Bloggers on the former president's blowup.

Bloggers on the former president's blowup.

Bloggers on the former president's blowup.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Sept. 25 2006 5:46 PM

Clinton vs. Fox

Bloggers are jawing about former President Clinton's interview on Fox News Sunday, pondering a report that claims the invasion of Iraq has created more terrorists, and yawning at reports that Osama Bin Laden may have been done in by typhoid.

Clinton vs. Fox: In an interview on Fox News Sunday, an argumentative Bill Clinton accused interviewer Chris Wallace of a "conservative hit job" after a series of questions about Clinton's failure to nab Osama Bin Laden. After Wallace asked, "Why didn't you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?" Clinton complained about ABC's The Path to 9/11 and talked about Somalia. To Wallace's follow up—"Do you think you did enough, sir?"—Clinton responded: "[A]t least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now."*

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In Salon's War Room, lawyer and author Glenn Greenwald applauds Clinton's performance: "The extent to which blatantly false propaganda can be casually disseminated in our political dialogue is genuinely jarring. … That is why Clinton's aggressive responses to Wallace were so welcome -- it is tragically rare to see anyone forcefully attacking the false propaganda that is the staple of our political debates," he writes. Liberal Tristero at Digby's Hullabaloo is of the same mind: "Clinton showed the kind of brilliance and anger towards the rightwing that we can only hope all politicians opposed to Bushism and modern Republicanism will show in the next month or so," he writes.

Dubbing the interview a "fascinating TV moment," the Huffington Post's Eat the Press loved Clinton's directness: "The most amazing part was seeing him frankly articulate the subtext that is so often never spoken." The blog also found the popular edited clip circulating on the Internet to be a "nice little conservative clip job" for omitting key parts of the interview. (Watch the clip on YouTube here.)

Growing increasingly irritated, Clinton lashed out at Wallace personally: "And you've got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever," he said. Tabloid Baby provides photographic evidence that Wallace was not smirking. "Sorry, Bill, but he wasn't smirking. That's Chris Wallace's natural expression." Grayson, the Atlanta-based producer at the Spacey Gracey Review, is pleased as punch by Clinton's treatment of Wallace: "What a little toady Wallace is. Graffitti in an ABC News stairwell, and this is true, once said, 'Chris Wallace smiled here.' That still makes me chortle," she writes.

Moderate Ann Althouse was not amused by Clinton's jab at Wallace's visage: "I hadn't been planning to think about Richard Nixon, but I got a Nixon vibe from this. He lets it show that he thinks about how his enemies are persecuting him," she sighs.

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Examining Clinton's "bloviations" on Fox News, Scott at conservative Power Line was particularly stunned by the "incredibly low ratio of facts to whoppers." At Real Clear Politics, Ronald A. Cass, the dean emeritus of the Boston University law school, derides Clinton for his "bevy of startlingly anti-factual remarks," before re-examining what defined Clinton's presidency: "Talk and compromise … were the hallmarks of the Clinton Administration, reflecting the person at the top. Nothing Clinton says now can change that, though he still evinces conviction that he can talk us into anything," he asserts.

Conservative Noel Sheppard, writing at American Thinker, could not imagine the current president acting so boorishly: "Just imagine President Bush speaking this way to a member of the media when he is being grilled either during a press conference, or in the middle of any of his interviews since he became president."

Read more about Clinton on Fox. Fishbowl DC interviewed host Chris Wallace after the debacle.

Intelligent estimate:  The Iraq war has created, not eradicated, terrorists, according to the April 2006 still-classified National Intelligence Estimate, the details of which were leaked in the press over the weekend.

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At Musings of a (Fairly) Young Contrarian, freelance journalist Brian  finds  the report states the obvious: "For people with a modicum of common sense and a rudimentary understanding of world (not just US) history, this was blindingly self-evident before the aggression was launched." Not only are there more terrorists now, liberal Bruce McDonald of Canuck Attitude insists that they have better real estate: "[N]ow they have a whole new playground in a better location."

Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters maintains that Islamic radicalism has been growing since the Soviet pullout in Afghanistan and says we'd have been better off nabbing Saddam in 1991: "It does mean that we should have gone all the way to Baghdad then and there, removing Saddam and doing what we're doing now twelve years earlier. We could have worked with a less-radicalized Shi'ite majority and an Iraqi population more inclined to trust American resolve."

Artist Mickey Brady is crying foul at the media for disclosing classified information at Dancing in Tongues. "Rush Limbaugh calls it the drive-by media, and for good reason: its overall effect, one story at a time, one issue at a time, is to contribute to the growing hatred of America abroad, to undermine the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to weaken the office of the presidency," he opines.

Read more about the National Intelligence Estimate.

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Osama Bin Dead?  Osama Bin Laden remains alive and at large, the CIA director holds, refuting some French media reports from the weekend that he had died of typhoid.

Fed up with repeated rumors of Bin Laden's death, bloggers are unmoved. Philadelphia conservative Blonde Sagacity is blissfully indifferent to the news. "I don't care if he's dead or not if it wasn't by the hands of one of our solider or marines," she writes.

"To lose Bin Laden now, especially to 'typhoid fever', actually hurts the Bush administration because it denies them the glorious narrative of having captured or eliminated their arch nemesis," opines Kevin, the animator at Beyond the Punchline.

Read more about Bin Laden.

Correction, Sept. 26: The article originally misquoted the transcript from Chris Wallace's interview with Bill Clinton on Fox News Sunday. (Return to the corrected sentence.)