The Widdershins

Meet the Less…

Posted on: December 9, 2014

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 Meet the Pressvideos. 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.

Rick Santelli in one of his more Zen moments...

Rick Santelli in one of his more Zen moments…

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 Roger Ailessomething 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.


14 Responses to "Meet the Less…"

That’s a depressing thought (that fox has won), but I think you’re right. In fact, I was thinking about this after the recent elections. I was never a big fan of MTP & have more interesting things to do on a Sunday, but thought it went downhill back in the Tim Russert days. I thought NBC treated David Gregory badly; and in fact, NBC is known for treating their employees like dirt. We have some relatives working there. I hope my son doesn’t end up there.

@1, while I wasn’t a big Russert fan, at least he called BS when he heard it — he didn’t let people get away with downright lies — not half-truths — downright lying. David Gregory didn’t call people and neither does Chuck Todd — it is all about wanting people to like you so they will come back.

Your son will never make a mistake — he has the good fortune to have you over his shoulder.

Haha! I hope you’re right about my son! I will take your word regarding Russert and agree completely about the news industry today. It is sickening. Russert still has a lot of loyal fans, btw. I have noticed this when scanning other sites.

Re: Russert, I guess I should have said, “fans still loyal to his memory”?

Now that’s a depressing thought: That Fox has won.

I try never to watch the Sunday Talk shows. I make sure to sleep in past their broadcast times. And I also won’t watch the repeats they sometimes show at 3 or 4 in the morning. Just not gonna happen.

You have to go to the TPM link and watch the crazy Fox lady talk about our awesomeness. (?)

omg. Fox News…eeek…can you believe how much money these idiots make to say such stupid things?

Fredster, is skooks a nawlins guy? He’s funny.

The (possibly only) good thing about Russert is that he got people on the record. He plowed through the fluffy talking points and persisted until his guests actually said something.

annie@8: Yeah he’s a nawlins guy. He has a blog which I check out daily and he tweets like crazy! LOL. He’s part of a group of bloggers who started there after Katrina and I just enjoy reading his stuff.

His blog is named The Library Chronicles, taking off from The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, I assume. Here’s the blog link:

He writes posts about nola stuff, politics, national issues and the like. And he’s a dem.

Here’s a perfect example of the Foxification of the news. How many times in the Michael Brown case have you heard about the witness who said, “Michael Brown barreled toward Wilson like a football player with his head down.” That narrative has been on a loop on Fox especially from Hannity.

Come to find out, that witness, a poster of racist tripe on various sites on the internet, who was completely discredited the day before she testified to the grand jury by the FBI, a non-resident of the neighborhood where the killing occurred, wrote in her journal about the reason she was there. This isn’t a pure quote, but close enough:

I’m going to drive down to the neighborhood in order to understand the black man because I use the “n” word too much.

So the exculpating testimony in the Brown killing is from a witness who produced a journal (perhaps written in retrospect) saying she was going to the very neighborhood where the killing occurred on the very day of the killing, happened to be there at the very time of the killing, to help her get over her lifelong racist tendencies.

There you have Foxification.

Even better, the FBI could find neither hide nor hair of the witnesses vehicle on any traffic cam during the time that said witness was reportedly there.

Agree wholeheartedly…Fox has won. The infotainment model has subsumed everything but 60 Minutes and the PBS News Hour. Even PBS is iffy these days.

What bugs the heck out of me is the 15-second sound bytes that pass for news. So completely uninformative…no wonder Americans don’t know what’s going on.

@11: I had seen something about that on the news. It wasn’t given very much airtime though. 🙄

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