Vieira Vexes Carville-Begala With Tough Questions on Clinton Interview
Since one of the main issues at hand was Fox News' alleged bias, you would have thought NBC would have assembled a more 'fair & balanced' panel than James Carville and liberal sidekick Paul Begala. But just when you thought Meredith Vieira was going to lead a one-sided seance, she actually hit the liberal duo with two tough questions.
Carville provided the opening, ill-advisedly claiming that "not one 'assertation' of fact" by Clinton during his FNC interview has been challenged. Guess what, James? We've got some serious 'assertatin' goin' on over he-ah, in the person of Condi Rice, and Vieira was quick to point that out.
Vieira: "Not everybody agrees what he said is fact."
Vieira: "Condoleeza Rice, for example. Let me get this out. She responded to the charge that the Bush administration did nothing to stop Bin Laden and said . . ." Today then displayed the screen graphic shown here in which Rice stated "The notion that somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that [fight terrorism] is just flatly false. What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years."
Vieira came back with an even tougher point:
"Even more damaging is Michael Scheurer who led the hunt for Bin Laden under Clinton. He said Clinton was responsible for not getting Bin Laden. There were 10 chances to kill or capture Bin Laden before 9-11."
When she asked Begala "how much bluster and how much fact?" he ignored the question, switching the subject to that of Pres. Bush allegedly ignorning warnings about Bin Laden.
Other than that, Carville/Begala's main thrust was that Clinton's attack has re-energized Democrats, giving them a "spinal transplant." Carville did allow as to how Clinton might have been "two degrees too hot," but at the same time offered anectdotal evidence of people coming up to him and telling him to thank Pres. Clinton for his outburst.
When it comes to ultimate matters of national security, do Democrats really want their symbol to be that of an angry, purple-faced, out-of-control man jabbing a finger? Today a reporter's notes, tomorrow a button?
Meredith did let one bit of bias sneak through. Echoing Carville's assertion that Clinton had "liberated" Dems to go after Pres. Bush, Vieira observed: "You like liberation don't ya?"
Carville: "I like liberation."