TM: I don't think the media should be immune from criticism. I think the elected leader of the United States has his or her hands full, and plenty of things for the elected leader of the United States to do. I think media criticism is a great thing. I think what you do is a great thing. I do not think it's a great thing for the president's spokesperson to begin instructing the media how to go about its business.
HH: He did not. Terry, he did not. That's trying to play a victim card here. You're not the victim. The victim's the American military. The victims are the dead people in Afghanistan.
HH: The victims are the American people generally.
TM: Agreed. I'm trying...what I'm trying to do is establish a principle here, and let me read you the transcript. We would encourage Newsweek to do all they can to help repair the damage. Pointing out what the policies and practices of the United States military are. And today, the president's spokesman said Newsweek should go on Al Jazeera, and other Arab television networks.
HH: Yes, they should. And there's nothing wrong...
TM: As a matter of fact, I agree with you.
HH: I've been a broadcaster for fifteen years. I know demagoguery when I hear it. That's not.
TM: But you practice it.
HH: I do not practice it. I practice good journalism, which is to represent I'm no better than any other American citizen. As a journalist, I don't have...
TM: You're no better than any other American citizen?
HH: Absolutely not. And if the president wants to criticize me, if a Democrat...for example, when Bill Clinton went after Rush Limbaugh, I didn't mind that at all. That's just fine. Rush got a great deal of attention out of it, and the criticism falls where it may. I don't understand...
TM: Well, I defend Rush Limbaugh as well from that.
TM: I completely, as I said at the top of this conversation, I agree completely with the substance of what Scott said. I think Newsweek has an obligation to go beyond it's retraction, which it tried to retract. And Newsweek has an obligation to really do some work here, and to get out into the region and the Arab networks and the Arab media, and explain what happened.
HH: You were in the White House press room when the Texas Air National Guard pledge was made, and there were arguments that Bush had not honored it. It was a frenzy. Why a frenzy then, but not any concern, even a little bit about the SF-180 now?
TM: Well, that is a very good question. I think that the biggest difference, and one for which I'm sure you're grateful, is that George W. Bush is the president of the United States, and John Kerry is the guy who lost the last election.
HH: But who is running again.
TM: There is, in general, a lot less interest in what the loser has done, or is about, or you know, John Kerry is deluding himself, it seems, that he has a continued political life, and perhaps you share that. But I think that when it's the president of the United States, and I agree with you. It was something of a frenzy.
HH: And so, should Kerry follow through on his commitment?
TM: Yes, absolutely.
HH: Are there members of the White House Press Corps, Terry, who actually hate Bush?
TM: I would say the answer to that is yes.
HH: And what percentage of them, do you think that amounts to?
TM: Uh, small, I would say, but some big fish.
HH: Do you read the blogs by the way?
TM: Absolutely. Every day, all the time.
HH: Which ones?
TM: I always start out at Instapundit, I take a look at LGF, I look at Kos, on the other side, and Joshua Micah Marshall. I'm not a frequenter of your blog, but every once in a while, I'll get linked to it. My brother has a blog, Right Wing Nut House.
HH: Oh, I like Right Wing Nut House.
TM: That's my brother's blog.
Alright, I've got a little more respect for the man now...I know that was a long excerpt, but I hope you caught the Kerry references above, particularly regarding the Form SF-180...