Jewish World Review March 3, 2003 / 29 Adar I, 5763
Anti-War Guests Win 'Most Improved' Award
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Last week's Sunday shows featured anti-war Hollywood activists and a marginal presidential candidate. The reviews were decidedly mixed, so this week's anti-war guests were a more serious lot and the debates proved more illuminating.
Gone were actress Susan Sarandon, comedienne Janeane Garafolo, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich. In their place were Win Without War Director Tom Andrews, presidential candidate Gov. Howard Dean, and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. Actor Mike Farrell made the cut, returning for a second week.
Meet the Press host Tim Russert demonstrated impressive balance as he first moderated a debate between Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, and Andrews, followed by a debate between Farrell and pro-war actor turned Senator turned actor Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. Graham was the most entertaining guest, calling the French and Germans "appeasers" and accusing those serving as "human shields" in Iraq of committing an "act of treason."
Farrell and Andrews stood their ground on continued UN inspections as the best policy. "Hans Blix tells us we are making progress. We are destroying missiles as we speak. No one has to die," said Andrews. Sen. Thompson was much less effective as a guest than in his televised ad supporting the President.
George Stephanopolous conducted a fair but aggressive interview with de Villepin on This Week, drawing an admiring comment from Sen. John Warner, R-VA: "You pressed him hard and he stonewalled you." The position of de Villepin was almost indistinguishable from that of US anti-war leaders. "There is an alternative to war-inspectors. How many American boys are going to die in Iraq? Is it worth it?"
The French Foreign Minister refused to say if France would use its veto on another resolution at the UN. Stephanopolous asked what he would say if US troops invaded Iraq and discovered a huge cache of chemical or biological weapons. "We should have given more time to inspectors," said de Villepin.
Former Vermont Gov. Dean, feeling "the big 'mo'" as his anti-war message continues to be well-received, appeared on Face the Nation and sounded extremely bellicose on everything but Iraq. He favored more funding to the CIA, agreed with assassinations as long as they were not of heads of state, criticized FBI Director Robert Mueller, and seemed to support unilateral action against North Korea and Iran.
HOW BIG WAS IT?
Howard Dean, on Face the Nation: "A real coup."
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan, on Fox: "He's the big fish, the king fish, he's the Operations Manager."
Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del, on Fox: "This is a phenomenal development. A significant breakthrough."
Winner of the hyperbole award, however, is Rep. Porter Goss, R-FL, on This Week: "This is a very huge event, the equivalent of the liberation of Paris in the Second World War."
WALKING AND CHEWING GUM
"It seems to me the administration's case about whether to remove Saddam Hussein got stronger today. The arrest of Khalid Sheik Mohammed was a huge arrest that the CIA, FBI, and Pakistani intelligence cooperated in. Those who've been wondering, Can the United States lead a war to get rid of Saddam Hussein while fighting an effective war against al Qaeda? It seems to me his arrest is an emphatic yes to that question."
Surprisingly, only Fox host Tony Snow pressed a guest on this topic, getting Sen. Biden to suggest that he would have supported 200,000 troops on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
BIDEN BASHES, WARNER RETHINKS
SHAMELESS PROMO OF THE WEEK
SURREAL NEWS HOUR
GEORGE KNOWS THIS ANGLE
QUIPS OF THE WEEK
Margaret Carlson, Time, on Capital Gang, speaking of just-declared presidential candidate Sen. Bob Graham, D-FL: "The Democrats, instead of having a smoke- filled room, are having their candidates come by way of an ICU. If he puts his heart into it, he'll be a serious candidate."
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
02/24/03: Anti-war side makes their case