From Pre$$titutesIf you ever wondered why administration officials like Rice and Rumsfeld seem so relaxed on Meet The Press, you can attribute it to Tim Russert's unspoken promise to treat them with kid gloves.
A prime example is Russert's lily-livered questioning of Rice on today's show. When Rice hit him with a classic straw man argument about Iraq and 9/11, he simply moved on to the next softball. She said (paraphrasing) "We could have attacked Afghanistan and the Taliban and then stopped and played defense or we could make bold moves to reshape the Mideast." Instead of following up by asking why those were the only options, and whether she was again playing the Iraq-9/11 equivalency game, and pointing out that Iraq has had disastrous consequences on the WoT, Tim simply allowed Rice's specious argument to stand. He moved on to a question about Syria, giving Rice the chance to deliver a mindless, boilerplate response.
Not content with letting her off the hook on the Iraq-terror question, he then presented her with this classic about Bin Laden and the Pakistan earthquake: "It wouldn't make you unhappy if Bin Laden met his demise in that earthquake?" Not, "Why haven't you captured Bin Laden?"
Russert should be crowned the king of Pre$$titutes for the five-year pass he's given this administration.