Game Of Pundits

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I’ve recently noticed something watching cable news, mainly watching FNC and CNN, and it has made me wonder what took me so long to see this.

Each network has a lot of pundits that they want you to hear. On CNN its liberal, on FNC, conservatives. What I have noticed is who each network hires to serve the opposition.

On FNC, the main liberal pundits, or the selection of them, want to give you the hidden impression that they’re flawed somehow. I see Marie Harf, a nice looking blonde woman and a former State Department spokesperson, on FNC often being shouted down on Outnumbered.

Then there’s Jessica Tarlov, who has this sound to her when she speaks friends of mine find annoying. Or Richard Fowler, who leaves some wondering when he speaks whether or not he’s gay, not that this any of my business or that he is.

CNN’s main Trump go-to guy is Jeffrey Lord, and older gentleman who serves his role well as their agent provocateur.

I think it’s like product placement in a movie or TV show really. There to distract you so you’re thinking about how they look or how they talk as opposed to actually hearing what they say. Maybe it’s been there a while, I don’t know.

Fox News And Family Values

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A few more primaries came and went Tuesday night, and the Republican field continues to be muddled with a clear leader but no clear nominee, with a decent possibility of a stalemate continuing to loom when the GOP convention meets in Cleveland this summer. Speculation continues to run rampant that Donald Trump may have the most delegates, but yet may not be the Republican nominee when all is said and done.

As many of you know, Mr. Trump has also been embroiled in a controversy with Fox News, most notably with show host Megyn Kelly. To be honest, I don’t understand the allure of the right-leaning cable news outlet who frequently claims to be fair and balanced, but yet has hosts like Bill O’Reilly who enhance their reputations on the backs of today’s newsmakers, despite their own flawed characters.

My personal theory about those who claim fairness and balance is that what they wind up doing fails to measure to the reputations they aspire to. Just like how many on the right love to spout family values when a few of their own families fail to have any such ideals. My advice: the best way to teach lessons about such values is to do so by living your lives in quiet dignity, setting your own unspoken example. If you have to talk about values and ethics, you probably don’t have either.

As for Trump, he will either be the new President in a little less than ten months or he will not, with the GOP perhaps engaging in their own “rescue mission” much to the dismay of many. He doesn’t impress me any more than the other candidates do, and I don’t think my life will change significantly no matter who we elect. They are just different heads and bodies within the same “suit” of American leadership where parties simply don’t matter as much as the media would have you to believe.

 

Who’s Afraid Of Megyn Kelly?

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In a move that is utterly genius or utterly stupid, Donald Trump is boycotting a Fox News debate being held in Iowa tomorrow. (Yes folks, the word “debate” is being used, so Fox can’t weasel out of it like CNN did earlier this week.)

It appears that Donald has an aversion for any debate co-moderated by FNC anchor Megyn Kelly, the 45 year-old native of Syracuse who has risen up the cable news channel’s food chain faster than you can say Shepard Smith. After Kelly asked some pointed questions about how he views women back in August, these two have been feuding.

As for me, I’ve always been a believer that some moves are so bad that they might wind up being good, just as if you travel far enough west you wind up east of where you started. But what can I say? Fox News should reserve the right to use the moderators they want, and if Trump doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to attend and/or participate if not somehow bound by the Republican Party to do so.

Likewise, anyone who’s eligible to vote doesn’t have to vote for Mr. Trump, either in the Republican primaries or in November should he make it that far. The last time I looked, it’s still a free country.

The Donald Invades My Dreams

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Did you ever have a dream during the night (or other time you sleep) that had you waking up laughing?

I had such a dream a few nights back.

In my dream, it was early 2016, and things started getting a little testy in terms of Donald Trump’s bid to the the next President of the United States in the fall. The Fox News Channel holds a Presidential debate and tries to ignore Mr. Trump as they did Ron Paul in the previous election, except it backfires badly. Campaigns are launched by Republican voters for Trump AGAINST the Fox News Channel, and they soon find out it’s not wise to piss off middle-class Republicans.

Covering other stories of the day, FNC’s broadcast remotes to various parts of the country get interrupted by bystanders who get on camera, yelling “Trump! Trump!” kind of like the old Hulk Hogan cartoon theme, or like people yell “Baba Booey” at reporters every now and then. Other bystanders to FNC remotes simply hold up Trump’s photo in a less noisy but equally poignant protest.

The protests spread to the other news outlets, flustering news anchors everywhere nationally and locally, causing one anchor to famously start mock chugging a big bottle of Vodka on the air. But since they produce a spike in ratings, no actions are taken to quell the “Trump!” outbursts. When they fail to act, the FCC announces they will look into the matter to see if any violation of election laws have taken place, which is where I left the dream, giggling like crazy as I woke up to go to the bathroom.

Gee, I wonder if it will happen.

MSNBC On 9/11

Well, that day is sneaking up on us again, with this year marking the 14th anniversary of the dastardly attacks on America by terrorists that killed some 3,000 people.

I have mentioned in previous years that I found out about the attacks watching MSNBC. Back then, I was an MSNBC junkie, long before the network became the disaster I believe it is now. A lot of the talent they had wound up on Fox News Channel, of course.

During the course of the past year, I found the MSNBC footage on YouTube, which had been up since 2013. Hadn’t seen it for years, of course.

If memory serves, they were one of the last news outlets to break in and coverage what looked like at the time to have been an ordinary plane crash of a plane into one of the World Trade Center buildings, if such a crash can be considered ordinary. About ten minutes later, with the world watching, we would (of course) come to the realization that the crash was not an accident when a second plane hit the opposite WTC tower.

If you watch the clip at 13:10 (which was 9:05 EDT), you can hear someone on mic (sounding a lot like Lester Holt) saying, “That was an attack.”

God bless all those concerned, and I hope we keep these people in our prayers always.

Get Off It!

You could see the head slump.  You could see the body fall.  But you could see little else, thankfully.  Mercifully.

Fox News Channel aired a car chase in Arizona this past Friday.  A carjacker then got out of his car, ran a few yards, took out a gun, and extinguished himself by firing it at his temple.  The video wound up airing seconds before the audio of anchor Shepard Smith described it, so instead of the audio airing live and the video aired on delay, the reverse happened.  And it wasn’t the first time it had happened that way.

I don’t know why they air car chases on TV in the afternoon nationwide on HLN or Fox News.  I guess it fills up air time, I guess maybe it’s even for the mayhem that played out on Friday. But I hope we don’t see any more incidents like this.  Unless it’s a celebrity in a car like O.J. Simpson in 1994, it’s just not worth it to show these events in real time, if anyone asked me.

Happy Days, Everybody!

May 1st of last year, 2011.  Ironically enough, Geraldo Rivera (the man who couldn’t break into Al Capone’s vault…or so I thought.  My good friend Kathy up in Boston reminded me this morning that they DID break into Capone’s vault and had nothing to show) was the man who broke the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden.  I often call Geraldo Rivera the Brent Musburger of news, and call Brent Musburger the Geraldo Rivera of sports. To me, they are interchangeable. Hype masters.  Never let what’s actually going on get in the way of hyping what they think what’s going on, or what might go on.  But how Geraldo relayed the news a year ago tonight was pretty memorable.  And so, here it is…