Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Cheney Zingers Losing Their Sting

Reported by Judy - October 6, 2004 -

Media analysts on Fox News Channel today (OCt. 6) looking back on last night's vice presidential debate seemed to be calling the Dick Cheney and John Edwards encounter a draw, but there was a suggestion that in the long run, Cheney's performance will lose some of its shine.

Newsweek's Mark Hosenhall said on Fox and Friends he did not see any clear winner in the debate and that both Cheney and Edwards stuck close to what people expected from them.

He downplayed the effectiveness of Cheney's charge that Edwards was absent from the Senate too much as "inside baseball" and added that the charge that he had never met Edwards lost its value when footage showed the "zinger wasn't true." When co-host E.D. Hill asked if zingers will stick even if they're not true, Hosenhall said that if you keep playing it all day, it will stick. Don't think you needed to tell Fox that, Mark.

Kelly Wright, reporting from the debate site in Cleveland, opened Fox News Live with Jon Scott with a report that exit polls showed Cheney "eked out a win here." Later in the hour, in a second report, Wright reported that an ABC poll found Cheney the winner while a CBS poll of undecideds showed Edwards won. Earlier on Fox and Friends, Fox mentioned the ABC poll, but not the CBS one.

A media panel of Melinda Henneberger from Newsweek, Tom Edsall of the Washington Post, and Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe on Fox News Live also devoted considerable time to Cheney's gaffes about never saying Saddam Hussein was related to al Qaeda and that he had never met Edwards. As Edsall said, Cheney may have won the debate on points, but some of those remarks will come back to haunt him.

Democrats pounced on Cheney's misstatements. John Edwards' wife had confronted Cheney on the stage right after the debate to remind him of the time Cheney and Edwards met at a prayer breakfast. Mickey Kantor, former Clinton campaign manager, followed up on Fox News Live this morning when he referred to the "two serious errors" by Cheney.

Overall, it seems that the Democrats came out of the debate with more to talk about than did the Republicans. They can harp on Cheney's mistakes and hope the news media pick up on it. Republicans are stuck saying, as former Bush assistant Nick Calio did, that Edwards is a "slick trial lawyer" who lacks the gravitas of Dick Cheney. "Gravitas"-- is that Latin for "sneer"?