Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bubba Blew it on Fox. Wallace, the Right Wing Prince of Nepotism, Got the Best of Him. Wake Up Democrats, this is War

The Fox News Sunday interview with Bill Clinton was a disgrace. To being with, it was a classic right-wing set-up by host Chris Wallace, who obviously has learned the tricks of ambush television from the master--his mentor, benefactor and dad, 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace. The former president was in the studio to presumably discuss his Global Initiative, which has raised $7-billion to help fund the fight against global warming. But it quickly became clear that Wallace, behind the thick dark veil of Fox's conservative bias, was more interested in attacking Clinton's record of fighting global terrorism. Kudos to Wallace. Another great ReTHUGlican bait and switch.

With a smirk on his face (which Clinton called him on) and a general smarminess that detracted from his credentials as a supposed legitimate journalist, Wallace started the fracas by asking, "Why didn't you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President." Rightly so, Clinton's reaction was animated and harsh, and he ultimately accused Wallace and Fox News of perpetrating a hatchet job on him while treating the Bush administration with kid gloves.

"...I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked why didn't you do anything about the Cole. I want to know how many you asked why did you fire Dick Clarke." He was referring to terrorism czar Richard Clarke, who had served under Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush.

Let me be clear about one thing: I think Clinton is one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had. Truly brilliant, and a master communicator. The most passionate, charismatic and articulate politician in modern history. But he made a big mistake Sunday. Once it became obvious what Wallace was doing, Clinton justifiably grew agitated and came at Wallace hard in defense of his and his administration's policies and actions in fighting terrorism, and his efforts to find and kill Osama bin Laden. This initially lasted a few minutes. And then it should've stopped. But it didn't.

Clinton soon appeared undignified and very un-Clinton-like. He should've dressed-down the nepotism-engorged, right wing journo-punk Wallace for about five minutes and then, in a commanding authoritative voice said, "Now that we've established exactly how my administration did more to kill bin Laden and fight terrorism than any other, let's move on to the Clinton Global Initiative and the $7-billion we've raised to combat global warming." Instead, Clinton relentlessly pursued the topic even after Wallace smugly and sarcastically suggested three times, to no avail, that they shift the conversation to the Global Initiative. Clinton just kept pleading his case. His tone, body language and agitated state said one thing to Wallace: "You hurt me." It was highly uncomfortable to watch. I found myself squirming. Score another one for Fox News and the bad guys.

Following this charade, Secretary of State Condi Rice on Monday criticized and refuted Clinton's assertions about his administration's efforts in fighting bin Laden and terrorism, as well as his contention that he did more than Bush.

"What we did in the eight months (before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks) was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice said. She added that the Bush administration was "not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaeda" when Clinton left office.

Well, she's flat out wrong, but I won't get into just how inept Rice, Rummy, Cheney and Bush have been in fighting terrorism. The new National Intelligence Estimate makes that perfectly clear. But as Clinton said, anyone who wants to truly understand what he and Bush did or didn't do, and what the Clinton administration did or did not leave the Busheviks with in January 2001, should read Clarke's book "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror."

Said Clinton: "He (Clarke) has a variety of opinion and loyalties now but let's look at the facts. He worked for Ronald Reagan. He was loyal to him. He worked for George Herbert Walker Bush and he was loyal to him. He worked for me and he was loyal to me. He worked for President Bush; he was loyal to him. They downgraded him and the terrorist operation. Now, look what he said, read his book and read his factual assertions, not opinions, assertions."

The biggest lesson to be learned from Sunday's sham interview is that Democrats better understand the war they're in and start knowing how to fight back. Between now and November 7th there'll be plenty more biased interviews with lots more Chris Wallace's. These guys are very, very good at what they do. They're all graduates of Rove University. They excel at effectively framing an issue to make Democrats appear in the most negative light. They don't come any smoother than Bill Clinton...and look what happened. They've deftly played the terrorism card once again. Wake up, Democrats.


Anonymous said...

Andy, I think you’re missing the point here. Bill had all the reasons he needed to let Wallace have it and he did just that. To let Chris off that easy would have shown a weakness in Bill and more so the party it’s self. I have had enough of this being a “Mr. Nice Guy” to these thugs and it’s time to be tough and in-your-face with them. This is why we lost in 2000, 2002 and again in 2006 and we best not let it happen again.

