Saturday, July 21, 2007

The AP Highlights Blitzer's Greatest Hits

CNN carried a story this morning from the AP which recounted Wolf Blitzer's recent spat of interviews gone wrong: Lynne Cheney, Dick Cheney, and most recently Michael Moore.

The AP writes:

It's less a reflection on the 59-year-old CNN host than on the growing occupational hazard for people like him: the interview subject who's ready to pick a fight.

Moore was seething before Blitzer even asked anything on the July 9 appearance. CNN had preceded the interview with a taped report by Dr. Sanjay Gupta alleging Moore had fudged some facts in "Sicko."

The AP story seems excessively defensive of Blitzer. In fact, it smacks a bit of the media excusing its own.

After all, what can one say of Blitzer, other than he must simply be the most unfortunate television journalist ever? His garbled responses to the angry fulminations of his irked guests are weak, pathetic and defensive. The man can hardly stand up for himself, whether he is deserving of the diatribe he receives or not.

The AP continues:

Yet it may seem hostile to an interview subject -- or be made to seem hostile -- simply because public figures now understand there are so many more opportunities to bypass the Wolf Blitzers of the world.

They could appear on television or radio formats judged ideologically sympathetic, ranging from Rush Limbaugh to "Air America." They could choose hosts -- CNN's Larry King immediately comes to mind -- who primarily lob softballs and let their subjects talk. Or they could use the Internet and cut out the middleman entirely.

There is a reason Larry King does not get yelled at, just as there is a reason why Wolf Blitzer is a crash test dummy. When you have a show called 'The Situation Room,' in which hyperbolic journalism is practiced on a daily basis, what else can one expect? Just ask the former hosts of Crossfire:

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

Posted Oct 15, 2004

Jon Stewart browbeats the Crossfire hosts for their "partisan hackery." Many suspect this now-legendary appearance prompted CNN to remove the show from their line-up.

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