This morning, ABC's Jonathan Karl will audition to replace George Stephanopoulos on the network's flagship Sunday morning program, This Week. Karl's exclusive "get" for his hosting debut is former Vice President Dick Cheney, whom Karl last interviewed on December 16, 2008 - a month after Barack Obama was elected President, and a month after Jonathan Karl was named ABC's Senior Congressional Correspondent.
In that December 16th wholly irrelevant interview, which Karl touted as Cheney's first appearance in six months, Jonathan Karl does nothing to challenge Cheney's eight years of unrestrained criminality, lies, and distortions. His meaningless interview never once discusses Cheney's relationship with Halliburton and the awarding of lucrative military contracts to a company with which he's so closely tied. Karl never addresses Cheney's unprecedented power while Vice President, or how he broadened the control of the Executive Branch and ushered in the Unitary Executive. Karl never asks Cheney about his secrecy, his opposition to investigating the events of September 11th, or his pressuring the CIA to provide intelligence to support attacking Iraq. When Karl finally asks if water-boarding is torture, he acquiesces to Cheney's casual denial.
Like a compliant child, Jonathan Karl kowtows to Dick Cheney's every response, providing this arbiter of injustice free rein to spout his lies.
Witness for yourselves:
As I indicated this past November, Dick Cheney has successfully used the media as immunity from prosecution by posturing himself as the Obama administration's principal opponent:
"Since the beginning of the Obama presidency, Cheney has used the media full on. He's commandeered its major outlets, newspapers, cable and network TV, and the most caustic outlet of all, talk radio, to attack the very sources he knows could bring him down - the President and Attorney General. Cheney's best defense is his mass media offense and he knows exactly how to use it.
Dick Cheney has used the complicit American media, his most powerful anti-prosecution tool, to near Machiavellian perfection. He understands implicitly that American media employs no ethical standards that would prevent it from promoting him despite the atrocities he has caused. Regardless of his catastrophic failures, the shameless complicit media freely provides Cheney the platform to attack the President and Attorney General and advance his standing as their fiercest political critic. Because of this granted visibility to pummel Obama and Holder, Cheney is more able to establish himself as a victim of partisanship should Obama and Holder try to charge him for his crimes.
Cheney's transparent media offensive places him squarely, frequently and loudly in the public eye attacking Obama and Holder, and setting the stage for an adversarial relationship from which he can claim that he's their target. He's banking on the theory of American exceptionalism to keep his contrived "adversaries" from taking him down. American exceptionalism implies that America as a nation is superior to the rest of the world. In lesser nations, political rivals are targeted and imprisoned. Exceptionalism presumes that superior America, with its highly evolved democracy, would never do the same. Exceptionalism presumes that political targeting only happens in undeveloped and undemocratic nations led by unsavory leaders; Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Museveni of Uganda, Nkrumah of Ghana, Putin of Russia, have all imprisoned their opponents. Cheney's calculus has determined that American exceptionalism would prevent America's leaders from publicly engaging in tactics they condemn - like imprisoning political opponents."
This morning, in his reportedly live interview with Dick Cheney, Jonathan Karl has the opportunity to use his This Week host audition to become the first journalist to publicly and directly confront Dick Cheney on his crimes.
If Karl honestly and brazenly takes Cheney to task, he just might deserve the This Week host position. If he does not, he'll remain an unremarkable hack enabling an unrepentant criminal.