Just caught the Journal Editorial Report for the first time in my Ohio hotel room –and it is good television. Very good television, in fact. Paul Gigot had an excellent interview with Dennis Ross, but the meat was the discussion with Daniel Henninger, Rob Pollock and Bret Stephens which Gigot moved along exactly as his his old colleague from PBS, Jim Lehrer, might have.
In these days when a roundtable of four white men could easily lead to a complaint being filed in some civil rights bureaucracy, the JED’s refusal to play the token card was refreshing, and the reason behind it became obvious quickly. Each of the panelists brings specific knowledge and insight to the conversation.
Bret Stephens has been a guest on my show on Israeli politics because of his tenure as editor of the Jerusalem Post, and that experience in the region showed through as Gigot began the round-table discussing Chuck Hagel’s absurd “things are worse” in the Middle East lament.
Henninger is exactly as one would imagine him from his columns –pointed and humorous, yet very restrained– and Pollock funny and animated.
Best observation of the program, and one I had not heard of or considered before, came from Stephens: Calls for Cheney to step down so as to allow the president to achieve political advantage or position someone for ’08 ignore the crucial fact that the vice presidency is not a Cabinet office but a constitutional one, and that Cheney has, with Bush, won two elections to that post.
Try and catch the repeat (at 6 AM!), and join me in urging FNC to bring the show out of its 11:00 PM Saturday hole. Along with The Beltway Boys, the Journal Editorial Report is very smart television, and deserves a slot where it can grow its audience.
Note: The JER began as a PBS series. Judging from tonight’s program, it ought not to have been cut loose in the purge, but rather given the opportunity to grow its audience. If PBS is ever to shed its much deserved reputation as a deeply biased network, it will need programs of this merit and viewpoint.