Russert Nods as Rudy Lies

Memo to NBC: Fire Tim Russert. Even Sean Hannity would be a better moderator for Meet The Press. Russert first grilled Bob Kerrey, which is fine as Kerrey was on the mark. But did Russert get this question from Karl Rove?

But is it inconsistent for John Kerry to be criticizing the missing weapons of mass destruction when, if he had been president of the United States, Saddam may be in power with all those potential biological, chemical weapons or munitions, however you want to describe them?

However you want to describe what went missing from Al Qaqaa? These were not biological or chemical weapons. But then Rudi had a series of blatant lies:

Well, I mean, the fact is the president has shown much stronger leadership with regard to terrorism than John Kerry. I mean, John Kerry has changed his position on the war maybe 12, 14 times…And John Kerry has found himself always on the side of being anti-war, anti-military–a whole career in the United States Senate that he ignores in which he’s voted against military funding. During the Ronald Reagan era, he was against our military. When he came back from Vietnam, he was against our military. He was against the Persian Gulf War. He consistently attacks our military now. He does it in the guise of attacking the leadership, but, in fact, he’s attacking the military, the same way he did after Vietnam…I think the point is that Osama bin Laden is very different than he was before September 11 and on September 11. He’s now a person with three-quarters of his leadership either captured or killed with a significant amount of his forces captured or killed…He said that 9/11 didn’t change him very much. He said he wants to go back to when terrorism was just a nuance, meaning pre-9/11. I don’t know when the heck terrorism was just a nuisance…John Kerry chose to immediately politicize it and immediately criticize the president, the same way he tried to criticize what happened in Tora Bora where he’s totally distorted the facts. We were using the elite unit of our Special Forces in Tora Bora, and it’s unclear as to whether or not Osama bin Laden was there. We didn’t outsource it.

That Rudy G. is a lying hack is not new. But Russert failed to challenge a word of this. All he did was to ask this:

Why did you say the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops?

in reference to this missing explosives. So Rudy G. responds:

I’m talking about John Kerry’s position. The point that I was making then, if I wasn’t clear enough then, I’ve been clear since then and I’m clear now, but I think I was clear enough then, and they jumped on it. John Kerry is the one who is blaming the troops.

Russert nodded and let that lie pass too. Of course, Kate O’Beirne’s outrage on Capital Gang.yesterday was:

This election season, a foul should be called on the (INAUDIBLE) to an unprecedented degree, the establishment media has taken sides in the presidential race. Campaign coverage has been transparently hostile to President Bush. Bogus news is hyped and facts nitpicked in the hope of damaging the president, while John Kerry’s record, distortions and wild charges are largely ignored. This year, the media voted early and its claims of impartiality are an obvious fraud.

To say that establishment media is supporting Kerry strikes me as absurd even coming from a National Review hack with today’s Meet the Press being one of many counterexamples. But maybe Kate does not think Tim Russert is a real newsperson? If so, maybe I have to agree.