GMA's Elizabeth Vargas Pushes James Carville to Attack GOP

December 29th, 2009 1:01 PM
On Tuesday's edition of Good Morning America, Elizabeth Vargas was joined by former Bush pollster Matt Dowd and Democrat strategist James Carville.  Astonishing though it may seem, Carville was not the left-most member of the panel.

Carville and Dowd were there to provide commentary on the Obama administration's response to the attempted Undi-Bomber attack.  Dowd agreed with Carville's assessment of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's response - and then, after a bit more discussion, the conversation turned to the political ramifications:
VARGAS: We already have one Republican congressman from Michigan, who is running for Governor of that state, who is saying, trying to make hay out of this. Issued a statement, a fund-raising statement yesterday saying, "it is insulting the Obama administration would claim the system worked. These are the same weak-kneed liberals," he writes, "that tried to bring Guantanamo Bay terrorists to Michigan." Any surprise that members of the opposite party are looking to make hay on this?

CARVILLE: No. And I think this is the same gentleman, people need to know, that held a press conference and said we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I think this man has some sort of intellectual challenges. And I think everyone knows that. And it's kind of odd that you would put it in a fund-raising letter. But I think it is very - I think it's unfortunate what the director of Homeland Security said. And she so much acknowledged that. But I do think that it's very fair to say how was this on a no-fly list? How was he flying? And, also, how do we stop people who have plastics sewn into their underwear? I want to answer that myself.

VARGAS: We all do. James Carville, Matt Dowd, thanks so much for being here this morning.
First of all, by identifying Congressman Pete Hoekstra by party and not by name, Vargas smeared the entire Republican party with an accusation of making political hay on a would-be terrorist attack.  Vargas did not relay the response by the other Republican in the primary race, Rick Snyder:
"It is extremely disappointing that the Congressman would use a potentially tragic incident to raise money for his political campaign. In these troubling times, words can't describe how sad it is to see an attempt to politically capitalize on a failed terrorist attack just three days after it happened," said Suski. "Unfortunately, Congressman Hoekstra's Washington style of politics as usual isn't the answer to our lack of leadership in Lansing.
And this is to say nothing of the double absurdity of asking James Carville for an objective response to an already-biased question.  Carville had remained nearly politically neutral for the entirety of the interview – until Vargas pushed him to attack the GOP via an un-named Hoekstra proxy.

Finally, note the timing of the question: It was the very last question in the interview.  This was set up, delivered, and timed to eliminate the possibility of a response from Matt Dowd.

On some level, one almost has to admire the boldness of the bias - they have the fig-leaf of a Republican presence to hide behind, but the rest is rather overt.  When a news-show host is to the left of James Carville, the bias is difficult to miss.