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The Latest October Surprise: Lynne Cheney

Friday, October 27, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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“Wolf, I have nothing to explain. Jim Webb has a lot to explain” 

That was Lynne Cheney an hour ago on CNN. 

Wolf Blitzer attempted to sandbag Lynne Cheney today, but that the former Chair of the NEH wasn’t buying any of it.  Incredibly Blitzer drags the Second Lady of the United States into the dust-up over the novels of James Webb, airing Webb’s defense which wrongly drew a comparison between his novels and Lynne Cheney’s novel.  Blitzer even goes so far as to read the DNC talking points to Cheney, who had been booked to discuss her new children’s book, The 50 States.Cheney’s outrage is obvious, as is Blitzer’s recognition that he had crossed a line which he ought not to have crossed.

Bravo to Mrs. Cheney for chucking it back at Blitzer.

The entire interview will air next hour, but with just this clip CNN is already again exposed as a reliable purveyor of DNC spin.  I will post the transcript as it arrives and play it on the air, but if the base needed more motivation, seeing this ambush will provide it.  I don’t know the circumstances of the invitation tendered to Mrs. Cheney, but it sounds as though CNN had booked her to talk about her book, and then used the time for other purposes.

If you post on this interview, send me a link.Disgust at MSM bias has been mounting throughout the election season, and this is just another though very high profile example of why that disgust exists.

UPDATE:  Here is the transcript of the segment that played last hour:

WB: Democrats are now complaining bitterly in this Virginia race. George Allen using novels, novels that Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger, has written, in which there are sexual references. And they’re making a big deal out of this. I want you to listen to what Jim Webb said today in responding to this very sharp attack from George Allen.

LC: Now do you promise, Wolf, that we’re going to talk about my book?

WB: I do promise.

LC: Because this seems to me a mighty long trip around the merry-go-round.

WB: I want you to respond. This is in the news today, and your name has come up, so that’s why we’re talking about it. But listen to this:

James Webb: There’s nothing that’s been in any of my novels that in my view, hasn’t been either illuminating the surroundings, or defining a character, or moving a plot. I’m a serious writer. I mean, we can go and read Lynne Cheney’s lesbian love scenes if you want to, you know, get graphic on stuff.

LC: You know, Jim Webb is full of baloney. I have never written anything sexually explicit. His novels are full of sexually explicit references to incest, sexually explicit references…well, you know, I just don’t want my grandchildren to turn on the television set. This morning, Imus was reading from the novels, and it’s triple X rated.

WB: Here’s what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional Senatorial Campaign Committee. Lynne Cheney’s book featured brothels and attempted rape. In 1981, Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne, wrote a book called Sisters, which featured a lesbian love affair, brothels, and attempted rapes. In 1988, Lynne Cheney wrote about a Republican Vice President who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress. Is that true?

LC: Nothing explicit. And actually, that is full of lies. It’s not…it’s just absolutely not true.

WB: But you did write a book entitled Sisters.

LC: I did write a book entitled Sisters. This description…

WB: And it did have lesbian characters.

LC: No, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I’ll stand on that.

WB: There is nothing in there about rapes and brothels?

LC: Wolf, Wolf, could we talk about a children’s book for a minute?

WB: We can talk about the children’s book. But I just wanted to…

LC: I think our segment is like 15 minutes long, and we’ve now done ten minutes, so…

WB: I just wanted to clarify what’s in the news today, give you a…

LC: Sex, lies and distortion. That’s what it is.

WB: This is an opportunity for you to explain on these sensitive issues.

LC: Wolf, I have nothing to explain. Jim Webb has a lot to explain.

UPDATEOCBlog has the relevant paragraph from Lynne Cheney’s novel.  I can’t believe Blitzer fell for this DNC misdirection.

Others commenting: Carol Platt Liebau. ThinkingAboutStuffMary Kathrine Ham. Holy Coast.

Here’s the transcript of the entire interview:

WB: And joining us now, the wife of the Vice President of the United States, Lynne Cheney, no stranger to CNN. Thanks very much for coming in.