When Bill went after Wallace he was pissed and he was doing just what any of us should be doing when these right wing, religious, boot licking, neo cons question our patriotism. Letting them off the hook with a short reply is not what we should be doing and I wish Bill would have been even more aggressive.

Look this is just the shot in the arm our party needed to wake it up and get the messages out there. We keep hearing, “Where are the Democrats”, we’ll for once we had a Democrat speak up LOUD AND CLEAR, I hope the others get the same message.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Only right wingers would see it your way Andy.

Anonymous said...

I thought Clinton did a great job getting the facts of his presidency out there and defending himself against the Wallace attack. Kudos to the big dog. And is smarmy not swarmy. Typo?

Anonymous said...

I also disagree. Your analysis is very strange. Bubba is Bubba; he is imperfect and BY NO MEANS one of the best Presidents we have ever had. He is a congenital compromiser, a moral slouch, a mugwump, but HE stood up for himself and the efforts of his administration.

Yours is about the only putatively leftwing analysis that takes this point of view.

Get it right next time.

Anonymous said...

Clinton did well defending himself, but to call him a great president is ridiculous. He's the sellout DLC asshole that gave us NAFTA among other outrages. I can't stand him, I can't stand Bush. Will somebody please give the shrub a BJ.

The Ostroy Report said...

C'mon, people! Think how boring it'd be if you agreed with every single thing I ever said.

As for Bubba's performance, I'm all for Democrats kicking ass. And I think as my readers have come to appreciate, I can kick ass with the best of 'em. But there's a difference between intense, effective debate...and erratic, desperate pleading behavior. The former was what Clinton did, quite well, for the first five minutes or so. The latter is, unfortunately, how he appeared thereafter. It was beneath him to have to dignify Wallace's ambush in that manner. This is a former U.S. president, for crap's sake. he's not supposed to get down on a little shitbag like Wallace's level and lose his cool.

Anonymous said...

9/11 is Clinton's legacy. Like it or not, the Clinton administration did NOTHING to prevent 9/11.

In the 8 years before 9/11, Al Qaeda attacked America 7 times, including once on the WTC. Bill Clinton's response was to lob a couple of cruise missiles into the desert AFTER tipping off the Pakistanis of their plan. The 'Clinton retaliation' just so happened to be 3 days after he ADMITTED to LYING UNDER OATH.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinski".

Bill Clinton is a LIAR. He was stripped of his law credentials for COMMITTING PERJURY.

Ostroy is also a liar. Bill Clinton agreed to a 30 minute interview, half of which was set aside for the CGI, the other half for anything else. This was not a hatchet job, Clinton just can't take the truth - 9/11 is his fault and he knows it.

Bill Clinton had 8 years to stop Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda DECLARED WAR on the United States half way through the Clinton years.

Bush had 7 months.

Anonymous said...

Bush ignored anything the Clinton administration told them prior to his taking office.

9/11 is not Clinton's as the poster above me said.

There was a memo in August of 2001 warning Bush. As I recall he told the aid something like "okay, you've covered your a--".

The Repubs run it all and it is disgusting to go back 5 years to blame Clinton.

Having said all of the above, the Repubs will just cheat and suppress the vote come November.

Cranky Daze said...

I have to go with the majority on this one. A person's perception of what they see and hear is almost always impacted by their expectations. Where some may have seen Clinton as going past the mark and into "pleading," I saw him as barely controlling what must have been a terrible rage, trying to be confrontational without resorting to obscenities, or taking off his shoe and pounding the table with it ala Nikita Khruschev.

I think most people have been in similar situations at one time or another, where someone has said or done something that infuriates us, yet because we are grown-ups and it would be unseemly (although infinitly more satisfying) we cannot throw ourselves to the floor and scream and kick our feet. So we paste a frozen smile on our mugs and try to react in a way that satisfies our own anger, yet falls short of physical assault.

This was long overdue. Thinking back on the things that the Republicans did all through the years of the Clinton administration, all the attempts to to derail this president, with no concern about what it was doing to our country, NOT ONE BIT OF CONCERN, I'm amazed that he's managed to hold his temper this well. In my view, short of fisticuffs, there wasn't much Clinton could have done in response to Wallace's dirty tricks that would have been going too far. And in fact, I might have stood up and cheered if he'd lobbed a punch at Wallace's nose.

