Cable TV talk shows play with sanity
Focus on New Mexico host Gene Grant hasn’t a clue. The KNME – TV weekly discussion of all things New Mexico features experts in the subject de jour and smart questions from regular and guest panelists.
Among the regulars are former House Republican Whip Dan Foley and New Mexico Law Review editor Sophie Martin. Moderator Grant lets this all flow freely, providing an intelligent, usually low-key discussion of critical issues to the state.
What’s wrong with this guy? Doesn’t he know he’d bomb on national TV? Shouting is mandatory. Hurling insults is critical. Promoting your own sorry self is part of the deal.
My Zantac usage rate dropped a little since I swore off cable TV talk shows a few years ago. I still tune in occasionally just to see if anything has changed.
Maybe Rachel Maddow will say, “Truthfully, some of Mitt Romney’s ideas actually make sense.” Not going to happen.
Or maybe Bill O’Reilly has stopped bragging about Bill O’Reilly every four minutes. Nope. Not in the cards. I swear that guy must send postcards to himself when he is on vacation. “Hi. Having a good time. Love ya!”
All of these programs have introduced to our daily language a questionable phrase. Here is a typical exchange.
“Mr. Romney campaign official, do you really think the American people will vote for a scumbag who lined his pockets buying up companies, firing workers, and sending jobs overseas?”
“Well, I think that at the end of the day the American people want a president to get this country moving again and that is just what Mitt Romney will do!”
“And you, President Obama spokesman, do you really think the American people will return to office a lowlife who promised change and hope and has the country hoping for a change?”
“Well, I think at the end of the day the American people will realize all good things are worth waiting for and President Obama has laid the groundwork for prosperity.”
Here’s a news bulletin. At the end of the day the American people are tired. They are tired of looking for jobs. They are tired of watching their retirement hopes fade. They are tired of fighting traffic and chasing kids. They are tired of a congress full of slaves to lobbyists, hopelessly bogged down in ideological mire. They are tired of fat cats being allowed to choose our next president by spending millions and millions on hit-below-the-belt TV spots. At the end of the day the American people are tired and they want to go to sleep. So, shut-up!
Here’s what the phrase should say: “At about 10 in the morning.” That’s when the American people have rested, relaxed with a cup of coffee, and are energized enough to make smart decisions.
So were I on one of these shows I would like to say, “Well, I think at about 10 in the morning the American people are going to rise up and take back their country from the filthy rich and blithering TV idiots. They are going to tell their congressman they are watching. They know his chest-thumping stubbornness is scaring industry from investment that would provide further jobs. He’s not the solution, he’s the problem. About 10 in the morning the American people are going to say they’ve had enough.”
Psalm 94:11: “The Lord knows what people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind.”
Hurricane force over there at Fox News. Maybe a few breezes from this column, come to think of it.
Ned Cantwell – firstname.lastname@example.org – is not a techie but has mastered the mute button.