David Zurawik

See Michelle Malkin, Juan Williams go to war on Hannity

Honestly, I have been thinking about this segment on Sean Hannity's Wednesday night show for the last 24 hours trying to figure out if it a great cable news segment or the embodiment of so much of what is wrong with prime-time cable news TV.

I am not being disingenuous when I ask readers to tell me what you think.


I know one thing, while I disagree on a million matters with Malkin, if I was a programmer trying to get ratings for my cable news channel, she is one of the first people I would try to hire. She is incredibly smart, fast and has an uncanny ability to translate concepts into catchphrases and even facial gestures that instantly communicate through the screen.

Note the different TV strategies she employs to try and mock Williams once he gets her really mad by calling himself a "real reporter" as opposed to a mere "blogger somewhere out in the blogosphere" like her.


And she reponds by saying, "The American people are sick of the snotty condescension of liberal elite journalists like Juan Williams."

Williams, as he has shown in his substitute duties for Bill O'Reilly, is more than ready for prime-time hosting duties in his own right. The shot of him holding his head as Malkin attacks is fabulous.

I've been in this space myself where you are mad enough even on live TV to say some of what you really feel -- even though you know you're going to probably spend the next 24 hours getting pounded on the Web by people who disagree with you. I think I might have gone there with David Shuster and a few other folks on "Reliable Sources" in recent years. It has almost always been worth it. In fact, let me say a a bit of what I really feel: I savor that kind of give and take.

But, really, is this great cable TV or the madness of the medium in microcosm? You tell me.

There is a deeper, substantive issue here in the the claim made by Williams that reporters who go out and gather information are superior to bloggers who use the information gathered by others to fuel their snarky posts. This is a deep, deep issue that I've lived in the middle of the last four years trying to write a daily blog that is as reported as my work in print had been for decades.

Hey, Zurawik, blah, blah, blah. Where's the video?

Here's the video: