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

Hume Gets Nowhere with NORAD

Reported by Nancy - May 12, 2005 -

Last night (5/11) on Special Report, Brit Hume's not inconsiderable journalistic skills were no match for a well-prepped military guy, AF Col Keith Snyder, who stonewalled his way through the one-on-one interview segment. Maybe that explains why Hume was so whiny during his "Grapevine" segment that followed.

For his one-on-one interview segment, Hume interviewed AF Col Keith Snyder (NORAD) about the panic in DC over a threat that "turned out to be a little mosquito of an airplane" (a Cessna152). Hume wanted to know what would have happened if it was a Lear but Snyder had been well prepped & simply started spouting 'official statement-ese' (e.g., "we scrambled today", "interagency effort"). Hume persisted, asking what would have been different if the plane had been faster. Snyder also persisted to, saying that nothing would have been different "in terms of our response", they'd still use flares to get the plane to "veer away". Hume was visibly annoyed that "this little plane got within 3 miles of the Capitol", noting that a "faster plane would have been [only] seconds away" from causing real problems. Snyder admitted "we'd probably work a faster plane a little quicker" but said the "procedures are all the same." Hume, frustrated, took another tack [sorry for the mixed metaphor] & observed that "somebody had to make a determination it [the plane] wasn't much of a threat", to which Snyder simply agreed. Hume asked what the problem was with radio contact. Snyder said he had "no idea" & started to say the pilot was flying "VFR code". Hume interrupted to ask "What's that'?" Snyder explained it's a "transponder code" & "any pilot can fly under visual flight rules" but this pilot should have known that he's "not allowed" to fly in DC airspace. Hume brought up the incident from last summer when KY Gov Fletcher's plane, bringing him to Reagan funeral, "strayed" into DC's no-fly zone & asked if there were "any other mechanisms" besides the pilot's obligations & radio contact to avoid similar incidents in the future. Snyder said they will be deploying a "visual warning system" around DC later this month.

Comment: This interview was the TV equivalent of trying to nail jello to a wall. Hume kept asking, & asking, & Snyder just kept mouthing generic platitudes with the occasional data tidbit ("VFR code") thrown in to give the illusion of substance. Kinda reminded me of all those non-explanations of NORAD's failures on 9/11.

At 6:31pm (ET), Hume did his "Grapevine" segment:
1- Wisconsin "voter fraud" - according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, more votes were cast than there are eligible voters, but Milwaukee records are "too sloppy" for prosecutors
2- felons vote Dem - a study published in the "American Sociological Review" & cited by the Tacoma News Tribune shows that felons vote Democratic by a margin of 3 to 1, that if disenfranchised felons were allowed to vote, they would have swung the 2000 election to Gore & "could swing national & state elections in the future".
3- Scott McConnell, a student in the masters education program at LeMoyne College, was expelled, allegedly for writing a paper advocating "corporal punishment in the classroom," & is now suing the college for $4 million, accusing LeMoyne of "violating his First Amendment rights to freedom of thought & speech."
4- Jim Stelling, chair of the GOP Party in Seminole County, FL, is accusing a former colleague of sabotaging his bid to head the state party by distributing a letter that accuses him of having been married 6 times. Stelling insists he's "been married only 5 times" & is suing for unspecified damages [even Hume couldn't keep a straight face for this one].

Comment: My Counter-Grapevine
1- What about Ohio voter fraud?
2- Deserves an entirely separate post, which I'm working on & will link to later
3- Can you say "frivolous lawsuit"?
4- Can you say "frivolous lawsuit"?

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's interview with Snyder, or any of the Grapevine items). O/T comments will be deleted. Please use the O/T category from the list at right to post unrelated comments. Thanks.

ADDENDUM, 051305 @ 3:30AM: I have now posted a separate entry for Item #2 from Hume's "Grapevine" segment.