Friday, September 09, 2005

Nancy Pelosi Stepping Up

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is making me proud to be a San Francisco liberal. (I went to college in San Francisco, lived there 18 years and came of age politically in the Bay Area.)

Pelosi has been dropping the hammer on George W. Bush, FEMA Director Michael Brown and their total negligence in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I had been critical of Democratic leaders and their silence on the issue earlier in the week and I'm willing to shut up if they start speaking up like this.

Pelosi had a great moment yesterday that delighted all liberal news junkies who get tired of hearing vapid anchors repeating Republican talking points. The San Francisco Congresswoman had this to say when CNN anchor Kyra Phillips went full bore with an aggressive line of questioned straight from the RNC playbook:

"Kyra, if you want to make a case for the White House, you should go on their payroll," Pelosi quipped.

Phillips then follows the indignation she showed when Pelosi put her in her place by making an incredibly silly statement a little later in the segment.

"With all due respect, nobody in this organization nor any network is on the payroll of the Bush administration," declared Phillips.

While I don't believe the people at Fox News and half the people on CNN and MSNBC are getting full W-2s from Karl Rove, it's disingenuous to suggest that until very recently the Bush administration has gotten anything but a free ride from the mainstream media.

That said, Pelosi's smack must have done some good because the California Democrat and Phillips then had this exchange:

Pelosi: "It's a look in the mirror for us as a country to see what our priorities are. Are we a country that wants to measure our strength in terms of the health and well-being of our people as well as our military strength? Or is it a country that is measured by the tax cuts that we give to the wealthiest people in our country at the expense of the protection of the American people?"

Phillips: "And you bring up a very good point. What happened in New Orleans brings a huge point across, the underbelly of our nation and that poverty that's not dealt with. We're seeing what's happening to those poor people now. That's a very good point. And you know what? That's another huge issue that we need to tackle. Because all of us Americans need to pay closer attention to the poor in the United States – nobody should have to live the way they're living now."

There you go, Phillips. Now you're thinking for yourself.

See the whole clip at Crooks and Liars.