sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

At the 3p hour, I hit the FM band on my car radio and listen to Fresh Air. On the whole I enjoy the interviews, but there is no doubt Terry Gross gives conservatives a harder time than liberals.

The last two shows provide a perfect case study. Yesterday it was Bill Maher, admittedly a funny guy but most definitely liberal, no matter how much he pretends to straddle the fence. Gross fawned all over him, acting as if every word he said was the funniest thing she'd heard, even as Maher was discussing serious political issues.

Today it was Lynne Cheney, admittedly not a comedian. The interview went well at first, as Gross asked about Cheney's new children's book "When Washington Crossed the Delaware" as well as her views on the feminist movement, both then and now, as an accomplished conservative woman.

After politely saying she would ask no questions about her lesbian daughter Mary, Gross proceded to press Cheney on issues relating to homosexuality, repeatedly suggesting that Cheney's position as the vice president's wife could affect public policy on the issue.

Cheney said in no uncertain terms that her position could not and would not affect public policy on the issue and, furthermore, she did not support a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Not satisfied, Gross then asked Cheney about a novel she'd written several years in which one of the characters was a lesbian. Cheney set her straight, saying the character was not a lesbian, forcing Gross to admit she had never read the novel. "Fresh Air" became "Dead Air."

I'm not suggesting Gross throw Cheney softballs because of her position as "second lady." But she clearly had an agenda going into the interview and was not going to stop until she had pinned her subject in a corner. Unfortunately for Gross, she underestimated her subject.


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