I will admit this is a soft criticism, but First Read continues to get under my skin. Here are the first two items:
*** Here Comes Sarah Palin: It took advanced excerpts of her upcoming interview with Oprah, plus the AP and now Drudge getting their hands on her new book, to move Palin-palooza from next week’s story to today’s. According to the AP, Palin criticizes CBS’ Katie Couric over the infamous Couric-Palin interview; she takes issue with ABC’s Charlie Gibson; and she settles old scores with the McCain campaign. Yet the last thing the Republican Party needs right now is a look back at the tumult and drama of 2008. Just when the party is enjoying its first good news in five years, here comes Sarah Palin. The next week is going to be about her and how she views the world. And it’s not the image some in the Republican Party would like to broadcast, especially now when it appears they have an opportunity to slowly win back the trust of swing voters. At a minimum, Palin is a distraction for the GOP as it attempts to build on Election 2009 success. Worst case, she sets back efforts the party is making to appeal to swing voters again.
And Here Comes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: At 11:00 am ET at the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder will announce that accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 detainees now in Guantanamo Bay will be brought to the U.S. to stand trial in federal court in New York, NBC’s Pete Williams reports. None of the detainees covered by today’s announcement can be brought to the U.S. for at least 45 days. (A recently passed federal law requires the administration to give Congress at least that much notice before bringing any GITMO detainees to the US for trial.) Williams adds that Holder faced a court-imposed deadline of next Monday to decide what to do with these five detainees and four others, all of whom had already been charged and scheduled for trial before military commissions at GITMO.
Given the subheads “Here Comes Sarah Palin . . . And Here Comes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed” you might think the two posts might share a common theme of some kind.
I don’t think the authors are trying to compare Palin to KSM. But it would be nice if the political buzzsheet considered that transferring the most notorious terrorist ever captured to a civilian court might have political consequences for the Democrats, too. Yet, according to F.R., Palin’s book is allegedly a huge political setback for the GOP (I’ll wait and see). But barely a week after a bloody jihadi attack on a military base, the administration transfers the 9/11 mastermind to a civilian court and there’s no mention that this might be politically inconvenient for the Democrats.
Oh, and the rest of the memo eagerly zings Republicans several times and is deferential and respectful to the administration. Again, it’s not a huge deal, but First Read is supposed to be a hardbitten, analytical, straight-shooting tip sheet. Not the rundown memo for the Rachel Maddow show.
Why do I care? That’s a good question for another day.