As anyone who was within 50 yards of a television this past weekend surely knows, former president Bill Clinton had a little sit-down with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday. Having come under increasing scrutiny of late for failing to anticipate the 9/11 terror attacks, when asked by Wallace why he hadn’t “done more” to capture bin Laden, Clinton showed the country a bit of some of his famous temper.
The resulting interview was sloppier than a mud fight. Clinton not only entertained Wallace’s question, but also sought to engage him in a conversation about media bias and spin, demanding to know why Wallace gives the ‘other side’ a free pass. The interview was a quarrelsome one, but the debate didn’t end there. In its wake, passions have flared up all over the blogosphere.
“Clinton absolutely demolished Wallace,” reports Liberty Street, a New York City English teacher. “He stayed calm, he never once raised his voice, and he did not allow Wallace to cut him off or change the subject or back away from the discussion — as Wallace tried to do a number of times after he saw that Clinton knew what he was talking about and was not going to get flustered, sidetracked, or steamrollered.
“The dishonest hacks on the right are trying their best to make out that Clinton was defensive, “red in the face with rage,” “a basket case”; that he “really lost his cool,” that Clinton was “looking for an opportunity to bash Fox” (!!). For sheer chutzpah, though, the prize goes to Sister Toldjah, who thinks that Clinton had some nerve saying that he, at least, tried to get OBL, while Pres. Bush did not”
Sister Toldjah demonstrates a healthy dose of chutzpah and perhaps even a bit of frustration with her former chief executive, writing, “You know what burns me up about the interview? Not the fact that Clinton gets uptight and defensive, but the fact that he says the Bush admin “didn’t try” (that’s who he meant when he referred to the “right wingers” who had several months to get OBL). Bush has never once blamed Bill Clinton for his failure to get OBL. Not once. This is an incredible cheap shot on the part of Clinton. Not entirely unexpected, but a cheap shot all the same.”
While conservative bloggers cry foul and liberals celebrate, both claim the benefit of having the facts on their side
“They’ve built-up their own bizarro world of Clinton culpability and they’ve never bothered double-checking what actually happened or waited to hear a response,” asserts Doctor Biobrain. “They’ve been given the conclusion and their borg-like minds imagine that they’ve already hashed-out the details before. It’s like someone who thinks they’re clever because they read the last page of a mystery novel, rather than wading through the bogus stuff that comes before. Except they’ve replaced Agatha Christie’s ending with a creation straight from RNC headquarters, and refuse to listen when you explain that they got it wrong.”
Others framed the exchange more along the lines of physical conflict, roughly equating the interview to the spectacle of “WWF Smackdown!”
“It was sheer aggression as Mr. Clinton tried to intimidate Mr. Wallace physically since he could not do so within the confines of the interview,” suggests conservative blogger, Redstate. “Mr. Wallace clearly got the message, but was not cowed. He maintained his composure and completed the segment…Now I am no PC shirking violet, but there are lines that should never be crossed. Such physical contact in this context is utterly inappropriate. I have to ask, if President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld or even Secretary Rice jabbed a reporter with an angry finger during an interview, how long would it take for the cries of assault to start? Of course, none of them would ever indulge in such crass behavior, so the point is to some extent moot, but it seems to me that far from being so angry at Mr. Wallace for having the nerve to ask him some tough questions, Mr. Clinton might owe him an apology, not to mention some thanks for not pressing charges.”