Monday, February 27, 2006

# Posted 7:48 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

SUNDAY MORNING ROUND-UP: This week we had Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Sen. John Warner, followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger on Meet the Press, Stephen Hadley followed by Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham on Face the Nation, and John McCain and Carl Levin on ABC This Week:
Peter King: B+. He's on the wrong side of the port issue, but his arguments have been getting more reasonable as the week goes along.

John Warner: A-. Warner is one of the very few guests who has jumped in to correct Tim Russert and won the point. Specifically, Warner insisted that Russert stop referring to "foreign ownership" of US ports, when all that DP World purchased was a right to manage certain terminals. Russert quietly conceded.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: B+. Uneven but entertaining and occasionally substantive. Sometimes he spins, but sometimes he talks like a human being instead of a pol. It was great when he said that because Americans fear Arabs the port deal "freaks everyone out."

Stephen Hadley: B+. Very deft, although I find his optimism on Iraq too insistent. What I liked was his candid, zero-spin admission that there is real evidence of Shi'ite death squads operating in Iraq.

Chuck Schumer: B+. Pretty reasonable, in spite of all the craziness about the ports.

Lindsey Graham: A-. I like Graham quite a bit and was very disappointed to see him come out against the ports deal. But he defended his position well, without resort to any of the irrationality and exaggeration that made this such a big issue.

John McCain: A-. Signature straight talk.

Carl Levin: B+. Very reasonable, even though he's on the wrong side of the ports question as far as I'm concerned.
Even though this whole brouhaha about the ports has demonstrated for the second time in two weeks how a non-story can dominate the Washington agenda, I think there has been a surprising degree of moderation on both sides after the initial fisticuffs. I think this explains why it looks like we're headed for a reasonable compromise on the issue.

And now for the hosts:
Tim Russert: B-. Russert cross-examined John Warner, who was for the ports deal and threw softball after softball at Peter King, who's against it. It really seemed like Russert had bought into the hysteria. But since I don't know for sure, I won't go lower than a B-.

Bob Schieffer: B.

George Stephanopoulos: A-. He had an absolutely great moment when he challenged Carl Levin's assertion that Dubai was linked to terrorism. Stephanopoulos pointed out that Dubai has been a model ally since 9/11 and didn't back off until Levin admitted that he was opposed to the deal even though he had no evidence of anything wrong Dubai had done since then.
See ya next week.
(6) opinions -- Add your opinion

Do you give any grades less than a B- or greater than an A-?

Grade Inflation?

Although not included in your grading scheme, I truly think Chris Matthews has lost it. It's almost torture to watch him. Maybe he should just interview himself.
FYI, Ron, I still haven't given out a full 'A'. But there have been a handful of grades in the 'C' range. In general, I enjoy the Sunday morning shows.
I'm wondering if you'd agree that Fareed Zakharia was kind of weird on his historical analogies regarding Iraq?
I get more out of NFL analyst and ESPN reporter Peter King!
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