By Steve Outing
This morning, on NPR’s Morning Edition, host Steve Inskeep interviewed former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani, who has been in Denver to offer an anti-Democratic presence to media gathered there for the Democratic convention. Guiliani made the suggestion that Hillary Clinton is helping Republican candidate John McCain, since in the primary campaign she pointed out how inexperienced Barack Obama is — which of course he agreed with.
Inskeep did the “objective journalist” thing and politely pointed out to Guiliani that he had some strong criticisms of McCain during the Republican primary campaign. Ergo, why should we take Clinton’s (recanted) statements seriously now when Guiliani doesn’t want us to take his previous criticisms of McCain seriously? Guiliani gave the typical slippery-politician response to brush off that past criticism, and Inskeep let it drop.
The interview annoyed me, because Inskeep basically let Guiliani get away with being hypocritical. Inskeep was too polite and deferential, and Guiliani got away with something unfair and unseemly.
Now imagine how Jon Stewart would handle that interview. Guiliani would have come across looking like the hypocrite he is in this instance.
Ah, but in the “real” journalism world, we have to be “fair and balanced” (unless we work for Fox News). Things like this make me sad for my profession. (But I still love you, NPR!)