I've had my problems with Alex Witt in the past, but in today's interview with Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), she was more unprepared, flustered, and inaccurate than I've seen her in some time.
Witt came at Grayson with challenge after challenge of his positions on Syria, and he batted them away the way Mr. Ed swatted flies with his tail. When she got her facts wrong, he wasted no time in correcting her, and without even trying, he embarrassed her as badly as she embarrassed herself.
As a Twitter pal put it:
"He sorta ate Alex's lunch on the media hype of war with Syria. She was speechless and there was a moment of silence as if everything had gone off script."
Agree with Grayson or not, he speaks his mind, he's blunt, and gets right to the point. In this instance, he wasted no time and had ready answers to unWitting (bygones), uninformed questioning. Here are some excerpts:
Witt: You have been very vocal in your opposition to any kind of intervention. What's your argument against this?
Grayson: First it's not our responsibility. Secondly, whatever we do won't actually accomplish anything useful. Third, it's expensive. And fourth it's dangerous.
Witt: Okay. Uh. You're pretty definitive in that. How much pushback are you getting...?
Grayson: No, my position is actually the popular position here. We set up a website called DontAttackSyria.com and within a few hours we had 10,000 signatures petitioning the president against this action. The polls now show and will continue to show that Americans understand that it's simply not our responsibility. We are only one country out of 196. We have our own problems to deal with, and we're not the world's policeman, nor the world's judge, jury, and executioner.
Witt: You have said that you don't even think it's clear a chemical attack occurred. Now Doctors Without Borders, which is a completely impartial group, says its partners have treated 3,600 people for chemical weapons symptoms. Do you not believe them?
Grayson: No, no. You're misquoting me out of context. I said that several days ago before that evidence came in...
[But] I've yet to hear anybody explain to me why our attacking Syria will take away their ability to commit such an attack in the future.
Witt: Do you question, sir, the president saying that this is a threat to our national security, the use of chemical weapons in Syria?
Grayson: Absolutely. We haven't been attacked at all. Not a single American has been attacked during the course of this entire civil war. And I think Americans understand that. Let's tend to our own garden. ...
Witt: What's your response to [the clip of President Obama's remarks]?
Grayson: Not a single other country feels that way. Just a few days ago we had British parliament debate --
Witt: (She interrupted quickly and loudly here) France does, I believe!
Grayson: Well, no. France is saying we'll wait and see. So that's not the case at all. How is it that this is always our responsibility? And by the way, the treaty that the president's citing says that in case of violations of that treaty, you take the perpetrators to the International Court of the Hague, you don't bomb them.
Witt: (Sigh) Okay. Uhh.. Are you going to be on that conference call, sir, at 2:00... ?
Grayson: No, there is no conference call at 2:00 with general membership... I've arranged for a separate briefing... next week.