RachelWatch: An Interviewing Tour de Force


Today: An amazing interview with former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and the latest appalling health care scare tactic.

TRMS Interview


Rachel said she’d wanted to interview former Homeland Security Secretary and former Governor (R – Pennsylvania) Tom Ridge for years. And holy buckets, did she make the most of the opportunity.

I cannot recommend watching the clips highly enough. This is one of the best TV interviews I’ve ever seen. Rachel is tenacious, on the ball, and doesn’t let Ridge get away with a thing.

Getting into a political argument with Rachel Maddow must be like stepping into a nerdy, good-natured bear trap. Blood-chilling.

As you may be aware, Ridge’s book, The Test of Our Time, recently set all of punditry atwitter with its apparent acknowledgment that the Bush administration was manipulating terror threat levels for political gain.

It is possible that people all over the country managed to hugely misinterpret what seem to be a couple of clearly-written sentences.

It is also possible that Ridge recently took a terrifying ride around D.C. in the back of a limo with blacked-out windows and LRDCHNY license plates.

Either way, Tom Ridge is now in the distinctly awkward position of trying to drum up interest in his book while at the same time frantically trying to deny the most interesting thing in the book.

You are about to see enough backpedaling to blow that artistic cycling clip right out of the water.

Don’t you almost feel bad for Tom Ridge? It’s not just that he’s sidestepping and dodging so hard, it’s that he really seems frightened at times. Who got to him and what on earth did that person say?

You know you’re in a bad place when the massive, multilevel failures of the Hurricane Katrina response make for more comfortable conversation.

So let’s talk about them, shall we?

And, finally, the segment in which Rachel stopped interviewing Ridge and started having a heartfelt and refreshingly frank conversation about Iraq. Well, heartfelt and frank on her side, anyway.

It’s a fantastic example of staying scrupulously courteous while never letting her interview subject off the hook.

Extra bonus: You get to see a great shot of Rachel’s “bullpucky” face.

Ms. Information

Rachel reported on the case of Heather Sherpa, one of the victims of the L.A. Fitness shootings last month. She has aged out of her parent’s health insurance coverage and is still unemployed after recently graduating from college.

So her loved ones had a car wash to raise money to pay for her medical bills.

I am so glad we don’t have some commie pinko national health care system where people like Sherpa could take advantage of us by going out and getting shot.

By the way, I got the snickerdoodles that fueled today’s column at the Basic Preventive Care Bake Sale.

As we all know, Senator Judd Gregg (R – New Hampshire) loves greens but can’t stand salad, wears pantaloons but never jeans, and hates the Internet but loves Twittering.

Rachel noted that another thing Judd Gregg used to hate was the filibuster, even though he loved a good battle.

But somehow, now that Republicans are in the minority, Senator Gregg’s tastes have changed and the filibuster is one of the things most dear to him.

Did someone add another consonant to it or what?


And there was time for one last upfurietting story about people spreading brazen lies about health care.

If you’re about to watch this clip at work, make sure there’s an intern within punching distance.

Yes. Scary commie breadline health care would automatically slow down the treatment process after a breast cancer diagnosis. That just makes logical sense.

And we certainly wouldn’t want to risk tampering with the awesome current system under which millions of women can’t afford to go in for preventive care and don’t find the lumps until it’s too late.

Rachel’s thesis that the anti-reform forces are just rolling through (and trying to frighten) the most sympathetic population groups they can think of is still right on target.

We should have some sort of betting pool to see who can guess which group they’ll claim Obamacare will kill next.

Cub Scouts? National Merit Scholars? Naughty librarians?

I can’t wait to find out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work the Well-Child Checkup Dunk Tank.

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