So, over the weekend, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) went on CNN's "State Of The Union", where he talked about the need for "regime change" in North Korea. John McCain is always doing things like this! During the 2008 campaign, he wanted to bomb Iran, liberate the teensy region of South Ossetia from the Russians, and was even angry at Spain for some reason. And one often wonders, "Where, exactly, are we going to get the troops and/or money to do these things? Or is the hope that somehow, the Green Lantern Corps will kit out McCain with a power ring?"
In the case of North Korea, if you dial back the interview, you'll see that in this instance, McCain puts the onus for changing the regime in Pyongyang on China. "They could bring the North Korean economy to its knees if they wanted to," said McCain, who went on to muse, "And I cannot believe that the Chinese should, in a mature fashion, not find it in their interest to restrain North Korea. So far, they are not."
But if not China, where does this leave this dream of regime change in North Korea? As you might expect, CNN had to "leave it there." And that sets up my favorite read out of the CNN-McCain tete-a-tete, courtesy of Evan McMorris-Santoro:
Though [State Of The Union host Candy] Crowley moved the interview ahead to Afghanistan shortly after McCain's "regime change" comments, in a CNN post-mortem webcast after the show she and State Of The Union producer Tom Bettag seemed to scratch their heads over just what it was McCain meant when he said "regime change" during the show.
"That's why you always want an hour and half with these guys," Crowley said. "'Cuz you want to say, 'And, so, how would we go about doing that?'"
This is just an idea I had, CNN, but maybe you all should consider this tactic: when an interviewee says something that gives you the WTF-face, you could maybe deviate from your scripted questions, pause and ask said interviewee, "I'm sorry, but what did you mean when you said that thing you said, just a few seconds ago, on our teevee show?"
Obviously, the downside here is that you really steal away from your exclusive online post-game lamentation of the terrible interview you just conducted.