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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, July 27, 2008

FTN: Illuminating

First, I discovered that there was no audio on the Minnesota station where I planned to watch "Meet the Press" and Tom Brokaw's interview with Barack Obama. Yes, I do have DirectTv, why do you ask?

Then I glanced at the lineup for this week's "This Week" and added the panel of "experts" to the interview with McCain by the smaller of the two who gave us insufferable minutes of Flag Lapel Pin talk in lieu of debate... and decided to go with the guy who gets far too little attention on Sunday mornings.

Bob Schieffer and his guests, Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed, the Senators who traveled to the Middle East with Barack Obama, provided the kind of Sunday morning conversation every talking head show should be required to watch and learn from. On both sides of the microphone. And both sides of the political aisle.

As Schieffer noted, it was illuminating.

Maybe it's the half-hour format that enforces a cut-thru-the-crapola directive so that the questions and the answers are coherent and direct. Not a gotcha to be heard. No frills, no shrills, no showboating, no spin-erama.

Maybe it was the guests, both workhorses of the Senate not showhorses. Serious about their duty to public service, or, as Hagel put it, "country before party."

Maybe it's the absence of a pundit panel tellin' us how we're supposed to think about what they've decided is the news'n'narrative of the day.

Or maybe it's Schieffer.

A rock solid journalist in the tradition of CBS' finest, Cronkite and Murrow. And someone of whom you don't have to speculate whether his loyalty is to journalism or spin-ography.

A WOG — a wise ol' guy — who still gets it done far better than the parade of press'n'pundits who masquerade as journalists on teevee these days.

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