I rarely watch the Sunday talk shows but did turn in to see ReddHead from Firedoglake on C-Span's Washington Journal yesterday morning. ReddHead was on hand representing the liberal blogosphere and Paul Mirengoff from Powerline was there to represent the conservatives.
The portion of the panel I watched was largely uneventful, but I remember Mirengoff referencing a David Ignatius column in the Wash Post. According to Mirengoff, Ignatius is or has been a Bush-critic, particularly on the war, but in a recent column, Ignatius made what Mirengoff claims were statements to the effect that things are improving in Iraq, the president's policy is working, etc. So, see, says Mirengoff, even Bush's critics are coming on board (as former supporters, like National Review founder, William F. Buckley has, at least on the war, but I digress).
I don't follow Ignatius enough to know whether he's been a consistent Bush critic or not, and I didn't think much about Mirengoff's statement until this morning when my radio alarm woke me to the sounds of yesterday's taped round table panel discussion from Fox News Sunday.
And I heard administration-apologist Brit Hume make the same reference to Ignatius. Like Mirengoff, Hume conjured up the name David Ignatius, his status as legendary Bush critic, his perch at the Wash Post, and a recent column by the same in which the former Bush antagonist says his trip to Iraq and interviews with members of the U.S. military convince him the president is on the right track. Or words to that effect.
Anyway, I clicked on the Wash Post on-line op-ed pages and the last two columns by Ignatius are available and both seem to imply an optimistic message on Iraq, based, it appears, on his recent travel there (his stay presumably within the Green Zone).
I'm not sure which column in particular Mirengoff and Hume were referring to, but I thought it strange--maybe not so strange in the larger scheme of things--that first Mirengoff and then Hume would use the Ignatius article as a talking point.
Maybe Hume was watching Mirengoff on Washington Journal and simply parroted Mirengoff's line. Maybe they each came up with it independently after faithfully reading the liberal Wash Post and Bush-hating Ignatius in particular. Or maybe both received the Ignatius reference from GOP spin headquarters some time earlier and coordinated their lines from it. Or maybe people like Mirengoff and Hume are responsible for setting the GOP talking points themselves. Either way, Ignatius seems to me too irrelevant a figure for both Hume and Mirengoff to find him and his column signficant enough to mention during their respective programs.
Given the sliding public perception of the war in Iraq, this particular administration defense seemed rather lame. So lame in fact I doubt its occurence can be coincidental. As such I think it's a good illustration of how the administration and its apologists are trying to coordinate a plan of attack.
Liberals should take note.