a blog by josef johann

Monday, September 26, 2011

Confidence Men starring Anita Dunn

Democracy Now is a fine program. Some of its recent guests recent guests include Daniel Ellsburg, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Ron Suskind, Troy Davis' sister, Larry Cox executive director of Amnesty International, Benjamin Jealous president of NAACP, and Noam Chomsky. That roster of guests compares favorably against any morning news program.

But sometimes I'm embarassed for Amy Goodman. Like here, when she interviews the aforementioned Ron Suskind about his book Confidence Men.

AMY GOODMAN: And former White House communications director, Anita Dunn, has flat-out denied Ron Suskind’s claim that she said the White House is a "hostile workplace to women." Speaking to the Washington Post Friday, Dunn said she had point-blank told Suskind that the White House was not a hostile environment.

Ron Suskind, your response? And talk about why you’re saying that.

RON SUSKIND: Yeah, well, Anita Dunn, of course, talked to me extensively about especially the gender issues in both the campaign and in the White House. Her quotes are in the book. Again, the women’s issue is not central, I don’t think, to the flow of the book. It’s important.

AMY GOODMAN: It may not be central to you, but to many it is.

RON SUSKIND: To many people, it is white-hot stuff...

With this interjection, Amy Goodman imagines herself to be standing up for the importance of  gender equality. But that has nothing to do with what Suskind is saying, who was about to put the quote in context. If taken literally, Goodman is advising him that the "central" flow of his own book is, at least in part, the Anit Dunn comment.

That's a pretty basic divergence from the simple issue of what Suskind's book is about, and it didn't need to turn into a gender-equality non-sequitur.

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