When I asked about this, Davis's tone switched to an icy snarl. He complained about a Lamont commercial where Bush morphed into Lieberman (or is it the other way around?). Lieberman's support of Bush is a legitimate campaign issue, I said. Sounding like Alex Trebek on meth, Davis demanded that I name two issues unrelated to Iraq where Lieberman departed from his party to support Bush. When I couldn't produce them right away he kept barking the question and saying, "Is that the best you can do?" I tried to make the point that much of Lieberman's support takes the form of public utterances. He'll support one position but, at the end, vote the other way. Or vote against his party on a key amendment or cloture vote but then switch back for the final. Or, as we learned this week, simply not vote at all. Sometimes, though, what a Senator says is what's important, and Lieberman has often been ardent in his defense of the Bush administration, as when he urged us to keep Condoleezza Rice in our hearts (a job that has since been outsourced to Canada).
I tried to make some of these points but it was difficult with Davis snapping, snarling, interrupting. talking over me and complaining that I was talking over him. (The interview is available here. Listen and judge for yourself whether I let this guy have his say.)
I found myself thinking, this guy is a bully. He's a professional bully, and he's good at it. Far from being a logical proponent of a more civilized politics, he is a skilled practitioner at ferocious close combat. He's Bill O'Reilly in a donkey mask.
Near the end Davis suddenly complained that he was here to talk about his book, not the Senate race. ( Remember: he had asked off the air for extra time because of his involvement in the Senate race.)
When the interview was over, he called the station and demanded to talk to my boss about how rude I was.
UPDATE: In an interview minutes ago on the Jim Vicevich show, Davis said he blames himself for getting caught up in a shouting match with me, especially because his book espouses civility.
UPDATE: Davis called my boss and apologized.
And here Franken stomps on him.