Generous Orthodoxy  




Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A good word for beleaguered CNN

The recent explosion of news (up here in New York, anyway) about the hapless Congressman Wiener prompts some thoughts about Wolf Blitzer. (What? Who?) If anyone out there besides me is a fan of Wolf Blitzer, I haven't heard about it. Yes, I like his odd pauses and cadences. I like his deadpan delivery. I like his occasional little flashes of good-natured humor. I very much like that after years of listening to/watching him I still can't tell if he is a Democrat or a Republican.

What interests me at the moment is the way he conducted the interview he did with Wiener a week or so ago when the Congressman was still in denial mode. It's the first time I've ever seen Wolf obviously irritated if not downright angry. It was striking. Now that the unfortunate culprit has been "outed" in full view of the entire world, I have seen another moment or two of real anger, tamped down but still visible, from Blitzer when he said that Wiener had lied to various people and, specifically, "to me." I wondered if it might be, in part, one Jew feeling mortally embarrassed about another Jew's misbehaviour. If so, good for Wolf. In any case, it's an opportunity to say a public thank-you to Wolf Blitzer for being there night after night, ignoring the scorn from the right (Fox) and the ascendancy of left-wing commentary (MSNBC) and the less-than-stellar CNN ratings. I look at CNN intermittently on kitchen breaks in my office, and I listen to it on satellite in my car--certainly I don't watch it nonstop--and I enjoy Chris Matthews on MSNBC, but here's a little bouquet for the stoic, dependable, intelligent if not showy, genuinely fair and balanced Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."