Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Krauthammer, Barone & “the best”

In a post the other day linking to one of his columns, I said Michael Barone is one of my favorite pundits.

An Anon commenter said he/she thought Barone was the best pundit in America.

I think the Anon is an informed judge, but I can’t fully agree Barone’s “the best.”

I’ll tell you why in two words: Charles Krauthammer.

He’s at least as good as Barone.


On Fox News with Brit Hume tonight, Krauthammer provided commentary on the launch of Endeavour.

With liftoff only a few minutes away, he was prompted with questions about “NASA’s recent troubles” and “reports of drinking by astronauts” while on screen the camera was close-up on the space shuttle.

Krauthammer ignored the questions.

He spoke instead about what a marvelous creation the shuttle is, while noting it had aged and needed replacement.

He called attention to the skill and bravery of the astronauts about to launch. He mentioned the shuttle and space station have not lived up to expectations for what they’d help us learn.

As for what astronauts think as liftoff approaches, he recalled the astronaut (I didn’t catch the name) who’d told him that just before liftoff he sat in the capsule thinking: “Every piece of this was built by the lowest bidder.”

Krauthammer reminded us that we’ve grown accustomed to the launches. That’s dulled us to “what spectacular achievements they are.”

About 10 minutes later, with Endeavour now 400 miles down range and the camera close in on the shuttle, he spoke again of what an awesome, complicated, dangerous and inspiring event we were watching.

He told viewers there are plans for shuttle launches during the next three years, after which the program will be ended.

“Everyone ought to see a launch,” Krauthammer said. “The ground actually shakes beneath you. You feel only pride and admiration for those who put it together and those who are riding on it.”

The 1927 Yankees were lucky to have Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Americans are lucky to have Barone and Krauthammer.

We’re also lucky to have Fox News with Brit Hume. It’s very good on it’s “own legs;” besides regularly bringing us Krauthammer and, occasionally, Barone.

The networks wouldn’t do that. They know how vapid Katie Couric and Brian Williams appear now. They’d never put them on beside Krauthammer and Barone.

Now a good voyage for Endeavour and a safe return.


Anonymous said...

Nice props for Krauthammer. I believe he is a graduate of HMS which indicates he was an actual scholar before becoming a pundit. He is a rare figure in mass media--being a serious person who thoughtfully seeks to lead a purposeful life. sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

Regarding these two gentlemen, the word "pundit" is so very appropriate.