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Posted by on May 22, 2009 in Politics | 22 comments

The Curious Case of Liz Cheney

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one, because I’d begun to worry that the 2 to 3 Knob Creek to Folgers breakfast mixture was taking an early toll on me. Apparently it was not just my imagination, and as Steve Benen points out, Liz Cheney has been on virtually every television channel in the nation twenty-four hours per day for the last two weeks. I know that I personally caught her on CNN, Fox, ABC and MSNBC myself. And, as Benen points out, her visit to Morning Joe amounted to more than a guest interview.

That’s 12 appearances, in nine and a half days, spanning four networks. (On today’s “Morning Joe,” Liz Cheney was on for an entire hour — effectively becoming a co-host of the program.) And this is just television, and doesn’t include Liz Cheney’s interviews on radio or with print media.

The first thing to note here is that there is simply no valid criticism to be leveled at Liz Cheney for making these appearances. Like any other American who is interested in politics, she’s entitled to get out there on the soapbox and air her views with whoever will have her. And who doesn’t like defending their dad?

No, the real question here is what the networks are thinking, trotting out the daughter of a former VP this often and in such high profile appearances? After all, much like Hillary Clinton in 2000, what does she really have by way of credentials aside from her last name? Really not much more than John McCain’s daughter, aside from one position which she only got by virtue of her last name anyway. Yet both of them are being foisted off on the media consuming public like it was an exclusive interview with the Ghost of Elvis.

The major issue I have with Liz is her manners (or lack thereof) in the interview chair. Her appearance on Morning Joe, for example, was a classic example of the other spots she has done. A question is asked and Liz is given virtually forever to repeat the talking points issued by her father. Then a countering argument is asked for from another speaker. They manage to get three – or at most five – words out of their mouth and Liz jumps in, shouts them down, and begins parroting the same points over and over again. And the hosts pretty much uniformly fail to challenge her on her lack of understanding of debate. It’s like the worst of the abortion debates you’ve ever seen where the speakers just shout over and over, seeming to feel that their view will carry the day if only they can stop the other side from being heard at all.

As an aside to my Republican friends, I hear plenty of complaints about the young McCain daughter hitting the media circuits, but not so much about Liz eating up the air time.

What’s up, MSM folks? How is this a hot get for the morning circuit?

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