04/21/2008 12:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Russert v. ABC: Steel Cage Stupidity Death Match

Poor Tim Russert. No longer the most simple-minded questioner on the block. Surprisingly surpassed by Stephanopoulos and Gibson with their hand fed questions from Sean Hannity.

What to do?

I know. Let's lie and accuse Barack Obama of not putting his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance! That would be both superficial and dishonest at the same time.

This whole hand over heart meme rests on what now appears to be a subtle distinction. We put our hands over our hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance but we do not during the National Anthem. Why? Who knows, but that is what we do.

For some reason Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, and Ruth Harkin have their hands over their hearts in this picture that was taken during the National Anthem. I'm thinking Hillary started it, but that's just my evaluation of the pander-meter. Obama, at the front, never got the word and stands at attention. (Otherwise, he looks just like the other three, right?)

Now everybody who follows these things, even Tim Russert, knows that the right wing has taken this photo, falsely claimed that it was taken during the Pledge of Allegiance, and has used it to allege that Obama is unpatriotic. All those same people know the charge is not only stupid, but untrue, because the picture was taken during the Star Spangled Banner.

So, why did Russet ask David Axelrod about the Pledge of Allegiance on Meet the Press on Sunday?

RUSSERT: Let me ask about two final issues. David Axelrod, based on the last couple of weeks, many Democrats fear Republicans in the fall will string together an ad which shows . . . Barack Obama with his hands clasped in front of him rather than holding his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Either Russert doesn't care or he doesn't know. In any event, he is not qualified to host this show every week.

Here is the video from Media Matters: