Awfully clever of Fox News to use last night's GOP debate to insert a subtle but lengthy plug-by-implication for the Fox broadcast network's most popular prime-time drama -- which, what do you know, just so happens to have its two-hour season finale coming up next Monday.
From the debate transcript:
MR. HUME: ...The questions in this round will be premised on a fictional, but we think plausible scenario involving terrorism and the response to it. Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time.
First question to you, Senator McCain. How aggressively would you interrogate those being held at Guantanamo Bay for information about where the next attack might be? ...
This went on, of course, for some time. Waterboarding was praised. Mitt Romney advocated "double Guantanamo."
The ticking-bomb scenario is a porn fantasy for right-wingers, needly to say; they deeply desire a scenario in which they can put all moral qualms aside and really hurt someone. Brit Hume was playing to the GOP base. But he was also providing a free ad for 24. Nice one, Rupert.
Oh, and I enjoyed all the wide shots of the stage, especially when the TV monitors at either end of the screen flashed Fox's "You Decide" campaign logo.
Can't wait to see what Murdoch does with The Wall Street Journal.
I said at the time of the Fort Dix arrests that "we'll ... hear that this proves that 'we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here,' even though we are fighting them over there and these guys are here anyway." As it turns out, that's exactly what we heard last night from Giuliani.
McCain had said, "If we fail in Iraq, we will see Iraq become a center for al Qaeda, chaos, genocide in the region, and they'll follow us home," and Giuliani picked up on the theme:
And I think Senator McCain is correct, these people do want to follow us here and they have followed us here. Fort Dix happened a week ago.
But, Rudy, we're in Iraq and these guys plotted against us anyway. So they didn't "follow us home," they preceded us home.
And yeah, I guess Giuliani got his mojo back in that exchange with Ron Paul. I'm sorry to see that. Taylor Marsh may think Paul won that exchange, but this was a debate aimed at Republicans, and they're loving it -- go here and here, for instance. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, who's not a right-winger, was also impressed -- but he gets the award for the absolute dumbest post-debate line:
It was a rare moment of raw emotion for Giuliani, and a good one.
"A rare moment of raw emotion for Giuliani"? That's like saying "a rare moment of egomaniacal bombast for Donald Trump," or "a rare moment of inappropriate taste for Britney Spears."