And the post-Wallace/Clinton reaction? Pshaw. Let the neocons yap...it's what they DO, and they'd have done it regardless of how Clinton had responded to Wallace's question. What on earth would they do if they didn't have Clinton to blame for all the incompetence of the Bush administration?

Wallace's attempts to get Clinton onto the topic that he (Clinton) expected to discuss when he agreed to appear on FOX News, was, in my view, a desperate attempt to get back the control he lost due to Clinton's unexpected reaction, and not an effort to politely discuss the topic that had been agreed on prior to the program. He was trying to get himself out of the fiasco he brought down on himself in a public forum, and Clinton wasn't buying it.

I don't know as I would agree that Clinton was one of the best presidents America has ever had. Maybe he was, but I do know he was sure a whole hell of a lot better than anything the Republicans have had to offer since April 14, 1865.

Anonymous said...

Very strange Ostroy, that when the world was aghast you virtually screamed that Israel HAD A RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF, which it did in a vastly inappropriate way by killing thousands. PR, dignity, and reputation didn't bother you then. That you can criticize Clinton for a lack of restraint is amazing. You seem to have flexible standards.

And I see 4:40 is back with his tireseome, inane comparison of Clinton's efforts in 8 years and the excuse that Bush had only 7 months, which by the way is now five years.

Anonymous said...

You are full of shit Andy. Clinton did exactly what he should have to a wimpy little man who tried to as Clinton put it "make his bones" off him by sandbagging him. What was he supposed to do? Behave as if he were on a moderated debate? He had the facts at hand and put them out there. The best of it was the bullshit Rice put out that was debunked almost immediately. I guess you think you are on the inside and if something happens you don't expect it shouldn't have. I'm sure Clinton didn't have time to consult you.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

You asked if "smarmy" was intended to be "swarmy". No, My Funk and Wagnall says smarmy means "Unctuously flattering", from a British dialect word "smarm", or "smalm", which means to smooth out or plaster down. I'm don't know how to be sarcastic and clever, so I'll just say that I wish people would learn to look things up in the dictionary.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong on this one. Bill showed some fire in the belly and the beasts dont like it. Clinton had a platform to reach the Kool Aide drinkers of the radical right who would never watch anything other than their beloved Fox and he set the record straight. Now admittedly most Fox viewers are not rational or fair but at least some may have a crack of light in their dense heads that just might bear fruit. At the very least he has us focused on the Bush failure to stop 9/11 and their attempts to re-write history in their favor. The Democrats need more fire and not less! Going into the heart of the propaganda beast and doing battle with these "evil-dooers" gives a well needed shot in the arm to the cowardly Democrats!

Anonymous said...

anonymous735is about right. only clinton didnt go far enough.he should of asked Wallace why when 9/11 happened Bush flew the lauden familyand the Sauda prince out of the country while the airlines were shut down ,then fought every kind of investagition ,then set up his own people to cover upfor him. Then all at once he wasentinterested in finding lauden.
Rice is never been nothing but a barrel of lyes,once she even thought she was married to Bush.What gets me she is sent around the world on our tax dollars to lye and tell other leaders how to run there countries ,Nobody would put any stock in anything she says except these war mongers on the tv stations that half to twist things around in Bushes favor
If they the tv people gets someone that stands up to them like clinton did they try to change the subject and if that dont work they cut them off completly The whole damn republican party has got this idea,If they dont like what is said change the subject and cut them off,They havent got the guts to stay with what the subject is because they know they havent got a foot to stand on.
Now to all the WIMPS that thinks a person cant say what he feels like are just the cause of the problems that we are having.
Clinton lied True,he lost his law liscense.You havent got a person in congress that shouldnt lose theirs as they are all damn lyers.Both parties are corrupt and should be jailed in the morning
This torure thing all I can say we ought to send the whole congress to Iraq and let the Iraq peopl take care of them.Instead of this draft thing they are talking about all congress ought to be in Iraq and if they go to Iran their the ones that oughtto fight it. on the ground and man to man
As far as Wallace is concerned he shou;ld be fired for the way he handled the Clinton thing,after all Wallace was the one that cut Clinton off because Clinton was getting the best of him.and he had it comming.

