Don’t believe anyone
Don’t read your mail
Make light of every word you hear
Turn off your radio
Quit your job
Do something different (Disappear)
— “Do Something Different,” Brave Combo
The key word of the moment in America is “change.” First brought to you sincerely by Barack Obama, it has been purloined by every other candidate, especially by Bill Clinton’s self-anointed (and wrongly appointed) “world agent of change,” the desperate Senator Hillary Clinton.
Yes, Obama, Phillipe + Jorge’s man from the git-go, is indeed offering real change in the beaten-down, busted-up circus dog show that is US politics. True change, however, will require not just politicos and the public, but the grotesque and spineless superficial giant represented by the nation’s mass media. When we begin to take on that odious behemoth, it will be wise to heed Brave Combo’s advice (except for disappearing).
Instead, it’s time to get up in the grill of our soi-disant experts and clapped-out pundits, to let them know that they are as dead as the denizens of the status quo partisan political world occupied by Senator Pantsuit. It is time to tell Tim Russert, who has morphed into a delusional celebrity, self-serving Bob Woodward, the clueless editors of Time and Newsweek, George Strapitonolous, Bob Schieffer, David Broder, Clarence Page, Charles Krauthammer, Pat Buchanan, Peggy Noonan, and countless other babbling brooks of bullshit that their shelf life has expired.
Look especially to Paul Waldman’s excellent piece in the American Prospect of November 1, “Tim Russert: Stop the Inanity.” Here’s an excerpt about why Russert and his mainstream media ilk are terrible choices to moderate presidential debates:
Russert’s Bible question [what is your favorite verse?] encapsulates everything wrong with him, and with our political coverage more generally. It seeks to make candidates look bad rather than finding out something important about them (if you want to explore a candidate’s religious beliefs, you don’t do it in pop-quiz form and give them just ten seconds to answer). It substitutes the personal anecdote for the policy position, the sound-bite for the substantive answer. It distills the debate into a series of allegedly symbolic, supposedly meaningful moments that can be replayed.
Exactly. Where’s the beef? It isn’t in “gotcha!” questions, Russert’s Meet the Press bread and butter.
Who do Americans get their news from? A bunch of blown-dry sycophants like NBC’s Brian Williams and the rest of his heavily made-up national TV ilk, who dare not offend those in power, lest they not get that high-profile interview with Dubya.
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Fox News are an insult to patriotic Americans everywhere. Paul Begala, Mary Matalin, and James Carville? Old ’90s whores who have become cartoon characters.
This gang’s conceits go so far that some of these egomaniacs, such as George Will on the right, and Thomas Friedman on the left (nice call on Iraq, Tom), think they can actually shape policy. And yet these predominantly non-combatant, upper middle white males continue to pop up on TV. Why do you think the younger generation actually gets most of its news from The Daily Show and similar programs? Even in a satiric mode, they dig in closer to the truth than the pre-cooked, patronizing pap served by the navel-gazing chattering classes of the “established” media.