Here is the central exchange from Wolf Blitzer’s interview of Lynne Chene yesterday:
LC: But what is CNN doing running terrorist tape of terrorists shooting Americans? I mean, I thought Duncan Hunter asked you a very good question, and you didn’t answer it. Do you want us to win?
WB: The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about that. You think we want terrorists to win?
LC: Then why are you running terrorist propaganda?
WB: With all due respect, with all due respect, this is not terrorist propaganda.
LC: Oh, Wolf…
WB: This is reporting the news, which is what we do. We’re not partisan…
LC: Where did you get the film?
WB: We got the film…look, this is an issue that has been widely discussed, this is an issue that we reported on extensively. We make no apologies for showing that. That was a very carefully considered decision, why we did that. And I think, and I think, of your…
LC: Well, I think it’s shocking.
WB: If you’re a serious journalist, you want to report the news. Sometimes the news is good, sometimes the news isn’t so good.
LC: But Wolf, there’s a difference between news and terrorist propaganda. Why did you give the terrorists a forum?
WB: And if you put it in context, if you put it in context, that’s what news is. We said it was propaganda. We didn’t distort where we got it. We didn’t distort anything about it. We gave it the context. Let’s talk about another issue in the news, and then we’ll get to the book.
What Mrs. Cheney and before her Chairman Hunter focused on is the outrageous decision by an American network to show a film provided to it by the enemy with the hope on the enemy’s part that it would be shown on American television and around the globe.
If Nazis had provided CBS film of SS killing Americans, would CBS have shown that during WW 2?
Would ABC have run agitprop provided by North Korea during the Korean War?
Would NBC have aired Viet Cong movies made during the Tet offensive of American GIs and Marines being gunned down?
Wolf Blitzer asserts that “of course, is we want the United States to win.”
Mrs. Cheney replies “[t]hen why are you running terrorist propaganda?”
There is no answer to this question, and Blitzer does not attempt one, but disputes the premise, although moments later he concedes that the film was in fact “propaganda.”
And here we arrive at the central issue: You cannot want the United States to win the war and yet take actions that help the enemy. Doing what the enemy asks –in this case airing the enemy’s propaganda– helps the enemy.
The deep incoherence on the left, which includes most of MSM and the leadership of the Democratic Party is impossible to ignore and accounts for the shifting fortunes of the GOP.
No matter what the problem is, the answer cannot be electing more Democrats or believing the MSM.
The full transcript of the Cheney-Blitzer interview is in this post. Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke discussed the exchange (and the new Michael Steele ad) with me yesterday. Transcript here. Audio here.
As for the exchange concerning the novels of James Webb, I think Carol Platt Liebau’s summary is the best:
Why would Wolf Blitzer act as Jim Webb’s waterboy? The fact that Webb, in a desperate earlier statement, dragged Mrs. Cheney in to the controversy doesn’t justify Blitzer’s raising the issue — especially when there’s no merit to the charge. The patent bias, the lack of decorum, the utter unapologetic tackiness of the entire episode is like an ugly train wreck — it makes normal people want to avert their eyes. And take a mental shower. Pronto.