by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
One reason Peggy Noonan enjoyed the Super Bowl’s Paul Harvey ad so much was that it stood in such stark contrast to the rest of the broadcast media’s typical product. She explains in a Wall Street Journal column.
I refer to Steve Kroft’s interview, on “60 Minutes,” with Barack Obama and departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That made a big impression too. It didn’t remind us of a style or approach for which we feel nostalgia, but one about which we are feeling increased apprehension, and that is the mainstream media fawn-a-thon toward the current president.
The Kroft interview was a truly scandalous example of the genre. It was so soft, so dazzled, so supportive, so embarrassing. And it was that way from the beginning, when Mr. Kroft breathlessly noted, “The White House granted us 30 minutes.” Granted. Like kings.
What followed was a steady, targeted barrage of softballs. “Why did you want to do this together, a joint interview?” Because, said the president, she’s been one of the best secretaries of state ever, and theirs has been one of the greatest collaborations in history. Also, “I’m gonna miss her.” No reading of the tea leaves here, pressed Mr. Kroft. We don’t have tea here, Hillary laughed.
Throughout the president and the secretary sat closely, shoulder to shoulder, leaning into each other, nodding as the other spoke, praising each other in a way that praised themselves. I don’t blame them for doing propaganda—that’s what White Houses do. But it’s hard not blaming Mr. Kroft and “60 Minutes” for being part of it. …
… We are living in the age of emergency—the economy, the Mideast, North Korea, Iran. The president has an utter and historic inability to forge a relationship with Congress. Unemployment seems intractable.
And the best Steve Kroft and “60 Minutes” could do was how wonderful are you?