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February 06, 2004
CALL ME A CYNICAL OPTIMIST
I'm going against the grain from most people who don't like Tim Russert and say, I think he's goign to hit the president hard.
He will be defferential early on but as the interview goes along he'll quickly realize that none of his questions are actually getting any kind of meaningful answers and realize he's looking like a roboton pudwhacker unless. So he'll speak of, if only to entertain himself.
My slightly more reasoned explanation is, he's really got notihng t lose by beign hard on the president. He'll get a lot more credibility - or obtain back that which he once had - this way.
If he kowtows, how really does he benefit? He becomes the Leno of politics - gets the big names on his show more often and the show gets a liitle more press. But if nothing ever actually happens on his show it remains boring and no one is going to be excited to tune in (It works with fluff/Leno but not politics, where viewers / pundits generally expect something to happen.)
Remember I was one of the few last March who said Tim Russert did Howard Dean a favor so early on by hitting him hard (even though many of the questions were weak in sound evidentary process).
I think Russert is very inconsistent and I think he works with whatever information he's got. If there's more bad press anout a person - he hits them harder. Usually. Of course, he was also sickeningly deferential to Rumsfeld last year - though he might have just been scared of him.