Ten times? A dozen? Maybe more? Eventually I lost count of the number of times that this morning's Today show trumpeted President Bush's low poll ratings. This was liberal schadenfreude on steroids.
In the very first words out of her mouth opening the show, Katie Couric spoke of W's ratings being at an "all-time low," while archly noting that W's visit today was his first "ground tour" of New Orleans.
While the delight in W's political distress was unrelenting for the remainder of opening half-hour, the low point came from NBC White House reporter Kelly O'Donnell, who attributed the basest and most cynically political motives to W in his efforts to aid New Orleans.
As O'Donnell put it, "to repair perceived damage over the initial federal response, Washington is throwing billions at the problems."
That's right, the President of the United States isn't motivated by his sense of duty or compassion , but only by his own political interest.
And speaking of being damned if you do and damned if you don't, the MSM famously condemned the lack of aid, but now that it's arriving derides it as "throwing billions" at the problem, as if the money were unneeded or going to waste.
When Katie turned to interview Tim Russert, she parroted the approved liberal line, questioning our nation's ability to rebuild the stricken gulf coast, as follows: "can we afford it? I mean Tim with obviously the war in Iraq sucking a lot of money and the federal deficit quite severe, can this country afford to put so much money into the rebuilding of New Orleans?"
Russert seemed to think we could, observing that there is a political consensus that "you just can't lose an American city."
Then it was on to reveling in W's deflated poll ratings.
Finallly, while stopping short of playing the race card, Couric drew what she clearly saw as a sharp contrast to W's response to 9/11, noting that only three days later he gave his famous "bullhorn speech" on the pile of rubble, while the screen showed W peering down on New Orleans from a window of Air Force One.
Today is spending much of its remaining time this morning plumping Martha Stewart's return to the airwaves. You might say that for Today and its MSM friends, W's travails "are a good thing."
Finkelstein has degrees from Cornell University and Harvard Law
School.He lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts "Right Angle," a local
political talk show. Finkelstein specializes in exposing liberal bias
at NBC's Today Show.