THE MOCKING OF PARTS! Somethings wrong with a big cable host. Lets start with Anderson Cooper: // link // print // previous // next //
FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2009
Ravitch rolls: Diane Ravitch is rolling today (just click here). Well examine her piece on the morrow.
An endless jones: The New York Times seems to have an endless jones for climate change deniers. Today, we get this largely worthless profile of pitiful Marc Morano.
Morano is an important person. For years, he churned out pap for Senator Inhofe, perhaps the biggest kook in the Senate. Now, hes starting his own climate site. Its funded by a high-minded non-profitan organization which gets its money from ExxonMobil and Richard Scaife. Morano says that hell be paid more than the $134,000 he [was paid] annually in the Senate.
Morano is influential. Thats why its sad that we had to wait until paragraph 29 for hints that hes a fairly large joke. Finally, after barrels of blather, Leslie Kaufman got around to citing the case of Chris Allen:
As she continuesin paragraph 30Kaufman tells more:
Because Morano is influential, examples like these constitute major news. They should have led todays report, where they could have been examined more thoroughly. Instead, Kaufman wasted time with piffle and palaver. (In paragraph 16, she briefly previewed these apparent problems, but made no attempt to evaluate them.) Did you know that Morano grew up with an affinity for nature and animalsthat his basement was home to a menagerie of reptiles, including a boa constrictor? You learn that piffle in paragraph 20, long before Kaufman tries to evaluate his influential work. By the way: Moranos early attraction to reptiles seemed to extend into adulthood. He took his first reporting job with radio titan Rush Limbaugh.
The New York Times seems to have a real jones for ceaseless purveyor[s] of the view that global warming is overblown. Earth to Gotham: Those teen-age reptiles dont make any difference. Marc Morano is influential. You need to examine his work.
THE MOCKING OF PARTS: Today, we have naming of parts. So wrote British airman Henry Reed, starting his famous World War II poem. (To hear Robert Pinsky read it, click here.) Even as he was being trained for war, Reed saw the wider world around him. Heres how his poem began:
Even as he was being trained in the use of his rifle, Reed ruefully and sardonically saw the living world around him.
In the best-known poem of World War I, Rupert Owen had managed to see a dying comrade near him, yelling out and stumbling/And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. In the next war, Reed could see the japonica glistening near him.
Today again, well have naming of parts, so youll understand last evenings news. You see, if you dont know the term tea-bagging (and some may not), you cant understand the perfect crap your corporate news entities serve you:
Not that theres anything wrong with it! (And there isnt, of course. For the fuller discussion, click here.) But there is something vastly wrong with the grisly imitations of news our corporate fronts are now paid to sell us. They may not be able to see how inane their conduct is; we cant all be Owens or Reed, after all. But today, weve offered a naming of partsjust to be sure youll understand whats transpiring on your cable news programs.
The inanity started with Cooper: For ourselves, the problem started as we watched Anderson Cooper last night. Hed opened his program with a full segment about five pirates who were holding a captain. The captain has a thick Boston accent, we were told by cable beauty Erica Hill; beautiful sunrises and sunsets, we're told, drew him to the ocean. (In the 1970s, he drove a cab, we were told. More Hill: Before he got behind the wheel of that cab, we're told he played basketball, football and lacrosse.)
We were struck by the relative pointlessness of this long segment. But as Cooper promoted the rest of the program, we were very much struck by his list of news topics:
Lets see: A pitcher had diedand so had an actress. Michelle Obama was back in the gardenand high winds were driving a fire. At a momentous time in the planets historywith major stories all around us, stories few of us understandthis was Coopers idea of the news. More specifically, this was CNNs attempt to drawand holdour rube eyeballs.
Few citizens understand the momentous stories currently driving world news. But Cooper didnt use his massive resources to attempt to explain these stories; instead, he planned to discuss an athlete dying young, and show us pictures of fire. In this way, a cable entertainment event pretended to be a cable news program. Before last night, had you ever heard that Captain Phillips had that thick Boston accent?
Onward and downward: We were struck by Coopers promo, which we watched in the 1 AM hour. At then, at 2, it was onward and downward with another cable entertainment.
Cooper pretended to be doing news. In the next hour, so did Rachel Maddow.
As shed done on Wednesday night, the lady began with a full segment about that pirated freighter. (Given the fact that Phillips was being held hostage, she tried to suppress her normal joking and clowningand, for the most part, succeeded.) She followed with a full segment about a rather marginal eventthe apparent cutting of cable lines near San Jose, California. (Check this out. Someone today cut fiber optic cable lines belonging to AT&T and Sprint, knocking out land line and cell phone service to more than 50,000 people in four counties.) Before long, we got one of the utterly ludicrous analyses for which this show is becoming famous (details below). We also got a short human-interest report about the Masters tournament.
We were now at the halfway point of the show, and very little had been discussed. As with Cooper, so with Maddow: She has a chance, every night of the week, to clarify the monumental news stories which are now reshaping the world. Instead, she tends to mug and clown and joke and play. And to call on a lady named Cox, as she did again last evening.
