Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Brits'-Eye View of Our Sucky Political Pundits

Hadley Freeman is an American whose job it is to interpret everyday Americana for Guardian readers; so late last week, she took it upon herself to interpret that peculiarity that our political pundits are, for the Great British Public - because, you know, their political commentators actually do have a background in politics and political journalism. In the UK, you won't have Ricky Gervais making political statements, only to insert foot in mouth and shove and then claim the comedian defence.

You can read the full article, which is organised against the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin murder here. You really should, because the bulk of the article is about Rush and Bill-O and Geraldo Rivera and all the boys at Fox. Sad, really, because I actually remember when Geraldo Rivera was a cutting edge newsman on the then-fledgling Good Morning, America way back in the 1970s.

Oh, well ...

But our Hadley's an equal opportunity finger-pointer as well, as her last two paragraphs in the piece indicate, citing Charter Leftwing members of the Bipartisan Political Pundits' He-Man Woman-Haters' Club, Ed Schultz and Bill Maher and the real reason all of these asshats exist in the common sphere:-

Not that the leftwing Commentariat are much better behaved. Ridiculous blowhard Ed Schultz (MSNBC and radio) last year called a female radio host "a rightwing slut" while the often-brilliant-but-sometimes-not Bill Maher (HBO) used the c-word to describe Sarah Palin – which is almost more offensive in its laziness than its linguistic abuse. Yet the right wing is more important because, for whatever reason, they actually seem to hold sway over their political party, as proven by the GOP presidential candidates refusing to condemn Limbaugh's comments about Fluke.

If you ever wondered why and how political discourse in the US became so partisan, base and downright stupid, behold the Commentariat, and the way they have callously used Martin for their own self-publicity illustrates nicely their modus operandi, namely: "I'll say anything if it keeps me in the limelight and makes me money." If that isn't the definition of celebrity, I'll eat my remote control.

And just for good measure, here are some Guardianistas' take on my particular bete noire, Maher. I've been saying for years, to much consternation, that Maher is neither a liberal nor any friend of Liberals or the Liberal cause. Sometimes, the Brits amaze me in their perspicacity, because they can see through the disguise.

From Haigin88:

Both Ed Schultz and Bill Maher have right-wing backgrounds - Maher might have supported the great Ralph Nader in 2000 but I think he supported Republican candidate Bob Dole in 1996 and sometimes calls himself 'libertarian' on some issues while that tiresome bag of hot air Ed Schultz started as a right-winger before his (strategic?) later move.

(Entirely correct).

From Martin1000:

I love Hadley's articles, as I think they are normally very funny. However, this article is not funny. I do not blame Hadley for this, but rather the shocking state of news coverage here in the US. I teach political science at the university level in the US and have done so for a number of years, but I cannot watch the news here anymore, as it is so bad. I cannot ask my students to watch the news, as it is so bad. Instead, I listen to the BBC news on the radio and when I stay in the UK I watch as much Newsnight and Daily Politics as I can.

From Moionfire:

I don't want people thinking what is on the cable news programs is actually refelective of the opinions of everyday americans. Simply put, the cable news channels want ratings, and they do this by acting like tabloids. I think the government needs to step in and put standards like most countries do. Keep in mind that the FCC only regulates broadcast networks(abc, nbc, cbs) news--- not cable.

From Mistressofsome:

The American news is impossible to watch, and I don't mean just the Fox bile... I mean all of it. MSNBC is an awkward teenager in its desire to be liked and asked to prom, CNN is a middle school student's essay about Why I Want to be President with some bad CGI attached, and anything on PBS is just mind-numbingly beige.

If one wants to see the news from an American source, one has to turn to the comedy news (Stewart and Colbert) or those young punks on the internets! The Young Turks have a decent youtube channel in that they at least ask decent questions. But but but, even the watchable news coverage is underscored with what America loves most... noise. Everyone's yelling, but few are actually saying anything of note. American news needs the same treatment their suppers need. Smaller portions.

And from tcollins:

Bill Maher brilliant? Bill Maher "doesn't believe in" vaccines.

And the last word from forfucksake:-

when is bill maher brilliant? he tries to be like George Carlin but he doesn't have 1/25 of the intelligence and 1/100 of the courage. i still remember him after 9/11, he was nothing but a cheerleader for the bush administration, now he's trying to restyle himself as left-wing, which is fuckin hilarious.

As ever, articulate.

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