A lot of people are impressed with Megyn Kelly's Cheney interview, but I'm with Charles Johnson:
I watched Megyn Kelly’s supposedly “tough” interview with Dick Cheney - what a sham.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) June 19, 2014
Kelly's getting a lot of credit for this question, and, yeah, it sure sounds tough:
In your op-ed, you write as follows: "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many," But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the Iraq insurgency was in the last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to, quote, "rethink their strategy of jihad." Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?But watch the clip. She loads all the criticism into one question, then sits back and lets Cheney patiently work his way through every talking point he knows, while she sits mute, not pressing him for a single clarification, asking a follow-up, or questioning why, for instance, it's relevant that other people thought Saddam had WMDs all those years ago, as if it's perfectly okay that we squandered all that blood and treasure if other people were wrong as well, when it's the job of the president (and, in this case, vice president) to be right in matters like this.
Kelly lets Cheney drone on and on because that was clearly how the interview was intended to go: she seems to get tough, thus proving (to the gullible) that Fox really is "fair and balanced," and while the question isn't softball, it's really teeball -- Kelly tees up all the criticism Cheney has faced over the years so he can be seen batting that criticism away, to the delight of the Fox audience.
If this were intended to be a genuinely tough interview, Kelly would have broken that into several tough questions and challenged Cheney on each point. This way, however, he gets to make it seem as if it's all just easily dismissed silliness.
Go to Mediaite for a longer clip. You'll see that the whole interview consists of Kelly teeing up talking-point opportunities from Liz and Dick . And once Kelly has that "fair and balanced" question out of the way, she doesn't even bother pretending to challenge the Cheneys; the last question in the Mediaite clip is this:
... when the president came into office, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden came into office, the vice president was celebratory about the situation in Iraq and said that it may be one of their greatest successes -- that's how he described it in 2010, that Iraq could be one of the Obama administration's greatest successes, he predicted. Do you think -- let me give this one to you, Liz -- do you think that that is a game-changer in terms of the political way this is playing out from all the people who want to blame the Cheneys and the Bushes?Wow, that's some serious Cheney-challenging hardball, isn't it?
(If you're wondering what the hell Kelly's talking about, go here to read what Biden said on Larry King's show back in February 2010; full transcript here. Biden said, perhaps foolishly, that Iraq "could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government." Biden didn't say "greatest success"; that phrase seems to have come from this ABC story, which describes Dick Cheney's attack on the administration immediately after that Biden interview. You probably overlooked that, but these memes get embedded in the right-wing psyche the way the quotes from the Little Red Book got stuck in the heads of Mao's subjects.)