Television

The Debate In 100 Seconds

TPM2012

As the GOP candidates lined up for their last debate before voters take to the Iowa caucuses, everyone took their chance to get a last pitch in with some final free airtime.

Everyone’s swagger was in abundance and some rocks were thrown at the frontrunner, but now we have to wait until votes are cast before everyone gets together to yell at one another on TV again…

 

David Frum’s Attempt To Save His Republican Party

David Frum is an old school conservative who feels his party has lost it’s way…

Mario Piperni

One can almost feel David Frum’s pain in this insightful and honest look at his beloved Republican party.  You should read the entire piece in New York magazine to get a full sense of where Frum is coming from but here is the essence of what he is saying.

Republican mindset…

If we say something often enough, we come to believe it. We don’t usually delude others until after we have first deluded ourselves. Some of the smartest and most sophisticated people I know—canny investors, erudite authors—sincerely and passionately believe that President Barack Obama has gone far beyond conventional American liberalism and is willfully and relentlessly driving the United States down the road to socialism. No counterevidence will dissuade them from this belief: not record-high corporate profits, not almost 500,000 job losses in the public sector, not the lowest tax rates since the Truman administration. It is not easy to fit this belief alongside the equally strongly held belief that the president is a pitiful, bumbling amateur, dazed and overwhelmed by a job too big for him—and yet that is done too.

One of the key reasons for that mindset being what it is…

Extremism and conflict make for bad politics but great TV. Over the past two decades, conservatism has evolved from a political philosophy into a market segment. An industry has grown up to serve that segment—and its stars have become the true thought leaders of the conservative world. The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much. As a tool of political mobilization, it backfires, by inciting followers to the point at which they force leaders into confrontations where everybody loses, like the summertime showdown over the debt ceiling.

Continue reading here… 

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TV that deserves the name “journalism”

I am a very pleased fan of Up With Chris Hayes, the weekend morning news show that already has over 150,000 viewers and has only been on for about a month or so.

I DVR the show since it comes on at 7am on Saturdays and 8am on Sundays…

Salon – David Sirota

Chris Hayes’ new show on MSNBC provides a rare space for the expansive, non-partisan debates we need

Waking up at 4 a.m. is rarely enjoyable, and arising at that unspeakable hour to appear on a cable news show is particularly painful. In such situations, you feel as if you’re dragging yourself out of bed only to be treated like a canine in a dogfight, with the typical show pitting you in a contrived death match against another guest who is your equally angry, equally mangy opposite. That, or you’re simply asked to play the yes-man — the Ed McMahon to the host’s Johnny Carson.

Needless to say, I’m not a fan of most cable news because I find this format mind-numbing, uninformative and tedious (and cable news’ declining ratings over the last year prove I’m not alone). So when I was asked to appear on MSNBC last Saturday morning, my initial thought was, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

But then I realized it was a new show hosted by Chris Hayes, a journalist whose work I’ve long admired. So I said yes. And crack-of-dawn fatigue aside, I’m glad I did, because to my surprise, I ended up getting the chance to participate in one of the best television programs on the air.

“Up With Chris Hayes,” which broadcasts Saturday and Sunday mornings, purposely rejects the manufactured red-versus-blue mallet that bludgeons every issue into partisan terms. Instead, the program’s host is creating a space for more expansive discussions with voices typically deemed too unconventional, provocative or dangerous to be allowed anywhere near a television set.

Continue reading here…

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Our Sadly Lowered Standards for Dickitude

Mother JonesKevin Drum has done it again.  His articles are humorous and smart.

Here’s his take on Mark Halperin’s faux pas on Morning Joe yesterday.  The piece was written yesterday, as well. 

Mother Jones 

Mark Halperin is one of my least-favorite political analysts, a reliably unimaginative weathervane of conventional wisdom. Today, on Morning Joe, he gave his considered opinion of Barack Obama’s press conference performance on Wednesday: “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.”

Halperin didn’t quite realize he was on the air when he said this, and when he did he immediately apologized and was later suspended by MSNBC. However, this is of zero interest to me. If Halperin thinks Obama is a dick, it’s fine with me if he says it publicly. In fact, I’d rather he say it publicly. A mild reproach from MSNBC management for offending the delicate sensibilities of Morning Joe viewers would have been sufficient apology.

Needless to say, what’s actually interesting here is that Halperin, in fact, thinks Obama is a dick for getting slightly combative yesterday. And this is interesting precisely because Halperin is an unimaginative weathervane of conventional wisdom. It presumably means that a fair-sized chunk of the DC press corps also thinks Obama was a bit of a dick yesterday.

If this is the case, all I can say is that the standards for dickitude have become alarmingly low in Washington, DC, these days. I mean, Republicans have spent several consecutive months holding the country hostage to their tea-party base, pretending to negotiate a budget deal when they obviously had no intention of ever agreeing to any kind of compromise, all but chortling publicly at their own cleverness, and dressing down Obama in front of the TV cameras at every opportunity. But after putting up with this for months, it’s Obama who’s a dick for finally pushing back a bit against these guys? Seriously?

Continue reading here…

HE’S BAA-AACK!

The terrible irony is that my cable company doesn’t carry Current TV.  That sux big time!

 

Huffington Post

After six months off the air, Keith Olbermannreturned to television Monday night with a new edition of “Countdown” on Current TV.

The hotly anticipated premiere featured appearances from some of Olbermann’s contributors, including Michael Moore, John Dean and Markos Moulitsas, as well as a so-called “mini Special Comment” about Olbermann’s vision for the show.

Read a recap of how the show here.

 

 

The West Wing: “Then Shut It Down”

My favorite television program of all time…and one of my favorite episodes. 

(I have all 7 seasons in boxed sets.)

The Koch Brothers & The Tea Party

Dylan Ratigan Makes It Official: Mark Ames & Yasha Levine Broke The Koch Brothers’ Takeover Of America

You should know this:

  • From the time they founded the Tea Party in 2009 to today, their wealth shot up from 28 billion to 44 billion, nearly 60 percent;
  • They led the campaign against health care;
  • The Kochs spend more fighting climate change than anyone or any company in the world;
  • The Kochs bankrolled Scott Walker;
  • The Kochs wrote Bush’s environmental policies;
  • Cato wrote the Republican Congress’s 1995 legislative agenda, acting as the think-tank for Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.
  • The Kochs control up to 35,000 miles of pipelines in the US and Canada, enough to circle the globe 1-1/2 times.

Glenn Beck Exposes FreedomWorks Fisting (A DC Douglas Tweak)

H/t Neonzx