Hello, I've just returned from a panel of some of our favorite dynamic media personalities: Daily Beastie Tina Brown! Bush roboflack Ari Fleischer! And the (charmingly?) doddering Peggy Noonan! Come explore the fun!
There were two other panelists at this IFC Media Project event in Midtown too, but they were both very reasonable, so who cares? Let's get to the highlights!
Tina Brown: She was the most glamorous of the bunch. Paps flashed their flashbulbs at her! And I must say, she holds the sanest views of any of our three stars!
Tina says Obama's made an honest attempt on the torture issue. She wants truth commissions in America to get to the bottom of it. She is the Steve Biko of IFC Media panel discussion!
Also: "TV doesn't do well with nuance." She learned that by having a failed TV show! Tina's not sweating the death of newspapers so much—rather, she's concerned about where the journalism will go. Screw newspapers, she said (paraphrase!).
At one point she told Peggy Noonan she was wrong.
Ari Fleischer: Virtually everything he said made one want to choke on one's own scoffing. He's very smirky at all times.
What grade would he give the Obama administration on "Transparency"? C. That means you get a G, Ari.
Ari is surprisingly against truth commissions exploring the various tortures sanctioned by his bosses and explained away by him daily, for years, because were there to be a torture investigation, it would devolve into "acrimony." And anyhow it should be done by Congress, but oh it can't be done by Congress, because Congress is too partisan.
Then he said: "I'll be proud" to answer a subpoena. "Much of (our various torturing) is questionable in the day's light... but people are proud of what they did to keep us safe." Yea? Somebody subpoena this guy already.
Ari lives in Westchester county and didn't read any international news sources when he was in the White House and he still doesn't, so don't ask him about un-American news like that.
Peggy Noonan: A very strange person. There is no way not to describe her as "doddering," as she enjoyed looking up at the ceiling wide-eyed as others were speaking. But so many things to say!
At the recent Obama press conference, she said, "We saw the return of the Obama thinking look... you could actually see him thinking!"
What about this Obama White House? "This is a big White House and a consequential one, making big decisions." Expertise gleaned at the highest levels of government, ladies and gents. "Obama as an individual is something new. [BLACK GUY??] There's a certain level of cool, of shrewdness."
At one point the moderator asked Peggy if she wanted to respond to a point. "Actually I was daydreaming about something I read in the newspaper," she replied. "It was that George Will column."
TOP THREE PEGGY NOONAN QUOTES OF THE DAY:
"If I say I'm Peggy Noonan from PeggyNoonan.com, he's not gonna feel like he has to take that call." OH?
"I believe I know the lyrics to every Al Jolson song."
"I love. The fizz."