Speaking of David Gregory...

August 12th, 2005 2:38 PM

Though this little incident happened a few days ago -- Wednesday -- seeing David Gregory's name in a post today triggered my memory and I decided to post an entry on it. Subbing for Chris Matthews on "Hardball," Gregory was interviewing Katherine Harris, who has declared her candidacy for the Senate.

First, I must confess that I was disappointed in Katherine Harris's performance and I say this with reluctance, because I like and admire the woman. I continue to be impressed with her courageousness and tenacity during the 2000 Florida ordeal. But I wish someone would talk to her handlers. From beginnning to end, her interview with Gregory appeared to be a canned, forced, annoyingly unresponsive and programmed campaign harangue. No matter what Gregory asked her, she would briefly respond, if at all, and then immediately launch into generalities about her excitement to be in the race and working for the people, etc. I acccept all that as true, but she really didn't come off well in doing this.

She was almost like a wind-up doll, just spitting out the same thing about her excitement to be in the race. I also object to her succumbing to the Hillary Clinton tactic of pretending to go on a "listening tour." I couldn't believe my own ears. If she's going to be a serious candidate, she needs to have an agenda now -- not pretend to be forming it as she goes around listening to people. Don't get me wrong: she needs to listen and learn, but I wish she would dispense with the Democratic-type populism and instead approach this as a woman who knows what she wants and where she's headed. Hillary's "listening tour" was bogus. I doubt Katherine Harris's promise to listen is insincere, but it still turns me off, if for no other reason than that Hillary used the term, shamelessly.

But I urge Katherine Harris's handlers -- not that they're listening to me -- to advise her to listen to the questions and try to answer them and not go on monotonously about her campaign in response to every question. She seems more like a caricature than a real person when she takes this posture and she's capable of so much better. She can and should be a great candidate. I have great admiration for this lady and want her to be the best she can be.

Now, back to David Gregory. This guy just can't help himself. While expressing indignation at the suggestion that the mainstream press is liberal, he proves it every other time he opens his mouth. And, as you should know, part of this phenomenon is a stubborn denail by lib media guys that they're biased at all. I actually think -- though my friend Brent Bozell may think I'm naive for this -- that these libs really do see themselves as objective and unbiased. They really don't have enough of a grip on reality to perceive their flagrant biases.

Gregory, after being frustrated at being unable to extract an admission from Harris that the Bush administration had not endorsed her, he asked her this question:

GREGORY: Does the president owe you? Do you expect him to campaign with you down the stretch?

Harris gave the following answer:

HARRIS: Why in the world would you ask if the president owed me? I simply followed the letter of the law. That`s it.

Can you believe this Gregory guy? What an outrageous, insulting charge: that Harris's certification of the Florida election results was a discretionary act in furtherance of a political favor or her political agenda. Harris never did anything wrong and did exactly what she was supposed to do, for which she was subjected by "compassionate" liberals to the most hateful slander and ridicule imaginable. Yet, she stood strong and we owe her great admiration for her courage under fire and for sticking to principle. Gregory, true to form, obviously doesn't even see the impropriety of his remarks. Or didn't care. But since Harris certified results showing Bush won, she is automatically discredited in lib Gregory's eyes -- especially since Jeb Bush was the governor. Give me a break.

But I don't want to close without calling your attention to Harris's response. Now that's the Katherine Harris I hope to see in the campaign: tough, taking no prisoners, and refusing to suffer fools gladly. She "simply followed the letter of the law." Exactly. Spoken like a true conservative. Of course, this is something that liberals like Gregory are incapable of understanding. The rule of law concept is foreign to them; their unspoken motto, which they cynically and erroneously assume applies to conservatives as well, is "the end justifies the means."

Nice try David. But your template doesn't fit.