Meet the Less…
Posted December 9, 2014on:
Afternoon Widdershins. Here’s hoping your week is off to a good start and you don’t find yourself too immersed in the maelstrom that is the holiday surge.
Last Sunday I caught the weekly talkies — the news programs that are trying to disguise themselves as 1980s music videos. From what I can tell, they seem to be afflicted with one of two things. One, either we have become so rapaciously addled our attention span can’t grasp more than a 30-second toe-dip on any subject; or two, at a 30-second spot, the producers have imparted the sum and substance of their less than considerable knowledge.
The “new and improved” Meet the Press with Chuckles Todd is as intellectually unsatisfying as it was when that tall lanky guy was sitting there. The only difference is that Chuckles is the opposite of tall and now occasionally walks around which is a bit of not-so-clever stagecraft since the program is pre-recorded.
One of this past Sunday’s guests was none other than Rick Santelli. You might remember Mr. Santelli as the person who, six weeks after the Obama inauguration, is credited with the rant that spawned the Tea Party.
Yeah, that Rick Santelli. It’s like that old saying, “stick enough monkeys in front of enough typewriters and eventually you’ll get Gone with the Wind.” Well, stick enough monkeys in front of television cameras and you’ll get Rick Santelli. While he isn’t the dumbest man ever paid to talk on teevee, that accolade is and will always be reserved for Sean Hannity, when the weekly coaches’ poll comes out, Santelli always gets votes for the honor.
Let’s review shall we: Six weeks after the Bush bailout of the banks with TARP and while the Obama Administration hadn’t so much as learned where the bathrooms were, Santelli became incensed about mortgage bailouts for victims of predatory loans. His rant even included his anger about neighbors who had renovated bathrooms and added bedrooms with home loans. He was having none of it.
Of all the spittle producing subjects within Santelli’s rant — none of it ever happened — neither a jot nor a tittle — nothing, nada, not a single solitary whit of his proclaimed doom every materialized. This is not unique with Santelli. Santelli’s little walnut-sized amygdala is always pumping its fear juice into his pea-sized brain.
It’s just not me calling out Santelli, here is an example between Santelli and Steve Liesman on CNBC that went viral. Here’s Liesman’s indictment on Santelli:
Rick, it’s impossible for you to have been more wrong. You call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the U.S. economy to rebound. It’s impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick. Lost people money, Rick. Every single bit of advice. There is no piece of advice that you’ve given that’s worked. Not a single one. Not a single one, Rick. The higher interest rates never came, the inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened, the dollar never crashed. There isn’t a single one that’s worked for you.
Krugman has described Santelli like this:
He hates the poors, he hates people who want to help the poors, he trashes Janet Yellen for suggesting that she actually cares about the plight of the unemployed. So the traders (Santelli’s main audience) like Santelli even though he’s been wrong about everything.
This post isn’t about trashing Rick Santelli since there is bound to be a law against shooting fish in a barrel or harming defenseless animals. What this post is about: Of all the people in the world, couldn’t Chuckles trot out someone who has been right about something — anything. This distaste has nothing to do with Santelli’s conservatism. In fact, honest policy debates from a conservative would be a welcomed event — if there was anyone capable of carrying on an honest policy debate from a conservative viewpoint.
Just look at the news programs — you have the same stable of useless, pap-spewing retreads on every show. But something has changed. What has changed is that the Fox second and third string commentors team are being substituted in on other shows with more and more frequency.
Whether or not anyone will admit it — isn’t this the sign of the apocalypse — that Roger Ailes and Fox has won. If the other news operations must kowtow to the flagellating nihilist crowd in order to bolster ratings, aren’t we all the losers? When you get the same type of know-nothings you get on Fox no matter what program you choose, isn’t the war of ideas over?
Of course I could have just turned the channel to Fox and watched an in-depth, fourteen-minute interview with Rush Limbaugh, the Hammurabi, very heavy on the ham, of today’s conservativism. Meet the Less indeed.
This is an open thread.
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