For the life of me, I can’t understand what Wolf Blitzer thought he was doing at the end of his interview with William Barr. Blitzer and Barr had just ended a contentious debate over mass mail-in voting (more on that in a later post) and Blitzer needed to wrap up the segment. He asked Barr if he’d stick around in a second Donald Trump term as Attorney General, a question which Barr shrugged off as “presumptuous,” as Trump hadn’t asked him to stay, and said he wouldn’t answer that. Blitzer then asked the same question over again, which amused Barr but didn’t change his answer.
Barr then got even more amused when Blitzer seemed intent on getting Barr to call his boss a jerk and admitting the job was more “fun” when Barr worked for George H. W. Bush. Barr responded by noting that the media acted a lot differently during that time, and … well …
AG Bill Barr to CNN's Wolf Blitzer: "The media should be fair and balanced no matter who the president is. Doesn't give the media a license to lie the way a lot of the media is."
Blitzer: "I can speak for us, we are fair and balanced."
Barr, laughing: "Ok…"
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 2, 2020
BLITZER: I know we’re almost out of time. You got a lot of stuff going on. And I’m grateful to you for joining us. This is an important interview. If the President is reelected, will — do you want to stay on as the attorney general?
BARR: That’d be presumptuous for me to say anything on that I’m not going to.
BLITZER: But what do you think?
BARR: I’m not going to discuss that.
BLITZER: Are you enjoying what you’re doing?
BARR: I wouldn’t use the word enjoy. But it’s satisfying.
BLITZER: It’s not what you anticipated. You enjoyed it more the first time around when you were attorney general?
BARR: Well, political climate, and the media was a lot different. And so —
BLITZER: And you got a different president, George H.W. Bush, you were the attorney general.
BARR: Yes. But the media should be fair and balanced no matter who the president is doesn’t give the media license to lie the way a lot of the media is.
BLITZER: I can speak for us, we are fair and balance.
BLITZER: I’m sure you would appreciate that.
BLITZER: And I’m sure you appreciate that presidents are different. And President George H.W. Bush was a very different president than President Trump.
BARR: Yes. And faced a different set of problems.
BLITZER: Very different sets of problems.
BLITZER: Including the first Gulf War.
What exactly did Blitzer think Barr would say? “Yeah, Trump’s a jerk”? And while that might have been interesting in a tabloidy, gossipy sense, exactly how is this news? Blitzer spent a full minute essentially proving Barr’s point about the media, and didn’t appear to realize it — which is one reason Barr laughed during this insubstantial questioning. Couldn’t Blitzer have found something more worthy to discuss in the segment’s final minute-plus than this?
Perhaps Blitzer wanted to distract from having his rear end handed to him by Barr on the mail-in voting question. That’s a meaty enough topic for a separate post, but suffice it to say that the earlier debate didn’t do much for Blitzer’s claim of fairness, either.