Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Now That's Some Quality Discourse

I came across this post by Arianna Huffington, commenting on this past Sunday's Meet the Press. I actually watched it myself, which is a rarity; usually, my Sundays start with Fox News Sunday. I was interested to read Arianna's take on this week's panel, although I had my suspicions going in. What I got, however, far exceeded my expectations.

Just to set the tone of the piece, the title of the post is Russert Watch: The Mary Matalin Horror Show. And just in case we the readers' can't adequately envision the horror that is Mary Matalin, Arianna helps us out with this:

Now that is some Class A commentary, Arianna!

The panel's focus was the Dick Cheney hunting accident. Obviously, Mary was there as an advocate for the Vice-President, and I think she did her job reasonably well. Arianna, of course, did not. So what was it about Mary that worked Arianna into such a...well...huff?

Well, apparently it was her wardrobe.

Arianna begins her post by channeling Mr. Blackwell and giving a review of Mary's attire:

Let's start with the unavoidable: what was she wearing? First, the brooch. Or was it a sculpture? Or was it perhaps some bizarre new NSA listening device? It was so, well, there, that hard as you tried you could not avert your eyes from it.

And then there was the black Asian pajama top to match the black eye makeup and the scarlet red nails to match the scarlet red lips. It was impossible to watch her without thinking of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty.

Likening Mary's brooch to an NSA listening devise was a nice touch. You know, that's the key to quality snark - make it issue-oriented. I'll admit that Mary's brooch was a bit...BIG. Still, to each his own.

From there, Arianna goes into a rather lifeless recap of Mary's appearance, running through each main talking point and countering with the left's standard questions again and again. Honestly, the story has been hashed and rehashed so many times I could do a Point/Counterpoint segment all by myself. The only thing that really caught my eye was this part of the post:

Then there was her shock -- unintentionally revealing -- that the vice president is expected to abide by such plebeian considerations as "rules" -- indeed "conventional rules":

"The problem with these rules," she said, "is that they're presumed to be inviolate. This vice president, who is logical and who is human, was not following the conventional rule, but he wasn't doing anything that was irrational, that's for sure."

Here, Arianna appears to be calling Mary out on her assertion that "the rules" somehow don't apply to Dick Cheney - a favorite accusation of the left these days. The question is what rules? Mary was referring to the "rules" (if in fact there are any) for reporting to and informing the public whenever something happens. She points out, correctly in my opinion, that there were circumstances that took precedence over getting to a phone and calling the White House press corp. Arianna, however, makes it sound like Mary supports the notion that Cheney is somehow "above the law" or "answerable to no one".

Arianna goes on to touch on the other members of the panel - David Gregory, Maureen Dowd, and Paul Gigot - but you can tell she really shot her venom wad on Mary. She slams David Gregory's apology for losing his cool with Scott McClellan, which is too bad because I though that apology went a long way towards reintroducing some civility into the debate.

Arianna really doesn' t mention Paul Gigot, although he was advocating an end to the hoopla over what is essentially a "non-story". Of course, Arianna fawns over Maureen Dowd, once again equating political savvy with fashion sense:

Classy, in a silk beige top and pale fingernails, she did not rise to the bait even when Matalin called her "the diva of the smart set."

Despite her snappy togs, I couldn't get past how sleepy Maureen looked. I'll admit I never really see her on anything, but do her eyes always droop that way?

Anyway, since Arianna likes dissecting the fashion hits and misses of today's hottest pundits, maybe they'll institute red carpet coverage at the next State of the Union address. It's either that, or Arianna can become the political correspondent for Go Fug Yourself.

No comments: