BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. If you say something often enough, people begin to believe it. Whether it's true or not.
Case in point: Wolf Blitzer's ad nauseam repetition of his mantra that CNN has "the best political team on television."
Yeah? Says who?
"Well, I think if Wolf says it, it has to be true," David Bohrman said.
Yeah? Well, Bohrman pretty much has to say that. He's in charge of CNN's political coverage.
Blitzer's constant blather repeated repeatedly every time he's on the air has become more than a bit of a joke. It was a running gag on an episode of "Boston Legal" this past season, when a character named Wolfgang Blitzkrieg ran around spouting essentially the same thing over and over again.
"I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it. It has the added advantage of being true," Blitzer insisted.
He did not, however, offer any proof other than, well, his own opinion.
"I really believe that, and I'm sure my colleagues believe that as well," Blitzer insisted.
Yeah, well, I could put something in every column about how great I am, but that wouldn't make it true.
Let's imagine, just for a moment, that Blitzer was interviewing someone who offered as proof nothing other than his own opinion. It's difficult to imagine that Blitzer wouldn't, at the very least, press the interviewee for some proof.
Blitzer was similarly pressed, and he had no proof.
"When I say that we have the best political team on television, I'm referring to those who are on camera," he said. "I'm referring also to those who are not on camera, like David Bohrman and (CNN/U.S. president) Jon Klein. We have wizards back there who are doing an amazing job at assessing what's going on."
Now there's a revelation. CNN is using wizards! Frankly, it's hard to believe that Gandalf, Voldemort or Harry Potter could have been wrong more often than the analysts CNN employed during the primary season.
But Blitzer was actually extolling the virtues of his pollsters.
"We have a political director, Sam Feist, and his team who have pollsters who go through the numbers, who look at exit polls, who give us incredible information," he insisted. "This is a team effort. And so I have no problem branding us as the best political team on television because I happen to believe we are."
To be fair, CNN's analysts weren't alone in being repeatedly wrong during the primaries. And, to be fair, CNN isn't the only cable news network that repeats the same mantras over and over again with no evidence to back them up.
You know, little slogans like, "We report, you decide" and "fair and balanced," just to name a couple.
But the folks at CNN apparently don't like to be challenged for proof of their own claims.
"Well, put it this way we're really glad you've noticed, and we're glad that we've made our point," Klein said. "Unfortunately, that's all the time that we have for these questions."Gee, the president of CNN sounded a whole lot like a candidate suddenly ending a press conference when he doesn't like/can't answer the questions, didn't he?