Your Objective Media

2 comments May 25th, 2008at 12:06pm Posted by Eli

I found this while looking for something completely different.  I wish I could say it was surprising…

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich drops a little aside in a blog post on campaign styles that gives a revealing, behind-the-scenes glimpse of what passes for political discourse these days. We know the producers of the Sunday talk shows and “reality” shows generally are lurking in the background, egging on the actors and often distorting what’s happening. Rarely do we get to find out about it, however. Reality-show contestants sign contracts not to spill the beans, and talk-show guests also are silent because they know they won’t be invited back if they squeal. Here’s Reich:

I was on television recently, debating a conservative. It’s something I do fairly often. During a commercial break, the producer spoke into my earpiece. “A bit more energy,” he said.”What do you mean?” I answered, slightly hurt. I thought I’d been doing a fairly good job scoring points.

“Rip into him. Only three minutes in the next segment and we want to make the most of it.”…

I asked the producer who was talking into my earpiece why I had to rip into my opponent. “We see viewership minute by minute,” he said, hurriedly (the commercial break was about over). “When you really go after each other, we get a spike.”

It’s the spike I’m worried about. I chose not to rip into my opponent but, then again, I’m not running for president.

This is the larger point to be made about right-wing blowbag Kevin James’ embarrassing appearance on Hardball last week. Sure he made a total fool of himself because he was indignantly against “appeasement” but didn’t know who Neville Chamberlain was or how appeasement got such a bad rap. But, hey, who cares? Hardball’s Chris Matthews “ripped into him.” Matthews and James “got a huge spike.” Isn’t that what matters most? The hell with substance! We want to be entertained. Making himself a global joke was probably a great career move for James.

In case anyone was wondering why the discourse in this country has degenerated into yelling and namecalling.  What’s even more outrageous is that these same media then turn around and bemoan the loss of civility (primarily among Democrats, of course) that they themselves have promoted. Brilliant.

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Wankers


  • 1. Cujo359  |  May 25th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    A while back I wrote to one of my local PBS stations complaining that they had removed Washington Week from their lineup and retained The McLoudmouthLaughlin Group. They wrote back that TMG was more popular, even though it was by far the more substance-free of the two. This is PBS, which is supposedly for eggheads, mind you.

    Yes, I was a contributor to the station. No, I no longer am.

    Are people’s lives so empty and dull that they need to see people arguing on news shows? Apparently, they are.

  • 2. woody  |  May 26th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    The exact same thing may be said to apply to the “debates,” since they have been turned over, bag and baggage, to the SCUM.

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