For the most part, watching Sunday morning talk shows on the major networks is mostly an exercise in “learning what the talking points are.” This paradigm exists because these shows have to book politicians to interview in order to survive and put a show on the air, and if the hosts actually do their jobs and ask tough questions they risk alienating an entire political party.
If they anger the Republicans too much, can a show’s producer then count on getting guests booked from that party the next week? So what you wind-up having is mostly shows where statements from all sides go largely unchallenged by the moderators, feeding right into the prepared talking points.
However, sometimes a journalist wakes up on the right side of the bed and decides to ask the tough questions. Savannah Guthrie was filling in as the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” for David Gregory and much to our surprise, she put the screws to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
Drilling down into the muck, Guthrie asked Paul if he himself took any personal responsibility for the tone of the rhetoric, especially after being caught with a hot mic telling fellow Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell that he felt they were going to “win this,” showing Paul to be every bit as cynical a politician as you expected.
The real headline moment came when Guthrie flatly asked Senator Paul, “Do all of you have any idea how totally disgusted American people are with these antics?” She then cited several polls that show even those who oppose the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) don’t agree with shutting down the government in an attempt to defund it.
Of course Paul couldn’t even come within the same ballpark of a legitimate answer, proving that even when journalists do their jobs, politicians will probably just do theirs and we may not get anything substantive. But we do get to watch Rand Paul stammer from the full-frontal assault of logical and reasonable questions about his party’s political jihad on Obamacare.
Watch the full interview below: