Nov 8th, 2010
There was a time when the first extended interview of a former President would have been given to a serious journalist. A hard-hitter. Someone who would be respectful of the office but would also come armed with the facts and a sense of history.
Those days are gone.
Tonight, George W. Bush, The President who launched our first "preemptive" war, who changed the definition of our responsibilities under The Geneva Convention, and who turned our nation's first budget surplus into a literal one time payment giveaway to voters (remember that?) will be interviewed by Matt Lauer. Yes, that Matt Lauer. The Today Show's smiley, touch-feely safe-to-watch-in-the morning nice guy.
From today's NY Times:
"...critics of Mr. Bush — and there are many, with polls showing that most Americans still hold an unfavorable view of him — who would like to see a televised confrontation over issues like the Iraq war may come away disappointed. The tone of the prime-time special is conversational, not prosecutorial, and for that reason, “Lauer/Bush” is not likely to join “Frost/Nixon” in the public imagination."
I wonder if, at long last, we will learn the answer to that greatest of questions; If he were a tree, what kind of tree would he be.