Tuesday, April 24, 2007


A Difference of Opinion

The other day my Conservative friend H sent me an e-mail which contained the following:
I have TiVo and I recorded Gonzales's hearing which I watched this morning at breakfast. About the time it was over Jeanne brought me the LA Times. So I had the chance to see it and then read about it. I thought the AG did OK but that was not how the Times article came out.
I wrote H an e-mail in which I commented that he and I saw things very differently. In fact, I wonder whether we saw or heard the same event. I also read the Los Angeles Times. The assessment of Gonzales’s performance in the Times agreed with what I had heard on radio and later seen on TV.

It makes me wonder. Do Conservatives, like my friend H, live in a different universe? Is their mode of thinking so different from mine that we could see the same event and yet have such different conclusions? Am I demented or are they?

I can think of one possible, but extremely unlikely, explanation that preserves sanity for both H and myself: H watched the hearings on Fox News. I’ve rarely watched Fox News. It’s on cable, which I do not have at home. Occasionally at the gym I see a bit of Fox News on the TV sets that are placed in the exercise rooms. I was not in the gym the day Arlen Specter, Pat Leahy, Edward Kennedy, Lindsey Graham, and others skewered Alberto Gonzales and suggested that he would be doing the Department of Justice and the President a big favor if he would simply resign and go away. I don’t know how even Fox News could have slanted the coverage of the hearings in such a way that one could think that “…the AG did OK….”

In my e-mail to H I stated that Gonzales was in an impossible predicament. The question was, why were eight capable US Attorneys sacked and how much did you have to do with firing them? He couldn’t give answers to any part of the question. He couldn’t invoke the Fifth Amendment. All he could do was to insist that he couldn’t remember. The firings were not illegal; the President has the right to fire them at will. The question was why, not was it legal. In press conferences Mr. Gonzales had given several different and conflicting explanations of the firing. Both Democratic and Republican Senators sensed that Mr. Gonzales was hiding something; something so embarrassing to the President that Mr. Gonzales would rather play the fool than tell the truth. As far as I could tell from what I heard of the hearings, Mr. Gonzales’s only friend and defender among the Senators was Orrin Hatch.

I noted that after the hearings the left-leaning blogs were full of comments about Alberto Gonzales and explanations for his behavior in the Senate hearings. The right wing blogs (or at least the one I looked at) were silent about Gonzales. They were full of criticism of NBC television for airing the material that had been mailed to them by the Virginia Tech assassin.

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