I broke with habit and watched Tim Russert’s show today. After he finished his interview with John Edwards he brought on a panel of pundits since who wants to hear from presidential candidates when you could listen to journalists talking to each other. We had Russert, David Broder, Margaret Carlson, Ted Koppel, and David Brody — not bad as far as these things go. Eventually, someone — either Russert or Koppel — noted that the New York City press, which knows Rudy Giuliani much better than the national press corps, has been full in recent months of hard-hitting coverage that substantially undermines the narrative Giuliani is trying to create about his own campaign.
This, it seemed to me, was an interesting topic for a national broadcast television show. Maybe these worthy panelists would inform their audience of these pieces of information known to New Yorkers, and resolve to bring this information to their audiences at Time, The Washington Post, NPR, CBN, and the various General Electric-owned media properties.
Sorry, just kidding. It didn’t occur to me for a minute that they would do this. And, indeed, they didn’t. Instead, they went meta and had a brief discussion of why it is that these accurate accounts of Giuliani’s record and personal behavior “don’t penetrate.” And, of course, they never considered the possibility that their own failure to report on these accurate portrayal’s of Giuliani’s record and personal behavior might play any role in it. Instead, they concluded that his Powers of 9/11 Awesomeness must just be too great for the truth the penetrate. They were, however, willing to be scathingly critical of Fred Thompson for saying “Soviet Union” went he meant “Russia.”