Sunday, September 24, 2006


I just caught Katie Couric’s interview on 60 Minutes with Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. And what I can say? A lot.

I will begin with the reality. There’s no question: Condi’s one smart woman, and you’ve got to give her credit, like her or leave her. As an African-American woman, she never ceases to amaze me how the hell she navigates the GOP stratosphere, especially with the likes of Five Deferment Dick and Lunatic Rummy dwelling in the celestial realm. Especially since a large part of her party put up a stink in the House with renewing the Voting Rights Act in the spring. Especially since much of the right-wing talk radio echo chamber resounds with openly racist comments daily. And there’s no question that she along with likes of General Colin Powell are the GOP success stories of individuals who did not come from the best backgrounds and who truly pulled themselves up from their “bootstraps.”

Now let’s move to the deception. Did Dr. Rice have the right to talk with Couric about her childhood? Absolutely. Did Dr. Rice have the right to talk with Couric about the segregationist South during her childhood in Alabama? Absolutely. Did Dr. Rice have the right to comment on racism and its horrors? Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. Should Dr. Rice have equated the racist-motivated bombings in the South in the 1960s with the “war on terror,” against which she and the Bush administration have waged real war, against which she and the Bush administration propagandize on a daily basis, against which she, George W. Bush, and the Republic Party use as a campaign tool? Probably not. But it worked; it was convincing; and as Frank Rich has noted in his new stunning book, it’s another narrative strand of The Greatest Story Ever Told. And how clever of them to air this effort on the season premiere of 60 Minutes.

Couric did her best. She was as pointed as she could be. But this interview was with a high-profile politician; in such cases all questions, editing, and sequencing were probably checked by Condi’s people ahead of time. In a few instances, like when Couric asked Dr. Rice about whether or not—wait minute, the story shifted a bit—she believed in Bush’s plan of spreading democracy in the Middle East, Couric became a little tough; but Couric was no where near as tough as Senator Barbara Boxer’s questioning of Condi during her confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January ’05. Couric's pseudo moments of toughness were far and few between. The point is: Couric wasn’t certainly as tough as she should’ve been and it seemed that she may have been muzzled. That's because she seemed to be mesmerized by the ever brilliant Lady of Mass Deception, or at least Couric was told to look as if she were.

Condi was clearly allowed to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes in this interview. From claiming that she and the administration didn’t know about the scanty intelligence, pre-Invasion to Iraq to the claim that she “resents” it when people think that she—the “mushroom cloud” fear-mongerer—and the administration misled the country, Condi just made it all look as controlled and appealing as the gorgeous clothes she was wearing. Both the red and white dress suits looked great; you go, girl! My friends from Stanford tell me she’s one hell of a shopper. But let’s not forget, though, that although she’s brilliant and she has quite an inspiring life story, she’s one of the team. She was one of the team when the neo-conservative establishment was mobilizing in the late 90s to put together a foreign policy strategy for their established candidate, Chimpy Bush; she’s been part of the team and her dividends have paid off as she was (it’s uncertain if she still is) on the board of directors at Exxon Mobile; she was part of the team when she sold the war to the American people; and she’s been part of the team that has shifted the focus away from the now-proven-false justification of weapons of mass destruction to “freedom’s on the march”—nation building and “spreading” investment opportunities—better known as capitalism.

I don’t have a problem with Condi personally, and I unequivocally believe that she’s very good at her job: deceiving. Perhaps this is why talk show personality Randi Rhodes claims that every time Condi lies, that gap between her teeth widens ever so more. Well, Randi, it seems to me that those shiny fangs have been capped, and for good reason.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Let's talk about...

I think Condi is good for W.'s image problem. Today, the Yahoo home page is concerned with "Does Condi date?" I mean, could you picture the same type of response for Rummy or Darth Cheney after a 60 minutes interview? Both Couric and Condi are in the current business of reshaping their images (Couric for herself and Condi for her boss). And what better opportunity than a girls chat (love the picture Sean) when we can hear about the personal life of the Secretary of State? Why choose Condi? Look around... she's the only marketable member of his team. The piano playing girl next door... whatever...