NBC’s David Shuster offered a fine example of exemplary journalism on the night of August 14th, and I think it should be duly noted. Sitting in for Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, Shuster opened the program by relating the news that Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign supporters would have their chance to vote for their candidate at the Democratic Convention.
You would think that this would be received with pleasure by Clinton supporters who have been insisting that they would stay with the defeated candidate no matter what. Shuster had two leaders of the holdout groups on the program, pressing them to explain why they are refusing to back Obama even though it is clear that he is the Party’s choice. Both of them ducked and obfuscated, but failed to offer a rational explanation.
Shuster wouldn’t let them off the hook, asking them again and again to shed light on their intransigence. [Click here for a video of the encounter.] Finally, he produced a crucial piece of evidence about one of them. It seems that in 2000 she had contributed $500 to John McCain’s campaign. Under Shuster’s relentless questioning, she seemed to shrink inside herself, plainly caught. The scene clearly invited the suggestion that she was not a Democrat at all, but a Trojan Horse for the Republicans.
It’s no secret that the Republicans would have preferred to face Hillary Clinton as the Democrats’ nominee for President instead of Obama. Some of them even used talk radio to urge Republicans to vote for Clinton in open Democratic primaries.
Shuster’s interview, complete with the telling and vital information, suggests that some of those who call themselves devoted Clinton supporters may be provocateurs who are in fact working for the other side. Whatever the case, as Shuster’s reporting revealed, loyal Democats they most certainly are not.