all the money, spend all the time, generate the rhetoric and knowing-."
Vieira: "For nothing. For nothing."
Elisabeth Hasselback, the show’s token Republican, firmly stood up against three-to-one odds for the right to defend marriage:
Hasselback: "This is a response to an abuse. Because what happened was, it was left up to the states to decide this and what happened was, six liberal judges decided to take it into their own hands and impose their beliefs on the entire country. So now we're in this fix. Essentially very left wing liberals got us into this situation."
Strong words. One wonders, however, what the tension level will be when Rosie O’Donnell fills the spot of the vacating Vieira?