Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Television Worth Watching

I can barely get through any semblance of "news" on tv these days without rolling my eyes. Is there *really* anything newsworthy about the lunatic fringe disrupting town hall meetings or defacing Facebook with claims about death panels for senior citizens and Down's Syndrome babies? This is less journalism than voyeurism and the exhibitionists are all off their meds! Do we really need to see this? Oh, for the days before the internet, when policy was made by staff lawyers on the Hill toiling long into the night, night after night, wrangling words and making deals to draft legislation that appeased some lobbyists without pissing off others too much. Aside from C-Span viewers, earnest interns, unions and other lobbyists, most of us were oblivious until the bill had made its way through markups to law, and finally regulations that actually affected us. NOW? Everybody has a forum. Mis and Disinformation are virally spewed throughout the process. The media, with a few surprising exceptions, seems committed to scandalmongering rather than uncovering the truth. Just when I thought the claims couldn't be any more preposterous, Glenn Beck (where'd this guy come from, by the way?) clutched another straw out of his ass: somehow Obama's health reform initiative is a guise for(drum roll) reparations for slavery. Yes, he actually said that -- on a network called Fox News Channel that might be more appropriately called Faux News Channel. Stay tuned for the Breaking News crawl that the Health Reform plan specifies Soylent Green for the school lunch program.

Fortunately, though, I did happen upon some tv worth watching. In fact, I not only watched, I spontaneously erupted in applause.
I love this about Hillary! Every now and then that professional politician veneer she's polished with sheer determination cracks and a real undiplomatic and unapologetically human Hillary shines through. Check out that gangster lean at the end. Attribute it to jet lag, exhaustion, bad translation or having had it UP TO HERE with Bill and Barack, whatever. It's just Hillary being Hillary: kick-ass. She'll clean it up on the talk shows next Sunday.


Reg Fife said...

Regarding your comment on Glenn Beck, I watched the video, and fail to see how he was wrong, seeing as how he arrived at the conclusion by looking at what Obama has actually said. Obama specifically stated that "I fear that reparations would be an excuse for some to say, 'We've paid our debt', and avoid the much harder work." and he stated later that his universal healthcare program would disporportionately benefit minorities, and we see in the bill that preference would be given to the most diverse facilities. How does that NOT tie together?

MtnGrl said...

RE "the bill", please specify the bill number to which you refer so I can validate the statement and glean the context. At a glance, given common parlance, I'd suspect the phrase "diverse facilities' means facilities providing various types of health care. If someone made a statement that the bill would disproportionately benefit minorities, it's not a staggering leap of logic to presume that "benefit" would occur because minorities are disproportionately represented among the uninsured, given the practice of health care insurance being provided by employers, and the disproportionate numbers of minorities among the unemployed. That said, I fail to see how the statements in your comment tie reparations for slavery, or anything else, with health care reform.

Julia said...

Most of this public opposition to health care reform is basically a form of astroturfing: that is, when they try to make the loonies seem like authentic grass-roots activists. Always analyze the content of the media so you can see what others are being force-fed.


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