Monday, June 26, 2006

# Posted 11:59 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

SUNDAY MORNING ROUND-UP: You know it's summertime when Russ Feingold is the only one interviewed on Meet the Press. Face the Nation came up with Dick Lugar and Barbara Boxer. Dick Durbin and Mitch McConnell squared off on This Week, followed by Larry Summers.

Before I get to the grades, let me just observe how incredibly annoying it is for all three shows to grauitiously describe their interviews as "exclusive". Meet the Press even had the chutzpah to describe its interview with Feingold as exclusive, when the fact is that Feingold should have to pay for that kind of air time. Apparently, the only real meaning of exclusive is that the guest won't also be on one of the other talk shows that same morning. But anyhow, here we go:
Feingold: C-. His manner and tone of voice are excellent. He sounds confident and well-informed, yet still friendly and approachable. But then he wandered off into cloud-cuckooland. How can anyone possibly insist that Bush is worse criminal than Nixon AND that he shouldn't be impeached?

Lugar: B-. I like Dick Lugar a lot and especially admire his two decades of commitment to democracy promotion. There are few such gentlemen in the Senate. But this time, Lugar was so understated that it was hard to figure out what he was saying.

Boxer: B. Effectively toed the party line.

Dick Durbin: B. Toed the party line and said nothing particularly dumb or offensive. A very good day for Dick Durbin.

Mitch McConnell: B+. It's good to hear a Red State Republican say flat out that we don't need an amendment to ban flag burning, because the First Amendment has served us just fine for over 200 years.

Larry Summers: C. Boooring. Stephanopoulos tried to get Summers to hit back at his critics, but the ex-president of Harvard suddenly decided that now would be a good time to be bland and diplomatic. Way too late for that, Larry.
And the hosts:
Russert: B-. Feingold is like fish in barrel. Russert should filleted him.

Schieffer: B-. May I observe that Schieffer's little editorials at the end of the show are incredibly cloying? It's nice to see a journalist admit to having actual opinions, but how about some less sanctimonious ones?

Stephanopoulos: B-. Can't get a rise out of Larry Summers? Geez.
Hasta el proximo Domingo!
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