Anonymous said...

10:06 Nice try -- but it didn't work.

Anonymous said...

Bill turned the tables and though it didn't look pretty he kicked down the door on the media. If you listened to Keith Olbermann then you know the gaunlet has been thrown down for fair and well rounded reporting when it comes to Bush Co. If Bill had to throw a tantrum to get the ball rolling then it worked. Wallace is immaterial here. The larger picture of Bill's tantrum, the intelligence report by 16 agencies, Rice's lies and refutiation by the 9/11 Commission Report, the retired military testimonies, and the new light on just what Bush has been up to is what counts here. And it counts BIG, baby!

Anonymous said...

Olbermann is getting to be a powerful force for GOOD.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

As we are fond of saying to each other on our show, Andy, you ignorant slut! Between your stance on the Israeli/Hezbollah affair last month, and now your opinion of Clinton pimp-slapping Chris Wallace, it's no wonder your readers here are clearly calling you out as a Wingnut. I couldn't disagree with you more about Clinton. Imagine biting your tongue for 5 years while everyone on the right pointed the finger at you for what happened on 9/11, when you knew in your hear of hearts that the negligence truly began when the Crackhead from Crawford was inaugurated. Consider that interview the starting "cannon" in the war of words leading up to the Nov. elections and continuing on until Nov. '08. Democrats are finally playing tough. Raise your gloves and fight like a man, I say!!

Joe Smoe: American Citizen said...

Olbermann once again nails it!!!!


So why aren't all you GOP/BUSH BOOTLICKS here in Iraq again????

Anonymous said...

Joe smoe,
I'm sure you were in Kosovo when Clinton attacked without UN approval, but why aren't you in Afghanistan?

Why aren't you in the Sudan? Do you support Genocide?

BTW, last time I saw Clinton waving his finger like he did during the Wallace interview, he was about to slide a cigar into Monica.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 5:49 How presumptuous to claim you were ever even near the Oval Office even as a voyeux. In fact all of your information is hearsay from Fox which is why you are so misinformed. Again, your reasoning is skewed. Joe Smoe doesn't support the war in Iraq and probably didn't support the wars you accuse him of not participating in. You, on the other hand, vehemently support Iraq and you should assume responsibillity for that war. We know how big you are on others assuming responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I was pleased as punch to see Clinton standing up for his administration, and now Condoleeza Rice is having to go on TV and tell obvious disproveable lies to try to talk back to that. I think that Bill Clinton interview was a gift to the Democrats, putting the Bush administration on the defensive for a change, and saying what needed to be said. Now the debate is about whether Bush did enough before 911, which is a no-brainer, because he spent half his time sleeping or on vacation.

Anonymous said...

Wallace was smug and gleeful with the response Clinton gave him. Clinton made his case but the point is that he made it himself whereas in the past others made it for him. With Clinton making his own case, there is no room for wiggle. He has spent his words, and now they is gone. A mystery always has more potential. Reality is a let down.

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you wise GURU known as ANON 9:23 for the insight.

9:21 Tonight on COUNTDOWN, Olbermann in his review of Bush's months in office before 9/11, using indisputable TV clips, proved that Condoleeza was lying.

Anonymous said...

Sir, you are a right wing tool. Clinton's reaming of Wallace was a thing of beauty.

Wallace tried to Swiftboat him and then messed his drawers when Clinton called him on it.

It was a great day for Democrats in spite of what tools like you are spinning.

Sir, have you no decency?

Anonymous said...

Democrats are anti-semitic class warfare racists in disquise as pacifists

John Perry said...

Jeezus people, wake up. The whole argument about who bears more responsibility for 9/11 is a massive fraud, designed to keep us arguing hopelessly moot points (Clinton/Bush, Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative, 8 months/8 years, CONdi/Hilary,etc) while the neocons' 21st century imperial fascism continues its ugly creep into our lives.

Unless it was all done by one person, there was, unquestionably, a consiracy to commit the mass murder of 9/11. This is NOT a crackpot theory. It's a rock-solid FACT.

Look up the definition of the word.

The real question is who had the means, the motive and stood to benefit the most?

No spin, no theories, JUST THE DAMN FACTS.


