Sunday, January 08, 2006

Studied Ignorance

No wonder Pumpkinhead Russert and Jon Meacham were attempting to have Howard Dean institutionalized last week. Via Atrios, we learn once more that talking head hosts can't handle the truth:

BLITZER: Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges, among other charges, a Republican lobbyist in Washington, should the Democrat who took money from him give that money to charity or give it back?

DEAN: There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money. And we've looked through all of those FEC reports to make sure that's true.

BLITZER: But through various Abramoff-related organizations and outfits, a bunch of Democrats did take money that presumably originated with Jack Abramoff.

DEAN: That's not true either. There's no evidence for that either. There is no evidence...

Why that's just -- presumably -- crazy talk.

But what does this have to do with the Pumpkinhead? He was reading from the same fax as Wolfie this a.m.:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, received $60,000 from Jack Abramoff, says he won't give it back. Why not?

SEN. SCHUMER: Well, he hasn't received any money from Jack Abramoff. In fact, I talked to Harry Reid.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, tribal clients. I mean...

SEN. SCHUMER: Well, but the tribal clients are sometimes different. I mean, lots of senators, Democrat and Republican in the West, have relationships -- particularly in the West, have relationships with the Indian tribes. And let me say this: The issue here is not simply receiving contributions. The issue is whether services were rendered in return. That's what the Justice Department is mentioning. The Justice Department has mentioned the names of a group of people -- John is certainly right; it's not everybody, but every single person they mentioned was a Republican. Harry Reid's name was not mentioned. He's a person of integrity and I don't think the two are at all the same.

I expect it will be a few days before Blitzer and Russert try that trick again. But they will.

Russert also was particularly gentle with Senator Cornholyo, not asking any follow-ups on Ralph Reed's claim that Cornholyo was in the right front pants pocket of Reed and Abramoff. Wouldn't want to put that one up on the screen, eh, Tim?

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