LC: Thank you, Wolf, for having.

WB: And we’re going to talk about this excellent new book, Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America. This is a book that I recommend for all ages, and I see it’s already a bestseller.

LC: I’m very proud of this book. It was an effort of two years for Robin Glasser and me. And it was inspiring the whole time. It’s a story of the whole country, told by a family going on a road trip, and my grandchildren love it.

WB: I want to get to that, all that, but I want to pick your brain a little bit on news that’s happening right now, including your husband, the Vice President. He was interviewed earlier this week out in North Dakota, and he had this exchange with a radio talk show host. Listen to this:

Host: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

DC: Well, it’s a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President for Torture. We don’t torture. That’s not what we’re involved in.

WB: It made it sound, and there’s been interpretation to this effect, that he was in effect confirming that the United States used this waterboarding, this technique that has been rejected by the international community, that simulates a prisoner being drowned, if you will. And he was, in effect, supposedly confirming that the United States has been using that.

LC: Wolf, that is a mighty house you’re building on top of that molehill there, a mighty mountain. You know, this is a complete distortion. He didn’t say anything of the kind.

WB: Because of the dunking, you know, using the water and the dunking…

LC: Wolf, I understand your point. It’s kind of the point of a lot of people right now, to try to distort the administration’s position. And if you really want to talk about that, I watched the program on CNN last night, which I thought, it’s your 2006 voter program, which I thought was a terrible distortion of both the President and the Vice President’s position on many issues. It seemed almost straight out of the Democratic talking points, using phrases like domestic surveillance, when it is not domestic surveillance that anyone has talked about or ever done. It’s surveillance of terrorists. It’s people who have al Qaeda connections calling into the United States. So I think we’re in the season of distortion, and this is just one more.

WB: But there have been some cases where innocent people have been picked up, interrogated, held for long periods of time, then simply said never mind, let go. They’re let go.

LC: Well, are you sure these people are innocent?

WB: Well, they’re walking around free right now. Nobody’s arrested them.

LC: You made a point last night of a man who had a bookstore in London, where radical Islamists gathered, who was in Afghanistan when the Taliban were there, who went to Pakistan. I think that you might be a little careful before you declare this as a person with clean hands.

WB: You’re referring to the CNN Broken Government special…

LC: I certainly am.

WB: This was the one that John King reported on last night.

LC: You know, right there, right there, Wolf. Broken Government. Now what kind of stance is that? Here we are, we’re a country where we have been mightily challenged over the past six years. We’ve been through 9/11. We’ve been through Katrina. The President and the Vice President inherited a recession. We’re a country where the economy is healthy. That’s not broken. This government has acted very well. We’ve had tax cuts that are responsible for our healthy economy. We’re a country that was attacked five years ago. We haven’t been attacked since. What this government has done is effective. That’s not broken government. So you know, I shouldn’t let media bias surprise me, but I worked at CNN once. I watched the program last night…

WB: You were a co-host of Crossfire.

LC: …and I was troubled.

WB: All right. Well, that was probably the purpose, to get people to think, to get people to discuss these issues, because there are a lot of conservatives…

LC: All right, all right, Wolf. I’m here to talk about my book. But if you want to talk about distortion…

WB: We’ll talk about your book.

LC: Right. 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. The Democrats are now complaining bitterly in this Virginia race. George Allen using novels, novels that Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger, has written, in which there are sexual references. And they’re making a big deal out of this. I want you to listen to what Jim Webb said today in responding to this very sharp attack from George Allen.

LC: Now do you promise, Wolf, that we’re going to talk about my book?

WB: I do promise.

LC: Because this seems to me a mighty long trip around the merry-go-round.

WB: I want you to respond. This is in the news today, and your name has come up, so that’s why we’re talking about it. But listen to this:

James Webb: There’s nothing that’s been in any of my novels that in my view, hasn’t been either illuminating the surroundings, or defining a character, or moving a plot. I’m a serious writer. I mean, we can go and read Lynne Cheney’s lesbian love scenes if you want to, you know, get graphic on stuff.

