Last month, Sen. Rick Santorum schooled CNN's Candy Crowley
on the subject of President Barack Obama's appeasement of America's enemies.
Today, on NBC's Meet the Press, it was David Gregory's turn.
Like Crowley, Gregory attempted to "fact-check" Santorum by arguing that it could not possibly be "accurate" or "objective" to describe Obama's foreign policy as "appeasement."
In particular, he challenged Santorum to distinguish Obama's policy on Iran from that of his predecessor, George W. Bush. (For several years, Democrats have tried to defend Obama by pointing out that the Bush administration refused to approve military strikes, either by the U.S. or by Israel.)
Santorum, as usual, delivered the facts on demand:
Santorum pointed out that Obama failed to support Iran's democracy movement--and later added that Obama cut funding to pro-democracy programs that Bush had supported. He noted that Obama has given tacit support to Islamist political parties in Egypt and other Arab countries that oppose America and our allies.
At that, Gregory leapt in to accuse Santorum of "patently contradictory" stances--i.e. supporting democracy in Iran and not in Egypt. What Gregory fails to grasp is the context--namely, that the Iranian regime is anti-American, and the former Egyptian regime was pro-American.
Yet Santorum made an even better point, which is that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a democratic movement. (He could have added that then-Senator Barack Obama claimed to have opposed Palestinian elections in 2006 for the very same reason
Thwarted, Gregory quickly shifted back to Iran, claiming--without basis--that there is no "material difference" in how the Bush administration and the Obama administration have sought to disarm Iran. And--giving the game away--he insisted that "there is no good option" for disarming Iran, essentially endorsing Obama's appeasement policy.
Like Crowley, Gregory--in desperation--asked Santorum what he would do differently. And, once again, Santorum was ready with a plan, which Gregory interrupted with false defenses of the administration. Eventually, Santorum was allowed to finish, promising to use air strikes to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power--and having thoroughly trounced Gregory.
Mediate, commenting on the exchange
, suggests that Gregory went further than Crowley, crossing the line into "advocacy journalism" for the Obama administration. But Crowley was already well beyond that line. Gregory's attempt to sandbag Santorum was even more partisan--and even less effective.
On foreign policy, Santorum is owning the debate, and the mainstream media.