Monday, March 08, 2004

A Kerry/Brokaw Ticket?
Most Americans have respect, even affection, for Mr. Brokaw. More than one TV critic commented on his performance as moderator of a Democratic presidential debate last November by suggesting the debate would have been livened up if he had been one of the candidates. The Weekly Standard says he has mastered the technique of appearing on television as "a thoughtful fellow, caught in unhurried rumination." His book on World War II veterans, "The Greatest Generation," sold more than 4.1 million copies in 1999 and was followed up by three subsequent bestsellers. Even his ideological adversaries give him his due. Dennis Miller, the caustic comedian, dismisses Peter Jennings and Dan Rather as "Stepford anchors" but even before he landed his current show on CNBC opined that "Tom has many likable human qualities."

Even his adversaries acknowledge that Mr. Brokaw would shake up politics. "It would be a fascinating choice," says Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association. Brent Bozell of the conservative Media Research Center, who in 2002 criticized Mr. Brokaw for saying he didn't wear an American flag pin in his lapel because it would suggest he endorsed Bush administration policies, admits that Mr. Brokaw's books enable him to "come across to most people as a patriot." Mr. Brokaw in turn has criticized Mr. Bozell's group for "making fine legal points everywhere every day" about NBC's media bias. "A lot of it just doesn't hold up. So much of it is that bias--like beauty--is in the eye of the beholder."

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