Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik on the 60 Minutes Obama Interview:
At the end of last night’s conversation, the president decided to play media critic again and use 24-hour cable news channels as the foil for making himself look like the would-be champion of civility. Kroft set the president up on this theme, and then let him run straight into the end zone untouched – where the interview ended. Instead of ending the interview there with big smiles between the two as “60 Minutes” did, I would suggest that perhaps Kroft should have respectfully asked the president if he thought using the adverb “stupidly” at a press conference to describe the behavior of the Cambridge (Mass.) police officer who took Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. into custody was a good exampleof civility.
Speaking of running into the end zone untouched, his local Baltimore Ravens football team, despite dominating the still rather horrific Kansas City Chiefs, let them into the end zone 3 times: Once on a blocked punt. Once after a long pick return by former first round pick and current backup Derrick Johnson set them up at the two, and once after some nice passes by K.C QB Brodie Croyle, who shockingly managed to get through the entire game without being injured. This resulted in a rather close game until the end, despite the Baltimore team’s otherwise lopsided domination of the Chiefs.
(The Ravens had an interesting ”running into the end zone” situation themselves. With the game over, if Baltimore on 4th down elects to kick a field goal from inside the one yard line with 36 seconds remaining (thereby putting them up by two scores) Baltimore rather uncivilily opted to go for the touchdown on 4th down. Willis McGahee did “run it in.” But if they got stopped, Kansas City would still have had a shot at the game, which, with the field goal, they would not have. Granted, K.C. would have had around 34 seconds, and they had a long way to go. But still, why increase the other teams chances of pulling it out, when the game is all but over?)
Perhaps it is the many interesting end zone forays in this game that Zarowik could have been writing of, rather than of Kroft allowing the President to go “untouched” into the “end zone” by allowing him to make a well needed point about political discourse and civility without debating the the President about his own civility, because the President once earlier this summer, in a foolish (or, um, uh, err, “stupid”) political move, had called an action stupid, which in fact was stupid.
(Of course, Mr. Uncivility himself, then invited this same police officer, who had acted in a manner which raises significant questions about judgment, to the White House “for a beer.” Prompting us to wonder who else might be invited.)