Weve seldom seen a more clownish segment than the one which soon transpired. Having called on her fool from Capitol Hill, Maddow clowned for seven minutes (6:54) aboutha ha ha!tea-bagging. To be certain youd get this important news report, we offered that naming of parts.
The fool on the Hill: As you may know, some conservatives are staging events to complain about levels of federal spending and taxation. The Boston Tea Party has been used as a model. Some have started sending tea bags to politicians as symbols of their protests.
This created the framework for Maddows segment with Coxa segment comprised of sheer, inane clowning. Maddow began by framing the segment. As staff laughter began to reward her, she turned to that comical term:
As you can see, Maddows staff had a hard time finding Fox broadcasters who used the term tea-bagging. But she introduced the exceptionally humorous termand she and Cox spent the next seven minutes mugging and clowning about it. Indeed, as Maddow continued, she had to beg the staff to stop their very infectious laughing. How could she keep explaining the news with staff laughter all around?
Maddow could barely continue, so general was the hilarity. And sure enough! When the dim-witted Cox was at last dragged out, the hilarious joking continued. By the way: How funny is thather last name is Cox? Its amazing that Maddow can say it::
Wow! Could these idiots keep it up all night? In fact, they pretty much did:
If you watch this long, childish segment, you will see it was wholly devoted to tea-bagging double entendre. Omigod! These two are just so gifted:
And its truethis is all Cox has to say. (Funny name!) Cox is a worthless political analyst. Plainly, she is brought on this program to look young, make sardonic jokes, and to talk very dirty. (Advertisers like young viewersand this pitiful program, which poses as news, is plainly a corporate money-grub venture.) At any rate: Even ignoring her funny last name, Cox can bring it all night long:
Do you think that cleave themselves set-up was planned in advance? Wed have to guess that it was.
Go ahead. We advise you to instruct yourselves by watching that full segment (just click here). Last nights show was already a joke by the time this segment began. Result? Maddow and Cox spent seven more minutes laughing about some dirty words they cleverly said on the air. This brings us to an inevitable question: Why is Maddow on TV at all? Why is she mugging and clowning this way, when momentous, confusing events are occurring all over the world?
After marveling at last nights segment, we pondered some profiles of Maddow. Her autobiography is intriguingso is OReillysbut truly, it all comes down to one thing. Maddow dresses like a first grader, she tells us in her Air America bio. Unfortunately, she behaves like a first-grader too, more and more of the time.
What explains Rachel Maddows odd self-juvenilization? Last October, she actively balked at a call for a more grown-up public discourse. Just this week, she told the world that she has the sense of humor of a 12-year-old. We cant explain the Peter Pan strain that Maddow seems to insist on expressing. But increasingly, the conduct constitutes a rolling insult to people all over the world.
Henry Reed could see the living world around him, even as he was trained with his rifle. Owen saw the suffering around him as he walked behind the wagon that we flung him in/And watch[ed] the white eyes writhing in his face/His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin. The world around Maddow involves billions of peoplepeople all over the world. They will be all caught in the hazy new systems which are evolving as we speak. Many of them may suffer.
Few of us understand the monumental issues being played out in the corridors of power. Maddow has a chance, each night, to help us figure them out. Instead, she keeps introducing the baboon Cox, with whom she childishly simpers and mugs. Heres how last nights play date ended:
Was it as good for Cox as it was for Maddow? Extremely dumb minds want to know.
Something is wrong with Rachel Maddow, an odd combination of climber and child. What results, of course, is corporate newsentertainment masquerading as news. Yes, its aimed at a new demographic, much as another corporate entity once extended its reach from McDonalds to Chipotle. But the entertainment is presented to capture your eyes for a screen, where other fools can sell you their products. If the ladies have to clown all night, their clowning will only continue.
Dumbest analysis in the world: Its stunning to see how bad the analyses can get on the Maddow Show. Example: Before we were served last evenings laugh riot, we sat through the following bit of cosmic dumbness. It concerns a supplemental funding request the Obama Administration has filed. For unknown reasons, Maddow and/or her staff thought it was a big story:
It would be had to overstate how stupid that analysis is. Well assume that Maddows staff composed it; maybe if Maddow would quit her day job, she could devote more time to the blather she churns every night. (Sorry: In the past decade, people like Maddow have almost always doubled down on the money and fame.) Obviously, the need for supplemental funding now, before Obamas first appropriations process is done, doesnt constitute the kind of dishonest budgeting the candidate criticized in the campaign. This commentary was as dumb as it gets. Its amazing how often this type of work is blathered out on this weak program.
Does anyone know why GE had to hire a former Rhodes Scholar to churn such perfect pap? Something is very wrong with this program. Its clowning is an endless insult. But its analyses are often as bad.
By the way: As a bone-simple fact-check shows, Maddow has been playing you about Tammy Duckworth and Richard Burr too. This too may be her staffs fault.