John Ziegler and Contessa Brewer: Cut Microphone

"Cut The Mic, Please." The first time I've heard those words edited on an MSNBC program - Contessa Brewer lost her cool after blatant heckling by John Ziegler (who seemed happy to do it). What is HAPPENING on the news?

Contessa Brewer's MSNBC interview of John Ziegler began in the general way that these interviews begin, as far as I could tell. That is, it did for the first minute and eight seconds. Ziegler came out swinging when, directly after his introduction, he called MSNBC "Barack Obama's official network" with a sneer.

Brewer seemed to handle it well enough, and they moved forward. Over the next two minutes, the conversation got increasingly heated. Brewer kept trying to hold a normal interview, and Ziegler kept vetoing that idea, throwing in sideways remarks with a smile. It was obvious that the general kind of interview was not on Ziegler's agenda.

Yes, they discussed Letterman and Palin, and Ziegler was undoubtedly siding with Palin after Letterman's remarks. This wasn't an issue, in fact, it was WHY Ziegler was being interviewed in the first place - he was brought in as someone who was backing Palin. Brewer was attempting to ask questions about why Palin was as insulted as she had been by Letterman (after all, on one hand, what he said was enough to rattle anyone - the shot on her daughter's pregnancy was pretty brutal, but on the other, it's David Letterman. He makes fun of people. And if you're a public figure, that's the chance you take, right? Besides, Palin has been made fun of for something or another ever since she came into the public eye on a national level. Why that is the case can be debated all day, but the truth is that using her as a bulls-eye for a joke is nothing new.)

From my perspective as one who pays much attention to HOW things are said rather than WHAT is actually said, especially in interpersonally tense situations, it seemed clear to me. Brewer hadn't anticipated this onslaught of jabs and slightly (progressively more so, as time passed) insulting remarks, which culminated in her cutting short the interview with these words: "I consider myself a common sense thinker, I haven't attacked you, and for you to come on and use those sort of insults insults me." (Dang! I thought. I hadn't heard a news anchor get that upset in, well, ever...) Ziegler was, at this point, loudly countering what she was saying, which resulted in a jumble of words and little sense for a moment or two, until Brewer instructed the audio powers that be to "cut the mic, please." She then did the same interview close that is generally used, while a soundless Ziegler continued to shout whatever he was shouting (okay maybe "shout" is too strong a word, but close enough).

What a five minutes that was. Very intense, and highly entertaining, no matter which side you back - if you're for Ziegler, he gave Brewer more than she could handle. And if you're for Brewer, good for her for ending the interview when the insults grew clear and unavoidable! A lady has to draw a line somewhere...(which was perhaps what this interview was about, Palin drawing a similar line?)

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