Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Well, we got what we wanted. Now what did we get?
Written by: Beck

Condoleezza Rice has testified before the 9/11 commission. How poorly or well that went is largely irrelevant--what matters is how the media interprets and portrays her performance. So, without further delay, I present to you a media wrap-up from Rice's hearings:

CNN treats things pretty even-handedly, leaving you with no real impression of how things went. They mention that it was argumentative, and that a couple of the questioning sessions grew "heated," but that's about it. ABCNews treats it the same way, though they throw in a few more of the direct quotes of Rice getting harassed by Ben-Veniste and Kerrey. Still, their online article would leave no impression on someone who hadn't made up their mind either way.

The liberal blogosphere has surprisingly little to say on the subject. It looks like the entire event will be relatively underwhelming. Kevin Drum at The Washington Monthly (formerly of Calpundit) observes that she looks "nervous and hesitant," but beyond that pretty much admits that he too is waiting to see the broad response to her testimony. Daily Kos addresses a few tangential subjects related to Dr. Rice and to National Review's response to Dr. Rice, but doesn't actually address her testimony. What's far more interesting over at Daily Kos is an open discussion thread which garnered over 300 comments. It gives a pretty good feel for how a broad selection of the left responded to her remarks. Basically, they didn't get too excited over much, they objected to her seeming strategy of talking endlessly to try to "run down the clock," and they cheered any time one of the commissioners gave her a grilling. Dr. Evil: "Pretty standard really." Atrios has a lot to say. He focuses on what he identifies as factual contradictions. I'd be interested in seeing some vetting of his sources, but regardless, you can find what he has to say on it here, here, here, and here, plus an open discussion thread here.

So how about conservative journalism, what do they have to say on the topic? I thought you'd never ask. National Review's blog The Corner doesn't have all that much to say--just what you would expect really--a few comments on the hostility of some of the questioners and a bunch of stuff about Einstein (really). More interesting is an article on NRO by Clifford May bemoaning the course the 9/11 Commission has taken (i.e. looking to lay blame vs. looking to make recommendations for policy improvements going forward). Meanwhile, Reason magazine has virtually zilch to say. They've successfully devoted more copy (by a wide margin) to a revival of the old TV show Dr. Who than to the 9/11 hearings (I'm not entirely sure I blame 'em). The two posts in their blog Hit & Run are tangential, referencing an older AP story and some issues related to Richard Clarke's earlier testimony. Elsewhere, Instapundit has a couple things to say, but they're primarily just excerpts from the hearings which he found amusing.

And there you have it. It seems, for the most part, to have turned out to be a relative non-event. Unless the nightly news crowd jumps on this story in a big way, don't count on hearing much more about it. Definitely don't count on hearing anything near the noise that came out of Richard Clarke. And then of course, you could always hop over to MSNBC and take the poll

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