July 19: 7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk
John Glenn remembers Walter Cronkite, Senators Leahy and Sessions go toe-to-toe on Sotomayor, and one pundit declares herself a “wise white woman.” That and more in our Sunday roundup
Will Abortion Be a Poison Pill for Health Reform?
On Fox News Sunday, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag says he can’t rule out taxpayer-funded abortions as part of a government health-insurance plan. This may be a deal-breaker that 19 House Democrats have already expressed opposition to in a letter last month to Nancy Pelosi, and an issue which fellow Fox guest Sen. Judd Gregg also can see posing a problem down the road.
Sen. Mitch McConnell: A Party of ‘No’
On Meet the Press, Sen. Mitch McConnell shot down not only the president’s plans for a health-care overhaul, claiming that it’s not good for the country, but also his pick for Supreme Court justice. McConnell says that as much as he admires Sonia Sotomayor as a person, he will not be voting for her confirmation because she lacks “objectivity.”
Monica Crowley Declares Herself a “Wise White Woman”
We thought Pat Buchanan would go furthest in denouncing Sonia Sotomayor—hard to beat his recent appearance on Maddow, after all. But give credit where it’s due: Monica Crowley, invoking her authority as a “wise white woman,” slams Sotomayor for having once face before her nomination, and for trying to be “Alexander Hamilton in drag” after it.
Howard Kurtz Shocked, Shocked That Reporters Suck Up to Sanford
Juicy stuff here, at least at first glance. A number of prominent reporters, including ABC’s Jake Tapper and Fox News’s Griff Jenkins, in attempting to get interviews with Mark Sanford, sent emails to Sanford hinting at favorable coverage in exchange for an appearance. Awful stuff, right? Maybe. It does not, of course, follow that an ingratiating interview request will be mean an ingratiating interview. In fact, sending that sort of email, or making that sort of call in order to land a big “get,” is one of the dirty secrets of journalism. What ends up on the air or in an article—that’s much more fair game for critique.
Leahy and Sessions: Still Sparring Over Race Politics
After a fairly mild confirmation hearing, leaders on both sides of the Senate got into a much more heated debate Sunday on State of the Union. Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy accuses the GOP of conducting unfair “racial politics” with Sonia Sotomayor, including calling her a “bigot” and the equivalent of a leader of the KKK before the hearings had even begun.
Fareed Zakaria to president of Rwanda: Why Is Africa So Screwed Up?
Give credit to Fareed Zakaria: Sometimes the question everyone wants to ask isn’t easy. But he puts this rather impolite one to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda: Why give international aid when African is so screwed up? Kagame—who viewers may know best from Philip Gourevitch’s brilliant New Yorker profile—gives a characteristically measured response: Foremost, history has doomed his continent, but he would like to see his country be free of foreign aid one day, perhaps before the end of his presidency.
Walter Cronkite, Star Reporter
There have been many tributes to Walter Cronkite over the past few days, each seemingly more desperate to canonize the news legend than the other. So it was bit refreshing to see former astronaut-turned-Senator John Glenn share a simple, heartfelt anecdote about his friend, whom Glenn described was eager to someday report from the stars.
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