Embed Moderator: Only in Limbaugh land could Martha Raddatz be a lefty
By this point, I thought there was nothing Rush Limbaugh could say that would surprise me, but he did with his comments last week about the four moderators selected for the presidential debates. Jim Lehrer, he declared, is “a far left-wing liberal Democrat.” Candy Crowley is “a far, far left-wing Democrat mama,” Bob Schieffer is “a far, far left-wing liberal Democrat and dinosaur,” and Martha Raddatz is “a far, far left-wing liberal Democrat” and “info-babe.”
Jim Lehrer, of course, is known for his poker-faced blandness, and Bob Schieffer has never rocked a boat in his life. But it was Limbaugh’s description of Martha Raddatz that most threw me (and not for calling her an “info-babe”—we’ve come to expect such casual sexism from him). Since joining ABC in 1999, Raddatz has been a faithful conveyor of official US policy; I can think of few journalists who more exemplify the embedded mindset of so many national security and foreign affairs correspondents, especially those on TV.
Raddatz has been to Iraq more than 20 times, and while she deserves credit for her intrepidity and willingness to venture into the field, it’s usually in the company of American generals, colonels, and captains, and her reports strongly reflect their viewpoints. (For a good example, see this piece from last December, in which Raddatz shares a helicopter ride with a general.) Her book, The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family, about a US unit badly shot up in Sadr City in April 2004, vividly captures the devastating effect of combat on inexperienced soldiers, but it’s indifferent to the war’s toll on Iraqis, civilians included.