Not sleeping so much as passed out. And what a morning to miss! First, Giuliani blame the troops for the missing weapons, then Bill Richardson cops to being tanked on Imus. We're definitely waking up before 10AM tomorrow.
In between interviews of creepy Curt Schilling, the morning shows hit voter registration irregularities and Al-Qaqaa. The Today Show leads the pack with John Edwards and a bizarrely off-message Rudy Giuliani. Plus, dueling celebrities join Brad Pitt in the fight over California's stem cell Proposition 71. News peg: None. Literally nothing new all morning. Let's say the Red Sox. Hot topic: Democrats love voter fraud. Unsurprising revelation: Frank Luntz flunked calculus.
7:11 NBC. Today:
Campbell Brown interviews John Edwards. Edwards hammers Bush on Al-Qaqaa. Is uncomfortable being called an "attack dog." Sits on the edge of his seat like an eager schoolboy. Profoundly unimpressive.
7:14 NBC. Today:
Rudy Giuliani actually blames the troops for Al-Qaqaa. "No matter how you try to blame it on the President, the actual responsibility for it should be on the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough?" Later, he realizes he botched it and reverses course. Compares the Iraq war to the Civil War and WW2, says capturing Saddam Hussein makes it a remarkable success. Uses the word "nuisance" about 10,000 times. I Cannot Believe He Said: "I want to see us successfully finish what the terrorists started in New York City. George W. Bush will do that." Bush will knock down the rest of the skyscrapers in New York?
7:24 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): Republicans are concerned about voter fraud; Democrats aren't.
7:25 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Frank Luntz, pollster: "Dead people vote Democrat 98-2." Thinks early voting should be illegal because it inconveniences pollsters. Flunked calculus in college.
7:33 ABC. Good Morning America:
Mel Gibson opposes Prop. 71. Comes off as a crazy person, refuses to make eye contact with camera. Even if embryonic stem cell research would treat his own sick child, he would not allow it. Scores points in comparison of this cause to the licks he took for "The Passion of the Christ."
7:39 NBC. Today:
Michael J. Fox supports Prop. 71. Has little of substance to say, but ends interview shaking and shifting in his chair with Parkinson's symptoms. "This is what happens, I get wound up and it starts kicking in," he says. Katie Couric tells him he did great. Fox says, "Cool." Sort of makes Mel Gibson over on ABC look like a jerk.
7:46 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Bernard Goldberg, author of Bias: If it turns out they got the Al-Qaqaa story wrong, CBS should just shut its doors. Wins my heart when he claims that "anyone who's undecided at this date has a mental defect and shouldn't be allowed to vote."
7:52 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Head vs. Head: Chuck Booms, radio show host outrages Jerry Springer, talk show host.Springer: The only way Kerry will lose Ohio is if Republicans intimidate voters.E.D. Hill asks why anyone who's legally registered should be concerned about being challenged at a polling place. Springer points out that plenty of people don't trust the government to do right by them. A classy Booms rebuts, "Why are they intimidated? These are the same people who aren't intimidated to get in line for welfare!"
Booms: Edwards is a lawyer!
Springer: The number of questionable registrants is minuscule.
8:19 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor, addresses a number of big fat softballs from Brian Kilmeade. Hits campaign talking points: coalition has destroyed 400,000 tons of explosives; we should learn the facts before we jump to conclusions. Takes the high road and refuses to blame the UN for the oil-for-food situation. Brent Scowcroft is still her friend. Oh, and Rumsfeld and Powell love each other. Condi figure skated as a child, leading to this morning's most unintentionally poignant quote: "Sometimes when you have to work hard at something you're not naturally talented at, that's the most fulfilling."
8:33 CNN. American Morning:
Head vs. Head: Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) cleans the clock of Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver (D).Culver: We're focused on enfranchising a record number of Iowans. That's why we're allowing people to vote provisionally out of their precinct.8:38 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Blackwell: In Ohio, we don't have a system of "voters without borders."
Culver: I'm super-positive about everything!
Blackwell: "Elections are human enterprises. We expect hiccups, and we manage against systematic choking."
Senator Bob Graham (D-FL): Blah blah blah Osama escaped, inadequate planning.
8:41 MSNBC. Imus in the Morning:
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM): Kerry will use international good will to get countries who weren't participating in Iraq to consider doing so, and to get the UN better involved. Imus: "You sound drunk. You sound like a crazy person." Richardson: "Well, you know, it's election time."
8:45 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Cliff May, former RNC Communications Director: Cites Syrian/Russian angle to Al-Qaqaa pushed all morning by F&F hosts. "The media is being credulous, maybe willfully credulous."
It's a push. Edwards is a lightweight, but Republicans are mean. Message of the day: The Bush Administration is an ungainly child, wobbling bowlegged on figure skates, wishing just once for a moment of grace.