Today show versus John Bolton

August 2nd, 2005 8:29 AM

On this morning's Today show both Katie Couric and Andrea Mitchell took swipes at John Bolton. First at 7:04 am Andrea Mitchell aired footage of John Bolton getting booed as he got out of his car: "Well today is John Bolton's first full day on the job as UN ambassador. His challenge there will be to shake up the organization, as the President wants, without alienating anyone who can help him get the job done. As he arrived at his New York offices Monday Bolton ignored a handful of passersby booing his appointment." Later in the piece Mitchell ran a soundbite from Sen. Barack Obama critical of Bolton and then led into a warning to Bolton from Kofi Annan: "The President and his top advisors have been scathing in their criticism of the UN and its leader Kofi Annan. After the appointment Annan promised to work with Bolton but cautioned..."
[Kofi Annan: "It is alright for one ambassador to come and push but an ambassador always has to remember that there are 190 others who will have to be convinced."]

Mitchell then concluded her snarky piece: "Bolton's top challenges at the UN will include building support for U.S. policy on Iran, Iraq and North Korea, exactly the issues on which his own credibility has been challenged in the past."

4 minutes later it was Katie's turn to pile on. Here are just some of the questions Couric asked Senators Chris Dodd and George Allen:

  • Couric: "Senator Dodd let me start with you. You've been one of the most vocal critics, I know, of, of John Bolton and President Bush's choice as the U.S. ambassador to the UN. What is your biggest objection to him?"
  • Couric: "Senator Allen do you have any concerns that John Bolton has in the past tried to manipulate intelligence to come up with a better rationale for his position on various issues and are you concerned about that?"
  • Couric: "But are either of you, are either of you worried about the manner in which he was brought to the United Nations? His term will only last until January of 2007. He'll have to be confirmed again. Some people see him, already, as a lame duck. Do you think this is going to have an impact on his effectiveness in this position and in his efforts to try to get some of those reforms accomplished? Senator Dodd?"
  • Couric: "And finally, Senator Allen, diplomacy as you well know is a very delicate job. The Bush administration has emphasized in its second term an effort to reach out and be more concilliatory and less confrontational. Do you think this is at odds with John Bolton's personal style of being fairly aggressive and confrontational? In other words will other member nations be receptive to his personal style?"