Wallace was certainly surprised -- stunned would better describe it -- by Clinton's intensity. When asked to explain it later, Wallace said he read the transcripts of Clinton's other media appearances, including CNN's "Larry King Live," NBC's "Meet the Press," and Fox's own "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren." He was "astonished" that none of these bothered to raise the question of Clinton's presidential performance on terrorism, even in the wake of all the furor Team Clinton raised trying to kill off ABC's docudrama "Path to 9/11." That list doesn't include Clinton shoe-shiners like Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" or MSNBC's resident Chihuahua, Keith Olbermann.
You can't really be astonished by Larry King, whose usual tough question would be along the lines of "Jif or Skippy, Mr. President?" I exaggerate, but not by much. Here's an actual Larry King question to Clinton from last week: "Now, the purpose of your initiative overall is to make the world a better place, right? ... Is it a better place?" You can't be that astonished by Greta Van Susteren, who's the designated puffball interviewer of both Clintons for Fox. (And that's another nail in the coffin of that alleged Murdoch conspiracy.)
The real disappointment on this list is Russert, the man who built a reputation for grilling politicians with long text boxes of challenging information. But for Clinton, Russert delivered a Larry King performance. His actual first questions: "The second year of the Clinton Global Initiative. What did you achieve this year? ... Do people keep their commitments?" Then he went on to other toughies. Is Dick Cheney wrong on Iraq? And when Hillary runs, are you ready for the nasty attacks on her?
The second annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative was more proof that Clinton walks around with the major media in his jacket pocket. Look no further than the long list of so-called "featured attendees" who associated themselves with the event. Many of them were moderators of panel discussions -- not only predictable names like George Stephanopoulos, but Tom Brokaw, Judy Woodruff, Newsweek international editor Fareed Zakaria, CNN anchors Zain Verjee and Sanjay Gupta, and NPR anchor Michele Norris. Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour were also on the list of supportive media attendees.
It's easy to see from this display that Clinton is a pampered peacock, a prima donna who expects the media elite to love him, and explodes like a spoiled child when anyone dares challenge him. He only expects a challenge from the radical right-wingers at Fox. That's what he calls anyone who would ruffle a fine feather of his glorious legacy-building project.