Image from LATimes
And it was frustrating to watch too. I have watched Meet the Press with David Gregory each week with increasing reluctance. Gregory is simply not the moderator that Tim Russert was. This morning was different, because for the first time, Rachel Maddow--of whom I'm a huge fan--was on as a panelist. The discussion was on health care reform, and the other panelists were former Senator Tom Daschle (not a fave), Sen. Tom Coburn, and former Rep. Dick Armey (aptly named).
Wow, was this a bad forum for getting at the truth. I know it is a regular occurrence to have someone for a given cause appear on these shows, and stick as hard as they can to their talking points (on both sides). It's also tradition that each panelist get their say, with little interruption, while it is their turn to speak. This prevents loud, raucous cross-talk, but it also shuts down rebuttal when a dozen or so points are made by one person. I could feel Rachel Maddow's frustration both with where we are in this discussion, and where she was in this obnoxious panel.
Armey--who is up to his armpits in the whole "rile up the angry mobs" strategy--sat there and said things I knew not to be true, so it had to be driving Rachel crazy. It didn't help that early on, she tried to shut down one of Armey's lies and was chastised for it, and then seemed to get a frog in her throat. I was actually clenching my fists in frustration for her.
I think that Rachel's intelligence and grasp of the facts came through, though. And I think of the four people on the panel she came off best. And certainly, Armey came off badly. I hope that isn't just a partisan opinion. Because I can't imagine watching Armey's performance and both agreeing with it, and liking him. Shudder. . . .