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IT’S TIME FOR TIM TO GO! Tim asks Saint John—for the ten millionth time—if he’s running for president yet: // link // print // previous // next //
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2006

FULL SERVICES RETURN TOMORROW: We’re off on a mission of national import. Tomorrow, full services return.

IT’S TIME FOR TIM TO GO: Maybe they should just start calling the program Meet the Press with Saints John and Joe. At the very least, Tim Russert should hold up a newspaper headline at the start of each show so we’ll know we aren’t watching a rerun. Could anything be duller—or more pointless—than watching Russert ask John McCain, for the ten millionth time, if he’s running for president yet? And then, after that, his next segment: Joe Lieberman! Voters had just delivered a serious rebuke to the war in Iraq—and Tim drags out the two parties’ biggest war supporters! Is Russert booking this program from Mars? Total tedium, thy name is Tim Russert!

It would have been fascinating to see some newly elected Dem senators—Claire McCaskill, so visibly thrilled with her win; Jon Tester, so startling an average-man solon; Sherrod Brown, such a new kind of Democrat; Jim Webb, so right on Iraq, in so much detail, all the way back in September 02. But no—Tim had to drag out the tired old types who make Jack Welch, his billionaire paramour, smile. On Meet the Press, you don’t get to hear people like Webb, who were right. You’re condemned to hear people like Joe, who were wrong. In fact, you’re condemned to hear them again and again. Groundhog Day might be the best name for this laughable, used-up old program.

Tired and snoresome, this pointless old program should probably just take itself off the air. Tim could jet off to his Nantucket “cottage” and write one more book about living in Buffalo. Or someone else—someone whose heart is still beating—could take over this famous old property. After six disastrous years with the corps’ hand-picked Leader, some Americans are still trying to figure things out. Then there’s the slumbering, worn-out old Russert, asking McCain, for the ten millionth time: Oh please, sir! Please! Won’t you announce?

ROBINSON GETS IT RIGHT: In this morning’s Post, Eugene Robinson rolls his eyes at Michael Steele’s utterly brilliant run for the Senate. Robinson’s contribution is his pungent account of Steele’s mindless TV ads. Sad but true: Robinson’s colleagues judged this man to be running a brilliant campaign:
ROBINSON (11/14/06): Steele’s television ads deserve a page in the annals of American politics. Shot against a white background, they had the minimalist look and post-postmodern sensibility of those commercials for Apple or the Gap. They managed to deliver all image and no substance—and, yes, I meant to use those absolute terms "all" and "no.'' Speaking to the camera, Steele told voters he knew what they were thinking—but didn't specify what that might be. He promised to be a different kind of senator—again, no hint of what that might mean. About the only thing the ads firmly established was that Steele likes puppies.

Republican strategists looked at the numbers and saw that Steele might actually win as long as he kept pretending not to be a Republican...
So you’ll know, here’s where the puppies come into the story. In his ads, Steele complained that his opponents were saying so many bad things about him that eventually they’d say he doesn’t like puppies. (Shorter Steele: Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!) Steele petted a puppy as he spoke, and he announced, at the end of the ad, that he really does like such critters. Meanwhile, what were the terrible things his opponents were saying? They were accurately saying that Steele was a down-the-line Republican who supports Bush’s various policies! In part, they had to waste their time and money explaining these facts because Steele was making endless attempts to make voters think he was really a Democrat. In September, he released those deathless signs and bumper stickers. They bore two words only:
STEELE
Democrat
Most laughable ever! Steele’s performance was every bit as daft as Robinson’s column implies. It became a story for us at THE HOWLER when the mainstream press corps judged that it all added up to the nation’s most brilliant campaign. Seldom have our mainstream pundits bared their fatuous souls quite so clearly. For that reason, we think the record of this nonsense ought to be penned and preserved.