LC: You know, Jim Webb is full of baloney. I have never written anything sexually explicit. His novels are full of sexually explicit references to incest, sexually explicit references…well, you know, I just don’t want my grandchildren to turn on the television set. This morning, Imus was reading from the novels, and it’s triple X rated.

WB: Here’s what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional Senatorial Campaign Committee. Lynne Cheney’s book featured brothels and attempted rape. In 1981, Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne, wrote a book called Sisters, which featured a lesbian love affair, brothels, and attempted rapes. In 1988, Lynne Cheney wrote about a Republican Vice President who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress. Is that true?

LC: Nothing explicit. And actually, that is full of lies. It’s not…it’s just absolutely not true.

WB: But you did write a book entitled Sisters.

LC: I did write a book entitled Sisters. This description…

WB: And it did have lesbian characters.

LC: No, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I’ll stand on that.

WB: There is nothing in there about rapes and brothels?

LC: Wolf, Wolf, could we talk about a children’s book for a minute?

WB: We can talk about the children’s book. But I just wanted to…

LC: I think our segment is like 15 minutes long, and we’ve now done ten minutes, so…

WB: I just wanted to clarify what’s in the news today, give you a…

LC: Sex, lies and distortion. That’s what it is.

WB: This is an opportunity for you to explain on these sensitive issues.

LC: Wolf, I have nothing to explain. Jim Webb has a lot to explain.

WB: Well, he says he’s a serious writer and novelist, fiction writer. He was doing basically what you were doing.

LC: Jim Webb is full of baloney.

WB: We’ll leave it at that. Let’s talk a little bit about your book, Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America.

LC: You know, one of the reasons I wrote this book is because we spend so much time nowadays talking about things that are negative. And it’s not the fault of any particular segment of the society. But we have come to define news as bad news. And so our kids get a steady diet of this is wrong, the government is broken, the war isn’t working, the economy’s terrible. Even when those things aren’t true, our kids are getting a steady dose of negativity. What Robin and I wanted so much to do is to talk about what a wonderful country it is. We wanted to give our kids something positive. And I hope that’s what we’ve done in this book. It’s very, very pro-American. This is a book that’s very patriotic. There is no question about our view that this is the greatest country on the face of the Earth, and that is what we want kids to take away from it.

WB: The kids who read this book will learn a lot about the 50 states. That’s what it’s called…

LC: Yes.

WB: But a lot of the landmarks in those 50 states.

LC: Well, not just landmarks, but the vast variety and diversity of our culture. You know, we have everything from the preservation hall band in New Orleans to mariachi music in Texas, to the philharmonic in Boston. We’ve got all kinds of food. There’s a lovely little girl in this book, her name is Annie, and she writes back to her grandma again and again about the different foods she’s enjoying or not. In Boston, she says the beans are great, but she’s a little doubtful about the cod. So it’s not just about landmarks, it’s also about the kind of history and culture that I think kids will enjoy very much.

WB: And it is beautifully illustrated.

LC: Robin Glasser is a dear person, and a very talented individual. And I’m very happy to work with her.

WB: We can certainly disagree on what is news, what is serious news, but we can agree that this is a beautifully done book.

LC: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you, Wolf.

WB: How is your husband doing, because there’s always concern about his health.

LC: Well, I’m not sure why there’s always concern about his health. He’s been out on 140 campaigns. He’s raised forty-some million dollars for Republican candidates around the country. He’s been very busy. He has been serving the nation very well, as I think George Bush has been a really great leader for us during this time of some trials.

WB: We’re going to leave it right there. It was kind of you to come in.

LC: Thanks, Wolf.

WB: You came armed. I guess you knew what you wanted to do.

LC: Wolf, I am always prepared for you to ask questions that maybe aren’t quite fair, but they’re pretty tough.

WB: You did a good job.

LC: Thanks, Wolf.

WB: Thank you.

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