This is why items of smaller significance with good pictures get huge play in the media...because PICTURES TO SEE means it gets airtime and is more significant. If it doesn't get airtime it really isn't significant even though it is (see?).
SIDE ISSUE TWO: Two Democrats (GASP!!!!!!) leave the meeting early. Will someone go to Whole Foods and send Matt Drudge two cases of Valerian Root?
We agree it was extremely dumb of Democratic Commissioners Bob Kerry and Lee Hamilton to leave early for prior commitments. Why? After loudly braying for weeks about how the President needed to meet with the whole commission for more than his promised hour, they got unlimited time...and they couldn't be there to use it.
It makes them look (perhaps rightly) hypocritical: the President had to sit as long as they wanted him to, but they didn't have to sit as long as the President needed for them to be there.
They win an award for the Political Janet Jackson Breast Reveal of the Year --- revealing a double standard (and they didn't need Justin Timberlake standing next to them to do it). But these two supposedly savvyy politicos' decision to give their opponents a noose on which to hang them still can't obscure the vital substantive issues:
(1)What was said?
(2)Were the commissioners satisfied with what they got?
(3)Can truly enterprising reporters now get reaction from others in Congress or sources close to the commissioners to get a sense of whether both sides felt issues and questions were completely aired?
4)The bottom line: in 2004 with the huge questions and challenges facing the U.S. everyone seems poised to pounce on questions of PROCESS (were pictures allowed? did everyone stay the whole time?) rather than POLICY.
The U.S. can survive failures of process more than it can survive failures of policy.
Thank God Kerry and Hamilton didn't insist on leaving the meeting together......