Anonymous said...

JohnPerry - what are and where can one find your FACTS about a conspiracy?

Anonymous said...

On the Ostroy Report concerning the Wallace/Clinton report. I say three Cheers for Clinton, he has allowed the lies to grow and grow. I really feel sorry for all the folks who believe all the crap that keeps coming from the Bush administration.

What a breath of fresh air Clinton was. I am sorry some of you were too dumb to understand or were not able to get beyond Clinton's personal life. I bet he has not done anything any of you guys have done or wished you could do or have done to you. The green-eyed monster shows it's ugly head AGAIN!!!

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing. Clinton blows up while being interviewed by Wallace, and SOME of the media and SOME people (no one I know, though) claim it was "ugly" and that he "lost it", etc.

But President Bush, having a Captain Qweeg moment in the Rose Garden because he thought he wasn't going to get his way on torture, and Bush getting in Matt Lauer's face and poking Lauer's chest while being interviewed in the Oval Office, that was normal?

"Clinton angry" is rhetoric peppered with historical facts. "Bush angry" is "rhetoric" peppered with non-sensical blather like "what people have got to understand. . " and "I believe. ." and "I'm trying to protect your family, Matt".

For truth, I'll take Clinton angry every time.

Anonymous said...

too bad he wasn't as angry at OBL in the 1990's as he was at Wallace. Maybe he would have gone after and killed OBL.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Clinton was obviously angry, and about time as Bush has had a pass, as others have said, and should have been pulled up before Congress if they, both Repubs. and Dems,had had any backbone at all. They certainly were outraged about sex in Clinton's term, so indignant. Seems sex is far and away more dangerous and sinful than war....shoud be the 1st commandment instead of all that "thou shall not kill" nonsense. Everyone knows killing is OK as long as you don't have sex first. But if it did nothing else it fired up people and all the sordid details of the administration's inaction before 9/11, whether through incompentence or intentionally (as it certainly appears) it's leaking out on the internet, on the cable news and, surprise, even cautiously in the MSN. I had begun to wonder if Bush chased Laura out of the white house and shot her with Saddam's gun on the steps, it would be covered in the papers. I'm sure Fox would insist he was protecting
Americans when he did it and everyone would just turn over and go back to sleep. What a world we have created--this "reality of our own" as the W.H. aide said once in a fit of pride in this powerful new administration.

Anonymous said...

///disgusting bag of shit.///

Is that a term that you learned in church at the sermon " TERMS JESUS WOULD US"??

GOP Hypocrite!!

Your Fuhrer said that " YOUR EITHER WITH US OR AGAINST US" Well I and a growing number are against him and his NEo Fascist brand of Democracy and we will no longer be silent as UNINFORMED and CLUELESS jackbooted GOP THUG/BROWNSHIRTS like you spout your ROvian/FOX NEWS SLOP. So, with that said get your ass to your recruiter and sign up for Iraq..just in time for the CIVIL WAR, cause we all know that your "WITH BUSH" on TERROR and not a GUTLESS CUT AND RUNNER right??? Come on...don't be a Liberal pansy and let someone else fight for your Freedom.

I mean in the land of the GOP GOD...WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB??

Anonymous said...

The bigger question is WHO'S HEAD WOULD MUHAMMAD CUT OFF?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

3:08 A beheading one head at a time kills fewer than a bomb on a town of thousands of women, children, and men. Not that one form of murder is any purer or more forgivable that another. And, since the Religious Right is so involved with the poltical life of our country one wonders, as did 12:07, how they can support mass murders, pre-emptive attacks and torture. They don't seem to be asking: "What would Jesus do"?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

9:59 No,the Republicans would either kill Jesus because he was a socialist; or, they'd SwiftBoat him because of his popularity and following; and differing political views.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The Republicans would kill Jesus because they don't believe anything he taught. You know -- those teachings about pacifism, (peace makers); not bearing false witness (not lying); feeding the poor; taking the mote out of their own eyes; being sinless before throwing the stone at the adultress; not being hypocrits; not being hypocrits, not being hypocrits; not killing anybody; protecting children; forgive over and over again; and so many more teachings that to Republicans are an anathema.

Anonymous said...

Foley - need I type more to convince anyone that the GOP is all about power and not people...