Greg Sargent notes that Tim Russert’s being doing gotcha to Hillary Clinton for a long time:
Since the Dem debate a few days ago a lot of people have understandably been taking shots at Tim Russert for his often small-minded “gotcha” questions and his constant references to Bill Clinton. Some Hillary backers are seething about Russert; indeed, in a conference call with big donors, Hillary pollster Mark Penn and other supporters repeatedly gripe about Russert’s approach, with one supporter saying that he “should be shot.” It’s worth noting, however, that there’s a long history here. Russert has been trying to catch out Hillary with “gotcha” questions about Bill and other things for years now – in fact, his efforts to do this date all the way back to Hillary’s first Senate campaign in 2000. And then, as now, the Hillary folks were mighty pissed off with him. The bad blood goes way back.
At first I thought that the suggestion that Russert be shot was extreme. But Russert has been an embarrassment to journalism for way too long. This has nothing to do with the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. It has everything to do with the pathetic path that some in journalism have been taking over the past several years. Maybe the execution of the hacks might make us look like some terrorism regime, but something needs to be done to restore real journalism in this nation. If Russert never did another NBC event again – NBC would be much better off. Then again – firing the hack would be a perfectly legitimate thing to do.
While we are on the subject of the media, Paul Krugman notes that the dishonesty of Rudy Giuliani presents a test case for the media:
OK, Rudy Giuliani has just released an ad claiming that the survival rate from prostate cancer is much higher in America than in Britain, thus proving the failure of socialized medicine. The problem is that his claim is just plain false. In fact, mortality rates from prostate cancer are almost the same in America and Britain. So, will this get as much attention as, say, the Edwards haircut or the Hillary laugh? Will it get any coverage at all? Bear in mind that health care is the central domestic issue of this election – and Rudy has just showed that he doesn’t know a thing about it.
Or maybe Rudy does know that his claim is false but he assumes that reporters like Tim Russert will not call him on his dishonesty. Worked twice for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney!