So Long, Brit Hume

Fox News, the Murdoch saddle burr that torments the left is losing Brit Hume, its longtime anchor, to retirement this week.

I’m sad to see Hume go and wish him well. He was an excellent newsman and played an invaluable role in establishing Fox News as a credible newcomer, helping the network break into the former monopoly controlled by NBC, CBS and ABC (and later CNN).

My favorite Hume moment (he was with ABC at the time) was when he lit up then President Bill Clinton’s short fuse during the announcement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nomination to SCOTUS.

As the Washington Post reported:

“Reporters had been told Clinton would take questions at the conclusion of the ceremony. But the session was abruptly cut off after the first question when ABC correspondent Brit Hume asked about the extraordinary last week of the search.

White House officials had first said Clinton was leaning toward Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, then that he was inclined to name Judge Stephen G. Breyer of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Clinton held a much-publicized lunch with Breyer on Friday — White House aides even provided details of the menu — and Breyer was told to stay in town. The president secretly interviewed Ginsburg for 90 minutes in the White House residence Sunday morning and aides finished intensive background checks on her that afternoon. He told aides in the afternoon that he had settled on Ginsburg and called her at 11:33 p.m. Sunday to offer her the job.

Asked by Hume about the “impression, perhaps unfair,” of a “certain zigzag quality in the decision-making process,” Clinton, who had wiped a tear from his eye as Ginsburg finished her acceptance speech, responded in angry tones.

“I have long since given up the thought that I could disabuse some of you of turning any substantive decision into anything but a political process,” Clinton retorted. “How you could ask a question like that after the statement she just made is beyond me.”

This exchange, for just a nanosecond, makes me miss Bill Clinton. He could work up some serious righteous indignation just on cue, even if he did have his priorities misplaced.

Still "nothing to see" in Illinois
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