The Corner

Soledad’s Journalism Classes

This morning on her CNN show, Soledad O’Brien had Rudy Giuliani on to discuss the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attack. Giuliani, without asserting surely that there was a “cover up,” repeated the sensible point that, if the CIA had made the president aware of prior attacks in Benghazi, on the U.S. consulate and the British mission nearby, then the Obama administration’s assertions about the attack were substantially more suspect. In response, O’Brien played a clip of Matthew Dowd, a Bush-administration strategist, in which he asserts that the “false assumption” undergirding the U.S. invasion of Iraq, that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, was the official intelligence estimate for years before being corrected.

In response, Giuliani made a quip, and this happened (see 2:15):

In her tizzy, O’Brien complains that “every time I ask you a question, you like to push back as if somehow the question that’s being posed to you is unfair. It’s not. I’m a journalist!” Except that, in this case, per usual, Soledad is not being a journalist, but a partisan trying to push a particular narrative under the guise of keeping her guest honest.

While Giuliani was attempting to make a good point of his own, O’Brien was eager to introduce a separate and tangential point, the idea that one cannot reasonably expect a perfectly accurate intelligence estimate within weeks of an event. That, of course, is not what Giuliani was suggesting. O’Brien defends her raising Dowd’s argument by claiming it was a “similar situation,” but it’s clearly not: The Iraq intelligence was difficult to resolve quickly because the final conclusion was a negative (the weapons we thought Hussein had, he didn’t have). The Obama administration, on the other hand, related a negative conclusion to the American people, saying that they had no reason to believe the Benghazi attack was preplanned, ignoring facts like the ones Giuliani raised. Insisting on relating a distorted version of someone else’s words under the guise of discussion in order to deflect good questions about presidential malfeasance, is, in fact, not fair or journalistic.

Patrick Brennan — Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More