Ever since Barack Obama’s inauguration, progressives have been able to point to one segment of the traditional media that consistently bears witness to the depth of change implied by the Democratic landslide: the chastened demeanor of George Will on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Particularly obvious whenever Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is on hand to call Will on his donnish prevarications, the change has nonetheless been unmistakable over time and provided the show’s real "Sunday Funnies" for lots of us, as this clip from Stephen Colbert last month makes clear:
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|George Will’s Long Tie|
Of course, chipping away at Will’s certitude is intrinsically funny because of his magisterial, always unsmiling manner–it’s like teasing a pinched and grumpy-looking hedgehog with a sharp stick.
Twice on the most recent This Week, Will set himself up as the straight man for Krugman. First, during the discussion of "Climategate," the manufactured scandal over hacked emails from British climatologists that purportedly "prove" that global warming isn’t real. The ever-intellectual Will–along with less bookish illuminati like Rush Limbaugh and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)–has been one of the leading global-warming deniers. But Krugman easily slapped down Will’s conspiracy theory-like distortions, and George had to just sit there like a conservative Kon-Tiki and take it.