Tim Russert should be ashamed

I’m trying, and failing, to understand why Meet the Press gave an indicted former member of Congress, a corrupt politician who resigned in disgrace, a forum upon which to espouse hate and division Sunday as President George W. Bush’s illegal and immoral Iraq war enters its fifth year.

Is Tim Russert so desperate for controversy that he has to book Tom DeLay, easily one of the most criminal political hacks in Washington, on the top-rated Sunday news talk show and let him call war protestors unpatriotic and claim that anyone who wants to end the Iraq war is "aiding and abetting the enemy?"

DeLay is political vermin, one step away from a jail cell for influence peddling and taking bribes and, yet, there he was on Meet the Press being treated with deference by lap-dog Russert.

Instead of pretending to any standard of journalism or decency, Russert let DeLay expound on why he thinks those who protest war are not patriots.

Said DeLay:

Well, I–it, it is my opinion that when you go to war, we ought to all come together. You can debate going to war, that’s a legitimate debate. But once you have our soldiers and our, our young people dying on the battlefield, we should come together, and we shouldn’t have what we had yesterday on the Mall of, of, of–in Washington, D.C. When the–those are not, in my mind–my opinion, patriots that are talking about impeaching the commander in chief.

When asked if he thought Congressional attempts to set a withdrawal date for getting the hell out of Iraq fell into the same category, DeLay replied:

I think it’s aiding and abetting the enemy. When you tell the enemy what your strategy is, that’s aiding and abetting the enemy because they can use that strategy to come back and harm your soldiers.

Russert, who some feel is a strong interviewer, let DeLay walk all over him. When he tried to question DeLay on his praise of failed former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, DeLay shot back:

The premise of your question is always put forward without the rest of the story. And maybe we ought to have Paul Harvey here to, to talk about the rest of the story.

Russert said nothing and didn’t’ push to get an answer to his question. Instead, he went to another guest.

It’s bad enough that corrupt slime like Tom DeLay remained in Congress as long as he did. It’s worse that after his many crimes finally caught up with him and he was forced to resign by his own Republican colleagues he is then given a podium on a national news show to continue his hate-filled diatribes.
His claim that "we ought to all come together" is political hypocrisy of the worst kind. In Congress, DeLay thrived on dividing and conquering. He refused to cooperate and worked to destroy any attempts at coalition buildings.

Tom DeLay is a crook. He was so corrupt that even the past Republican leadership of Congress, itself the most corrupt in modern times, could no longer tolerate his presence.

Tim Russert is not a journalist. He’s a political hack, a non-practicing lawyer who worked for New York Senator Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Crooks belong in jail, not on television.Political hacks belong in the dustbin of history. Tim Russert owes his viewers an apology for giving a crook a national forum.  Then he owes journalism the decency to resign and let someone with real credentials take over Meet the Press.

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