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O'Reilly & Malkin: Any Katrina Commissions Should Be Handled by Retired Military and "Fully in Private"

Reported by Marie Therese - September 9, 2005

Ever-obnoxious, opinionated xenophobe, Michelle Malkin, delivered her two cents' worth on Hurricane Katrina to Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday, September 7's Factor show. As I was transcribing the interview, I kept wondering: Where do these two live? In La-La Land or The Land of Make Believe? Each had an opinion on Hillary Clinton's suggestion for setting up an independent, bi-partisan commission to investigate events surrounding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Congressional Republicans are trying to manipulate the federal hearings so that Democrats will not have subpoena power or an equal voice (gee, I wonder why?). Conservative talking heads seem to be reacting to Senator Clinton's suggestion in much the same way they reacted to the formation of the 9/11 Commission, i.e., we don't need no stinking independent commission.

After 9/11 the American people made their opinion known - as did many of the 9/11 families - and overrode GOP objections, forcing a reluctant President Bush to create a bi-partisan, fully independent commission.

I believe the same thing will happen this time, if only the Democrats stand firm on their decision to boycott any hearings that are not completely open and fair to the minority party.

However, Bill and Michelle strenuously disagree with me!

TRANSCRIPT of Interview on The O'Reilly Factor, 9/7/05:

BILL O'REILLY: It seems both Democrats and Republicans want an investigation of what went wrong in the aftermath of Katrina, but FOX News Analyst and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin says we don't need another dopey commission. She joins us now from Washington. Don't you want to know the truth - who really screwed up here? Who was AOL - AOL? - AWOL (laughs) Don't you really want to get to the bottom of this because, by doing so, you frighten these bureaucrats into perhaps doin' their job better.

MICHELLE MALKIN, syndicated columnist, author of the book "In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror"): Oh, I do want to know the truth as much as you do, Bill, but the kind of commission - independent commission - that Senator Hillary Clinton and others are calling for is exactly the opposite kind of mechanism you want to set up, if you do, in fact, want to find the truth. She has proposed this commission in a letter to President Bush on Labor Day and said that it would be modeled after the independent 9/11 commission and - whoa! - well what a success that was! Let's not forget - you know, we tend to have short memories about this but it was a complete circus ....

O'REILLY (Interrupts): It wa - let me - let me get. Look ...

MALKIN: ... It had all of these people with conflicts of interest...

O'REILLY: You're right.

MALKIN: ... grandstanding in front of cameras.

O'REILLY: You're right. You're right, You're right.

MALKIN: That's the LAST thing Katrina victims need.

O"REILLY: I think we need a commission And Bush says he wants a commission, too. Now the New York Times says he wants a commission so he can whitewash but they're left-wing nuts, OK. (She laughs.) But, here's my proposal. If I were President Bush, I would appoint five retired generals - five retired generals. That's it. They would be the commission Now, historically, military's been out of politics No political agenda. I wouldn't put generals, obviously, who are partisans on the commission but five retired generals. Let them do it. Let them use former military intelligence people. Just get it out of the beltway. Would you go for that?

MALKIN: Well, I'd certainly agree that we need to keep these perpet - professional grievance mongers off the panel.

O"REILLY: Right. Get out of the beltway

MALKIN: No bureaucrats. No politicians. The only other conditions I'd add to your proposal is that it would be done t I fully in private, that we would have no cameras, no C-SPAN hearings, no. dog and pony shows and have these retired generals hauling up people, eyewitnesses, that would just be using the commission to forward their ...

O'REILLY: How 'bout the press? Would the press be able to sit in on the interviews and things like that I mean,. Alright. Cameras out. No hot dogging. Would you allow some press pool people in to report it?

MALKIN: That sounds like an idea. I mean the only problem is that you would want these people not to be blabbing about what they're finding until the report is actually finalized. One of the problems with the 9/11 Commission is that every time that they'd unturn - turn over - turn over some tidbit that was detrimental to the Bush administration, they'd be running to Jon Stewart and the "Daily Show" to talk about it and that's exactly what we don't need or don't want.

O'REILLY: I agree with you and I think it would anger the American people for partisans to get ahold of the hurricane. I mean, I don't think the American people would sit for it.

MALKIN: Right!

O'REILLY: And, you know, I have to tell you this. The couple of days after the hurricane broke, the New York Times [was] outrageously irresponsible in their editorial pages. But they stopped. They stopped. You know. They still now takin' their jabs but they - and they started to do pretty - pretty good coverage of what actually was happening there without the ideology and I think if we could put it in the military's hands, if we could moderate the dog and pony show - I think that's a good idea - but still have some oversight by a couple of pool reporters. Alright. I think we need to know what happened here, Michelle.

MALKIN: Right.

O'REILLY: Don't you - don't you want to know why Governor Blanco didn't put the National Guard in before the storm? Don't you want to know that?

MALKIN: Absolutely. There are so many questions that need to be answered and resolved. The problem with the Hillary Clinton idea was that she would have limited the scope of the investigation to the adequacy of federal response.

O'REILLY: Yeah, Look. We know what ...

MALKIN: And that's - there's the agenda. The Bush-bashing agenda.

O'REILLY: We know what she wants to do. We know that. But I want to know why President Bush was 24 hours late. I want to know who advised him on how to handle the situation and what advice he took and didn't take. I think we all need to know these things.

MALKIN: Absolutely. But again I think - and FOX News has done such a great job of this, of focussing on these local and state decisions and how first responders became first obstructors.

COMMENT

There you have it! Malkin ADMITS on air the FOX News has been concentrating on local and state authorities and, by implication, going easy on the administration.


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