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Greta Van Susteren Repeatedly Prods Republican Senator Grassley To Be More Antagonistic Toward Department Of Justice

Reported by Ellen - September 28, 2011 -

As part of her ongoing coverage of the Fast and Furious scandal Monday night (9/26/11), “liberal” Greta Van Susteren hosted Republican Senator Charles Grassley for the latest. But Grassley was too polite in his comments about the Department of Justice for Van Susteren and she repeatedly prodded him to be more antagonistic.

At about 2:50 in the video below, Grassley told Van Susteren that the Justice Department had been “misleading” in its answers to him. Van Susteren responded, “You say 'misleading.' I mean, is that just a polite way to say that they’re lying?” She went on to make her case and repeat her prod for Grassley. “Is that a misleading statement by the Justice Department lawyer or is that a lie?” She added as an afterthought, “Or is that the truth.”

Grassley took the hint. “That was a lie.”

If Van Susteren ever found reason to challenge a Republican, I’d find her concern a little more legitimate. But this is the woman who failed to offer more than a token challenge to Donald Trump’s bogus birther accusations and continued to treat him as presidential material even after they were blown out of the water (again). This is also the "liberal" who defended Rick Perry’s thinly-veiled threat against Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as “a touch of Texas swagger” and then leapt to his defense when Politico questioned his gravitas. Given her predilections, one can’t help but note how conveniently her interests in this matter match the Fox News witch hunt against Attorney General Eric Holder.

Van Susteren later specifically prodded Grassley into attacking Holder. “As I look through these letters, it looks like it goes right up the chain and I’m curious. Two things. One is, how high up in the Justice Department does this go? And number two, is the Justice Department really cooperating with you? When I see this letter from this assistant attorney general and you’re telling me lies, I don’t see that as cooperation.”

Then, as the interview neared an end, Van Susteren tried again. “Tell me, do you consider this just bureaucracy, red tape, or is it incompetence or is there something sinister going on at Justice?”

Grassley got the message again. “There’s something sinister going on,” he said.

Despite having said there were only 30 seconds left when she asked her previous question, Van Susteren worked in yet another prod question: "How high are you suspicious this went up to within Justice?”

Sure enough, Grassley said it “wouldn’t surprise” him if it went to the top and even to the White House.

With that final jab at the Obama administration, Van Susteren thanked Grassley and ended the interview.

To be sure, the Fast and Furious scandal is worth investigating. But as Media Matters noted, right-wing media are using it to promote a variety of baseless conspiracy theories. Greta Van Susteren’s questions suggest she and Fox News are more interested in using it as their latest weapon against Attorney General Holder.

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