Two weeks ago Politico suspended its White House Correspondent Joe Williams for going on national TV and declaring that Mitt Romney is more at ease with white people among some “dick” slurs about the presumed Republican presidential nominee and his wife on Twitter.
Seemed like a no-brainer, right? Except nothing is simple when a journalist hires a lawyer, or in this case, already has one waiting in the wings.
The suspension wore on for another week until the peaches over at Politico said they and Williams had reached a mutual conclusion that he should move on. We soon learned that won’t happen until Williams lands another job. Then, on the morning of July 4, we learned that Williams assaulted his ex-wife in February, pled guilty to assault in May and is on probation until November. Politico won’t say what they knew or when they knew it. For now, Williams remains on the payroll.
Enter CNN “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz, the nation’s premier media journalist, who isn’t exactly known for his expediency. Just ask ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). It took Howie five days to deem that story worthy of covering. Strangely, Kurtz felt no need to interview Williams for two consecutive Sundays after news of his suspension broke on June 22. But suddenly three weeks later, he’s all hot for Williams. What’s the sudden draw? Could it have been Williams’ absurd appearance on Russia TV where the ladies gave him a free pass to blame the right wing media for his problems? The only new news on Williams last week was the assault on his ex-wife. We thought maybe Howie might do something crazy for a media reporter and ask him about it.
Wrong. Howie wondered about the reporter’s “personal” problems. Williams, of course, said his “personal problems” have nothing to do with his professional failings and that sites such as ours crossed a line. Kurtz: “Did you want to stay at Politico?” Williams: “I understand their decision, I understand what led them to have us come to this kind of a conclusion of the situation.” Kurtz: “So you were forced to leave, you didn’t have a choice.” Williams: “I had a choice but the choices weren’t good. …They said for me to come back and have them have confidence in me … would have been a little bit tricky, especially after all this stuff had come out.” So what were the choices? Who knows if there even were any? Howie never bothered to ask. For the umpteenth time Williams said his words on Romney were “inartfully phrased.”
One tiny question: WHO CARES, HOWIE? This is repeated puke. At this point Williams has talking points for his talking points.
Finally Howie asked about “problems in his personal life.” Despite the fact that Williams released a public statement detailing his version of specifically what happened, Howie didn’t bother. Williams bizarrely equated his situation to CNN’s Anderson Cooper coming out of the closet last week because who knew Cooper was gay? “I think my personal life was brought into the situation unfairly,” Williams said, beginning what was several minutes of whining about how everything that happened was not his fault. “I think it was much in analogous to [sic] Anderson talking about how his sexuality had become an issue and he wanted to dispel that,” he said. “…I don’t think what my personal life involves has anything to do with how I do my job. It has everything to do with how I protect my children, how I protect other people who are involved in the situation, that I believe crossed the line.”
Howie “fired” back: “But didn’t you make yourself fair game? Once you become under scrutiny people are going to look at all aspects of your life.” At this point Williams pulled out his blame the right wing media talking points, although it’s peculiar: FBDC isn’t a right wing site. But let’s listen in as Williams barfs up more lunacy: “The media on the right decided that this was an issue and did so without context, without giving opportunity for a fair response and without examining the entire context.” Read more on Williams’ victim mentality and continued whining.
It’s no secret that Howie won’t ask the tough questions or prep himself enough to ask proper followups. But this was low even for Howie. He gave Williams the easiest ride in the world and another chance to recycle his blame the right wing media talking points. Congrats Howie! Even Russia TV has you beat.
And that’s just embarrassing.