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

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Goes Three Rounds Against Fox & Friends Tag Team And Wins

Reported by Aunty Em - October 13, 2011 -

No one has ever accused those Foxy Friends in the morning of being neither “fair” nor “balanced.” In fact, Fox “News” insists the morning show is part of the opinion side of the network [even though the opinions are pretty much indistinguishable from what’s on the “news” side of the network]. Yesterday’s 3-against-1 on the Curvy Couch only proves the rule that the morning show is Happy Talk disguised as GOP propaganda. All three Fox and Friends bravely went up against lone Congressional Representative, and Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. DWS proved more than capable of going several rounds with the Curvy Couch Tag Team and they never laid a glove on her. Each time DWS exhausted one of the Three Stooges, another one popped up. Not only did DWS defeat them on points, she managed to get in some serious blows of her own. While almost 10 minutes long, it’s well worth watching the whole thing. Or, you can read my exciting play-by-play below the fold.

Welcome fight fans to the Main Event. In this corner: The Home Team of Steve “The Whiner” Doocy, Gretchen “Devil Killer” Carlson and Brian “The Brain” Kilmeade. In the other corner, via satellite, is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, whose name is long enough already. At the bell signaling Round One, Wasserman-Schultz looked unafraid as The Gretch shuffled to center ring with a feint: a question seemingly about the GOP debate of the previous evening turned into one demanding DWS answer for President Obama’s job bill. Like any good ninja fighter Wasserman-Schultz used her opponents’ momentum and turned the question back to the debate and onto the topic of why not one GOP candidate talked about a jobs plan to get middle class working again.

Whatever Rule Number One of Fight Club might be, certainly Rule Number Two is: If your opening move doesn’t get your opponent reeling, don’t repeat your opening move. In other words: If it didn’t work the first time, it won’t work the second time. Sadly, Gretch forgot that rule and asked the same question, but in such a way that almost made it feel like a totally different question…almost…not really. [It needs to be seen to be believed.] DWS wasn’t fooled, replying that was exactly what she had been talking about all along, that the GOP and the party’s candidates, have “callous indifference” to the average American which will “come back to bite them,” presumably at the ballot box.

As Gretchen reeled back onto the ropes, she tagged Kilmeade, who opened with “that subject came up last night.” Then he played two small clips from the GOP debate in which the subject—despite Kilemeade’s insistence to the contrary—didn’t come up at all. Newt said something about “zero leadership” and Romney mentioned Geitner. The Brain’s insightful question to the second highest ranking Democrat in the country: “Your reaction to their reaction?”

Wasserman-Schultz easily dodged the non-question and in a quick flourish of blows she worked the topic around to how she can understand why Republicans are not inspired by current frontrunner Mitt Romney, because he believes that corporations are people and is wishy-washy on the issues. Comparing Romney to the president she said, whether you agree or disagree with him, one is always sure where President Obama stands on an issue. And, she went further, “Republicans seem obsessed with making sure that the wealthy, most fortunate Americans and corporate America have the wind at their backs.”

As DWS wrapped her answer, The Brain chuckled in the background [3:02] as he tagged Doocy. The laughter clearly said, “We ain’t buying what you’re selling,” which is fair in any other context than a so-called news interview. These days the Three Stooges are barely even pretending to be fair and balanced anymore. This was made clear from Doocy’s first punch—something he’d never say to a Republican—which began even before The Brain’s chuckling ended: “That, of course, is your perspective sitting on the top of the Democrat party.”

DWS is not fazed at all. She responds with a cheerful, “It is!” She chuckled right back at the Foxy Friends, as a certain surreal quality began to creep into the interview.

“Absolutely,” replies Doocy. “That’s what you’re there for.”

Then Doocy paused. When he did, DWS landed one right on the chin: “And, I think, that’s the perspective of millions of Middle Class Americans, too.”

Doocy had no answer. He was flummoxed that someone was not playing by the Fox Rule Book. “Why doesn’t she fall down?,” he must have been thinking. Watch him stumble and stammer for more than 4 seconds [3:14 -3:18] before he found just the right fancy footwork to bring the battle back to the Jobs Bill—back to question number one (see above). Then without pause for an answer “The Whiner” segued into a fact check story and cited a single thing AP claimed the president said about the Jobs Bill on the stump was wrong. Oddly enough Doocy learned nothing from the last volley. In the end, he didn’t ask a question and another Doocy pause allowed his opponent to lay down a flurry of filibuster fisticuffs.

First DWS said that passing Jobs Act is critical and quickly went on a litany of things that would be made better by the Jobs Bill. She rained blow after blow—comprised of fact after fact—down upon the Foxy Friends. So many facts, in fact, that The Brain felt the need to jump in without being tagged and started badgering her with questions. However, she interrupted him to demand that he ask Eric Cantor some of those questions. Reeled back onto his heels, Kilmeade had nothing left. That’s when he started rattling off pure GOP talking points, without even a pretense at journalism. Luckily we, the viewers are privileged to have a two-shot, so that not a single stupid expression on Kilmeade’s face is lost during the following:

DWS: [5:30] You mean you’re citing Mitch McConnell—

BK: Yes!

