Indeed, there was CNN's Anderson Cooper interrupting a Louisiana pol on live TV. There was ABC's Ted Koppel grilling Michael Brown, the bewildered chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There was NBC's Tim Russert barking, "How could the president be so wrong, so misinformed?" And there was the White House press corps undressing White House spokesman Scott McClellan in Tuesday's bare-knuckle press briefing.
Forgive some of us for not celebrating the press's coming-out party. The fact that this kind of aggressive questioning of people in power during times of crisis now passes as news itself only highlights just how timid the mainstream press corps has been during the Bush years.
Is it too much to ask for Russert to just once have shown the same passion -- or even hint of outrage -- when interviewing Vice President Dick Cheney about the administration's botched occupation of Iraq in which nearly 2,000 Americans have died? ("How could the president be so wrong, so misinformed?" Russert could have demanded.) Imagine if the press had shown a glimmer of its newfound truth-telling fervor while pursuing the WMD fiasco or uncovering the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth hoax last year, or half a dozen lesser episodes in which the Bush White House mugged the truth and the press knew it but then looked away.
Catch the rest. It's worth it.