Are you a Republican or conservative? Want to get invited on a morning MSM show? No problem! Just be prepared to do one thing - criticize the Bush administration.
We've seen the pattern in recent weeks at the Today show. First there was Bill Kristol, fiercely attacking the Miers nomination. Yesterday, GOP congressman-turned-MSNBC-host Joe Scarborough upped the ante, accusing VP Cheney of a "lie."
And this morning brought an appearance by conservative uber-celebrity Ann Coulter.
The first hint that a warm reception was planned for Ann was the fact that Today chose Matt Lauer to interview her, rather than Katie Couric with whom Ann had famously clashed on air after having described Couric as an "affable Eva Braun."
What earned Ann her invite? Matt gave it away when he cited to Ann her recent comment "in which you compared the Bush White House with the Nixon White House."
Bingo! Any conservative willing to invoke the Nixon White House in discussing W is welcome on Today!
Other interesting tidbits from the interview:
When Ann predicted that Republicans wouldn't respond to Plame-gate indictments by attacking Fitzgerald, Matt forcefully replied: "He's pretty hard to attack right now."
Shot back Ann: "Ken Starr was hard to attack! He was a Boy Scout."
Ann also predicted that indictments would make a Miers withdrawal more likely since "no one would notice."
Responding to Lauer's observation about W's myriad problems and sagging polls, Ann observed: "he's made one mistake - Harriet Miers. He just has to eliminate that mistake and everything will be fine."
Conclusion: if the price of making Ann Coulter a frequent MSM guest is a little criticism of the Bush administration, many would call it a bargain.
Finkelstein has degrees from Cornell, SUNY Buffalo and Harvard. He lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts "Right Angle," a local political talk TV show. He is currently seeking a publisher for his anti-terrorism thriller, "Albergue Olimpico."