Wienerlog 
  corner   



HOME

Rare insights, and deservedly so.

ABOUT ME

Email:
wienerlog @ bidslash.com

My Daily Links:

Instapundit

Free Republic

The National Football Post

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Packers

Press Gazette Packers News

Next Big Future

Tim Blair

Drudge

Hot Air

Volokh Conspiracy

Reason Hit & Run

Brian Dennert here

Mickey Kaus

James Lileks

Michelle Malkin

Wall Street Journal
Best of the Web

Real Clear Politics

Power Line



ARCHIVES
01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002 10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002 11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002 12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012

 

Thursday, September 23, 2004

  0 comments

UPDATE: Timing isn't critical

Will the Bush campaign go for the kill and demand Bob Schieffer's removal as debate moderator, as per my previous speculation? Or will Bush decide to play the part of Mr. Nice Guy?

At the joint Bush / Allawi press conference today, the President at one point specifically asked for a CBS reporter to pose a question. It was a way of showing magnanimity while simultaneously taking a humorous jab at the humiliated network. It says that CBS has been reduced to such a laughingstock that it's no longer even necessary to refer to the details of the forgery scandal. Just mentioning CBS's name will do the trick.

Bob Schieffer seems more than a tad worried about the situation. Yesterday's Chicago Daily Herald noted that:

Schieffer on Tuesday dismissed rumblings that Bush advisers wanted him and CBS to be removed from participation in the debate because of the network's recent questionable campaign reporting.

He said both the Bush and Kerry camps have "signed off" on having him serve as moderator. And Schieffer now is compiling questions about domestic policy for them.

Schieffer is attempting a fait accompli by insisting that the moderator issue is settled and he's already deep into the complex task of compiling questions and (by implication) it's now too late to switch.

Of course that's malarkey. Any number of prominent journalists would happily leap at the chance to replace Schieffer and would hastily put together a set of questions, even at the last second.

The fact is, all the initiative is on the side of the Bush campaign, and neither CBS nor the Kerry campaign have any say over the matter.

We can expect that many more revelations concerning the CBS forgery fiasco will dribble out over the coming days and weeks. The Bush campaign, if it chooses, can seize upon any new nugget to announce (or even just hint through "unnamed high-ranking campaign officials") that the CBS connection with the Presidential debates is no longer tolerable.

If the Bush campaign decides it wants to distract the voters from bad economic news or bad war news, or wants to overshadow a new Kerry initiative, the "Schieffer problem" can be trotted out to dominate the news cycle. The timing is extremely flexible and totally under Bush's control.

The Bush campaign can even wait until the first two debates are completed, and then start raising questions about whether the third debate will have to be cancelled if Bob Schieffer remains as moderator. This really puts the screws to Kerry if he has not yet closed the gap in the polls. At that point the third debate will represent his last desperate hope to overtake the President.

As for CBS, it has an easy, face-saving way to cave in to the pressure from its affiliates. CBS just announces that its independent panel has reached an interim conclusion that the documents were definite forgeries and that 60 Minutes failed to adhere to proper journalistic standards. Hence, without further delay, the resignations of Dan Rather et al are accepted, and apologies are forthwith offered to everyone harmed by the baseless story.

In football, a team which builds up a big lead has two options: It can try to sit on its lead, play very conservatively, and run out the clock. Or it can continue to play the same aggressive (but risky) style which had produced the lead in the first place. My observation has been that a team is more likely to blow its lead and lose the game by playing it safe than by taking chances.

How risk-averse is President Bush? We'll soon find out.








Comments: Post a Comment



This page is powered by Blogger.