When the question provides the answer

WHEN THE QUESTION PROVIDES THE ANSWER…. Dana Perino, Bush’s press secretary, chatted with the conservative Washington Times this week, reflecting on her two years on the job. Reader P.A. alerted me to this interesting comment:

When asked if she perceived a bias in the media against the president, she said, “I don’t think I would always be asked about my feelings about liberal bias in the media, if there wasn’t any liberal bias in the media.”

Got it. As Perino sees it, there must be something to the premise of the question if the question is asked all the time. If there was no bias, the argument goes, the question wouldn’t come up.

But if we take this one step further, the line of thought becomes even more illustrative. For example, Perino is frequently asked to defend Bush administration incompetence. If we follow her logic, I don’t think she would always be asked about Bush’s incompetence, if there wasn’t any Bush incompetence.

Indeed, it’s quite an easy road to follow. I don’t think Perino would always be asked about Dick Cheney’s breathtaking dishonesty, if there wasn’t any breathtaking dishonesty.

I don’t think Perino would always be asked about Bush’s failures on Iraq, the economy, and the response to Hurricane Katrina, if there weren’t any Bush failures on Iraq, the economy, and the response to Hurricane Katrina.

See how easy this is?