Rush Limbaugh has often indicated that he has no beef with Wolf Blizter. And I must say that I've generally found Blitzer to be a straight shooter who has rarely-if-ever provided grist for my NewsBusting mill.
All of which makes that much more perplexing Blitzer's bail-out at arguably the key moment last night's debate. The CNN anchor's failure to follow up on Hillary's monosyllabic answer on driver's licenses for illegals, letting her slide with her terse "no," was in my opinion the greatest single act of journalistic malpractice thus far in this campaign season.
Let's set the stage. Wolf had just finished raking Obama over the coals on the issue. As an aside, Obama's failure to have a strong answer readied for a question he was certain to be asked exposed shocking incompetence on his part and that of his staff. In any case, after leaving Obama in a heap of equivocating dust, Wolf went down the line, asking each candidate in turn: "Do you support or oppose driver's licenses for illegal immigrants?"
When it came Hillary's turn, her one-word answer -- "no" -- was over so quickly that CNN didn't even give a close-up of her as she was pronouncing it. But never mind, surely Blitzer would follow up. Except that the next words out of Wolf's mouth were . . . "Congressman Kucinich?" That's right, Wolf moved on, letting Hillary walk with absolutely no follow-up whatsoever.
How could Blitzer not have asked the question of the night: how Hillary could proclaim herself opposed to driver's licenses for illegals after having called it a good idea? How could she be against it after being for it, then against it, then for it?
For that matter, how could Wolf not have put this question to Hillary: "is it true, as the leading Albany-based journalist has publicly stated, that your campaign pressured Governor Spitzer to drop his licenses-for-illegals proposal?"
Before the debate, Blitzer denied reports that he had been warned by the Clinton campaign to go easy on her. But in light of Wolf's utter abdication of his journalistic duty on the question of the night, you have to wonder.
Note: Michelle Malkin gave Blitzer a 'D': "You’re no Tim Russert, Wolf."