Although he's not as biting or as relevant as Jon Stewart, I think Tim Russert is a criminally underrated journalist and a top-notch (for the most part) interviewer.
This past Sunday's "Meet The Press" (watch the entire show at this link) was an exclusive interview with John McCain and to me, McCain just looked defeated. Check out this video of him with Jon Stewart a few weeks ago:
It's like he doesn't even believe the words that are coming out of his mouth! The same trend continued on today's "Meet The Press:"
His demeanor was extremely tired and weary, and he looked like he had given one interview too many.
The most telling part of the broadcast was when Russert cleverly, and subversively, said "Let me show you the kinds of things that are often said when soldiers are overseas...like this."
He then proceeded to quote an unnamed politician:
There's no reason for the United States to remain. The American people want them home. I believe a majority of Congress wants them home. Our continued military presence allows another situation to arise, which could lead to the wounding, killing, or capture of American fighting men and women. We should do all in our power to avoid that. What should be the criteria is our immediate, orderly withdrawl...And if we do not do that and other Americans die...then I would say the responsibilities for that lie with the Congress who did not exercise their authority under the Constitution...For us to get into nation-building, law and order, et cetera, I think, is a tragic and terrible mistake."You hear those kinds of words, right?" Tim Russert said, and as he was about to tell McCain who the mystery politician was, McCain cut in:
Sure I do, Americans are frustrated and saddened by the enormous sacrifice we've made and a gross mismanagement of the war. My response to that statement is...'What happens after we leave?'...We could have a situation in the region that could, in the long run, entail far greater casualties...far greater threats to our national security than trying to give this an opportunity to succeed. That's what my response to that heartfelt statement is.After which Tim Russert said, "Well, those are YOUR words, from 1993 about Somalia." McCain nodded, "Mm-hmm", but I could swear he didn't even know that it was himself he was basically contradicting...
Overall, a great interview - definitely watch it, and decide for yourself how John McCain did under the harsh glare of the NBC spotlights.
[Update: I read on the Digg comments board that Digg User Dingoboy submitted the video of the part of the interview in question. I'm posting it up here for your convenience, but Dingoboy, if you'd like me to take it down, please let me know and I'll do so.
(From Youtube user dingoboy66)
Decide for yourself.]