Let's Warm Up With Some Softball, Er, Baseball Questions . . .
In an earlier era, reporters like the legendary Sam Donaldson of ABC television would start off belligerently demanding administration officials answer important questions.
But these days, interviewers of the talk-show world prefer a softer approach to lull officials into a situation where they'll reveal things.
For example, Thursday on Fox News, conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity sought to put Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at ease so he could find out what she was up to.
"Today Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is with us. How are you?" he asked.
Rice, having just returned from a disastrous, waste-of-time trip to the Middle East, responded: "Hi, Sean, I'm fine. How are you?"
"I'm good. We always appreciate you being here. Now, what do you do in the off-season when football's not going on? Do you like baseball?"
"Well, so far, I'm just watching March Madness and waiting to see who's going to win this championship, and then I'll go into hibernation a little bit, Sean, until after the All-Star break." (We hear she's done exceptionally well, hitting every one of the Final Four.)
"So it's really -- it's pretty much football and basketball. You're not a big baseball fan?"
"I like baseball, but I'm one of those people who think the season's a little long. I'll wait until after the All-Star break, and then I'll get real interested."
"Well, if you're ever really interested, I have a pretty good connection with a good buddy of mine who has the greatest seats at Yankee Stadium, and I'd love to take you there."
"Well, I'd love that. You know, I'm a Yankee fan, so that sounds great."
"Well, you sound like Hillary now -- I'm a Yankee -- she's a Yankee fan, a Cubs fan. You know, but I'll tell you these are dangerous seats. I took my son there last year and he got hit with a foul ball."