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

Quinn Finally Steps Up

Reported by Nancy - November 29, 2004 -

On FNL this morning (11/29), Brigitte Quinn displayed -- for the first time in the many months I've been monitoring this show -- some real interviewing skills. First, she interviewed a former Ambassador about elections in Iraq, asking intelligent questions & allowing the guest to respond fully. Then, she finally stood up to someone who was trying to hijack an interview & discussion about medical marijuana. Of course this second interview was silly & non-informative, but if her producers are going to force her to deal with idiots, at least Quinn showed she knows how to do it.

After the usual mini-blurbs (cell phone explodes! plane crash! family saved from fire!) FNL broadcast Bush announcing he'll nominate Carlos Gutierrez as Secy of Commerce, along with Gutierrez's response, & a useless interview (at 11:22am ET) with Michael Isikoff of Newsweek about the nomination (when Isikoff pointed out that everything about this right now is pure speculation, Quinn ended the interview after less than 3 mins).

Then, after more teasers (medical marijuana! taking Christ out of Christmas!) & Page Hopkins reading headlines at 11:30am (ET) Quinn interviewed Richard Burt (former US Ambassador to Germany) about upcoming elections in Iraq. Quinn asked intelligent & open-ended questions (e.g., what should US policy be? why is it important to have elections in January, not later?) & allowed Burt to respond fully, without talking over him. Burt, for his part, defended the Bush administration's policy choices, but at least did so in a non-foaming-at-the-mouth way.

At 11:34am (ET), Steve Brown filed a "Fair & Balanced" report about a low-cost health-care clinic in Green Bay, WI, that included a clip from a satisfied customer & a clip from the AMA warning about "reservations" about missed diagnoses [comment: it seemed to me that the clip from the AMA was truncated &, if it had been played in full, might have endorsed the concept more fully or at least made clearer what those precise "reservations" were]. David Asman couldn't resist an editorial comment, saying the AMA "doesn't like the competition".

Finally, after yet more teasers (Laura Bush! White House Christmas tree! Rachel Hunter in revealing evening gown!), FNL got to the medical marijuana story, such as it is. SCOTUS is hearing a case about whether federal law trumps state laws about medical marijuana use. So at 11:40am (ET) Quinn interviewed Joyce Nalepka (Pres, Drug Free Kids) & Steve Fox (Marijuana Policy Project) [comment: why not interview legal experts about this? the case is about the LAW, not about marijuana]. Steve Fox made exactly this point, saying the issue is about state law vs federal law, while Nalepka was strident & sour & repeatedly tried to hijack the interview. Quinn politely corrected her a couple of times, noting when Nalepka was dragging in unrelated topics, & gave the final word to Steve Fox because Nalepka had had first shot at it. When Nalepka tried to talk over Fox at that point, Quinn terminated the interview [comment: I wish Quinn would exercise that kind of judgment with all FNL's "guests" -- it might encourage the producers to have fewer guests of the ranting & raving variety, more of the thoughtful & civil discourse variety].