Wednesday, February 11
Spencer Ackerman, The New Republic Online, Feb 9, 2004

There are only so many follow-up questions a journalist can ask in a one-hour interview. Aware of his time restrictions, Tim Russert decided to ask President Bush as few of them as possible. Viewers who tuned in to yesterday's Oval Office edition of NBC's "Meet the Press" watched Russert erratically vary the heat on his grilling of the president,

cranking the flame up highest when querying Bush about the characterological controversy of the moment--Bush's apparent absence from a year of his Air National Guard duty--but switching to a low sizzle when discussing the foreign country we're occupying, Iraq.

Russert certainly spent time soliciting Bush's comments about the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In the wake of U.S. weapons hunter David Kay's revelation to Congress late last month that Iraq most likely possessed no WMD since the 1990s, it would be impossible to ignore the combination of intelligence failures and administration misrepresentations that surrounded the most audacious U.S. foreign policy gamble in 40 years. But when it came to the aftermath--or, more precisely, the ultimate outcome--of the war, Russert seemed content to accept every syllable that came from the president's mouth, no matter how cavalier or absurd. [...more]
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