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Gretchen Carlson and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Reported by Guest Blogger - October 10, 2009 -

Guest blogged by notveryhow

Let me open this by saying that I do not know a lot about Michelle Malkin. She appears to be just another shrill partisan, and when her face appears on TV my attention wanders. Though her flying monkeys swooping in on Graeme Frost and his family for his sin of benefiting from S-Chip and delivering the Democratic radio address to talk about it did raise my ire, I usually ignore her. She is a regular columnist in my local paper, and I have attempted to read her on several occasions. But her columns are not fact based logical appeals, but rather partisan attack pieces rich in adjectives and little else. Not worth my time.

So Malkin appeared on Fox & Friends Thursday (10/8/09) for a cage match with Democrat Lanny Davis. Host Gretchen Carlson was the referee. The stage was set, via the chyrons, to set the tone. With video.

Appearing in sequence throughout the segment, filling the lower part of the screen were:

Presidential Inaction
Is He Putting our Troops at Risk?

President Voted "Present"
129 Times in State Senate

Lopsided Statistics
Stimulus Package Passed & 9.8% Unemployment

Governing Style
Is the Prez Not Making Decisions?

Candidate in Chief
Is Prez Stuck in Campaign Mode

First Carlson set the theme of the discussion. "With a history of voting "present" in the Illinois Senate 129 times, President Obama's track record on decision making may leave something to be desired...some say."

Let me get this straight. Seven years after a President and a Party, with a cheerleading media, got us into 2 wars with no clear plans for the aftermath, wars that led to the deaths of thousands of US soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis - those decisions are not worthy of discussion. But Obama's "present" votes 7 years ago are somehow now relevant?

Carlson gave Malkin "first crack," repeating, in case anyone missed it the first time and couldn't read the chyron, "So President Obama voted "present"...129 times...what does that say about how he has chosen to govern?"

Malkin accused Obama of "not making decisions, not governing," and, getting ahead of the next chyron, "spending most of his time in perpetual campaign mode." She cited "the Olympics debacle" with Obama acting for the parochial interests of his hometown cronies while ignoring foreign policy. At that, Lanny Davis chuckled.

When it was his turn, Davis spoke of Malkin's double standard in relation to the CBO, which, he said, she liked when they came back with high numbers for the House bill, but mocked when it came back with low deficit scoring for the Senate health care bill. He went on to point out that "every other major head of state" went to Copenhagen to represent their nation before the Olympic committee, and suggested that Malkin would be attacking Obama if he hadn't gone to Copenhagen. Davis then cited examples of Obama's decisiveness, saying "He passed the stimulus bill and he has now decisively taken on the health care issue.”

Carlson began sputtering, and finally broke in with, "But we still don't know where he stands on the public option… And what about Afghanastan? …He's had that plan in front of him for some time now...and now it appears that he is taking his time making a decision."

Whoa there! Stop the presses. A President "taking his time making" life and death decisions about war and peace. That's unheard of. But anyway.

Davis, smiling, replied "I like you too, but you misstate facts." She sputtered again, and he continued, “He (Obama) specifically, in front of Congress, endorsed the public option. Go read the speech.”

Davis is correct. Obama said:

"Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable. (Applause.) And the insurance reforms that I've already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange."

After a short interruption from Carlson, Davis continued, "Secondly, on Afghanistan, he received a recommendation from General McChrystal about 4 weeks ago. He (Obama) called together Republicans and Democrats, he's consulting everyone. If he weren't consulting Republicans and Democrats, you and Michelle, in a non Fair and Balanced presentation, would be criticizing him for not taking his time..."

Now I'm giving you fair warning, put down the coffee, brace yourself (We don't want any spit takes on the monitor). Carlson replied, "I pride myself on being very Fair and Balanced. Thank you very much for throwing me to the wolves."

But then Carlson, apparently dissatisfied with only one bleeding stump, put her other hand in the wolf's jaw by again asking, "Has President Obama been clear on whether or not he supports the public option?" and gave Malkin the last word.

Malkin responded with some well-rehearsed jabs at "Obama's left wing constituencies" and "waffling.” Her final statement can best be summed up by her statement that "Joe Wilson is far closer to the truth than Barack Obama,” to which Davis replied, "Go read the speech." As Malkin attempted to keep talking, Davis said loudly, “Tomorrow morning, guys, read the speech on television. Read the speech!”

In the midst of crosstalk from Malkin and Davis, Carlson had nothing left but to say "I gotta go." But Davis still managed to squeeze in the last word with, "Set the record straight on this 'fair and balanced' network."

Well! Davis looked amused and laughed at the failed logic and facts of both Carlson and Malkin. Quite the performance. Whatever he's drinking I'd like to buy everyone a round. Though take note of Malkin’s face throughout. Is her unresponsiveness a result of too much Botox, or is she just unable to process information that quickly?