DWS: —the guy who at the beginning of this Congress said his number one priority was defeating Barack Obama, not putting people back to work, not getting the economy turned around, not working with Congressional Democrats in order to move the economy forward? I don’t think—

Through all of that The Brain’s mouth opened and closed several times as he tried to figure out what to say. Finally he started defending McConnell by first agreeing with DWS:

BK: Congresswoman, I think you are right, he did say—

DWS: [unintelligible] much credibility there.

BK: —he did say that, the, making Barack Obama a one-term president was his goal.

DWS: Number one priority.

BK: But I think it’s the same way a Democrat—

DWS: Not just his goal.

BK: —would say making George Bush a one-term president would be their goal, but he never said—

DWS: No, no, you see: there’s a difference—

BK: —he’s against putting Americans back to work.

DWS: There’s a difference between saying that you have a goal of defeating the—a political goal of defeating the president. Mitch McConnell was quoted saying his number one priority, his top priority, was to defeat Barack Obama and make sure that the Republicans could take control. If that’s your frame—if that’s your number one goal—then everything you do is driven by that goal. Which is why the Republicans cynically voted down the American Jobs Act, which 75% of the American people support. We support it because we want to make sure the middle class folks get a tax break and all the tax benefits don’t go to the wealthiest Americans. We want to make sure that we keep teachers on the job. We want to make sure that we’re not—

Wasserman-Schultz was scoring so many points that all 3 Foxy Friends started trying to break in simultaneously. No pretext to being part of a tag team now, it was all hands on deck. If you listen closely you can hear Gretch and Steve clearing their throats, looking for a place to interrupt. However, The Brain finally broke through with “We have to go—” As so often happens on Fox “News” it looked like Brian was wrapping things up because DWS was doing far too well.

However, that’s not what happened at all. Gretch wrenched control of the interview and—whaddayah know?—it seemed there was some more time after all. Enough time, in fact, to ask DWS about Occupy Wall Street in order to get her to say she stands with the protesters, only so they can use it against her at a later date. But first: The Gretch had to clear up the record and, like Brian before her, spouted nothing but official GOP/Teabagger spin to counter staunch the wound DWS left. When that task was done Gretch tried to teach the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee something about politics. Too bad there was no two-shot this time because it would have been wonderful to watch Gretchen’s head explode as DWS delivered the coupe de grace when she had the temerity to actually criticize The Curvy Couch itself.

GC: [6:40] And that’s why there’s two political parties because, yannow, Mitch McConnell believes that if he got a Republican in as president that they would create more jobs. I gotta quickly ask you though—

DWS: [laughs & shakes her head] That’s not why people elect leaders though. They elect us to work together.

GC: To create jobs. I think that—trust me, this time around? They’re going to be electing a leader that’s going to create some jobs.

The Gretch doesn’t realize that she’s actually made Wasserman-Schultz’s point for her because she didn’t stop talking and pivoted to this nonsense:

GC: Speakin’ of jobs, I’ve got to get your quick take about the Occupy Wall Street situation because some people have said that the President’s continued discussion about millionaires and billionaires and millionaires and billionaires— [That’s exactly how she said it, as if there are 4 classes of rich people she’s defending instead of just the two classes of rich people that Fox “News” traditionally defends.]

BK: [jumps in helpfully with two words] Corporate jet.

GC: —has created the situation now that we are seeing, which many are deeming Class Warfare with these protesters now coming out against millionaires and billionaires.

DWS: Well, I do think it’s interesting that Fox News, right on that couch, has—gave a righteous embrace, repeatedly, to the Tea Party movement when they first began and, I’ve watched some of your coverage of Occupy Wall Street protesters, who simply are Middle Class folks who are frustrated that the policies of business and the policies of government, particularly under Republicans leading up to before President Obama took office, focused exclusively on keeping the wind at the backs of corporate America. We can understand that frustration. It would be nice if Fox actually embraced the same type of grassroots movement that Occupy Wall Street is that you decided and deemed the Tea Party was.

SD: Well, you know what?

DWS: Would love to see that.

SD: We’ve heard a lot of people on the left try and make comparisons between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Boston, Occupy Washington yesterday, but, yannow, what’s going on in lower Manhattan—you’re absolutely right—there are a lot of people who are frustrated. But yannow, you read the papers, there are a lot of people doing drugs down there, they’re defecating on police cars, they’re having sex, [shouts] THEY’RE GETTING ARRESTED! During Tea Party rallies nobody ever got arrested.”

No, they just brought their guns and spoke about 2nd Amendment solutions.

There’s far more to this smackdown than I could sum up here and I recommend you watch it all. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was the perfect Democratic Fox “News” guest. She refused to accept the way the questions were framed and used every question, and even the pauses, to stay on topic and get her message out. Furthermore, she stayed cheerful and bright, refusing to allow the badgering to get the better of her. After watching her performance I can see why Representative Allen West is afraid of her. In any debate, she’d wipe the floor with him.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is my Representative. While we have never met I attended one of her speeches in the last election.