Friday, October 23, 2015

‘Freedom Of The Press Is Guaranteed Only ...’
Sampling The Networks' Hillary Committee Aftermath

Liebling was right, and his famous quotation is never more apt than when applied to politics on broadcast TV...

[flip broadcast TV — ON]

Charlie Rose, who is I assume a Republican (at least he married in succession two wealthy women), hosted... two Republicans and John Grisham, probably not a Republican (he is on the board of The Innocence Project, and GOPers seldom think anyone is innocent). Three-to-one R-to-D on the set. They weren't shy about it, either. 

A local knockoff of The View; five people on set. I don't know the ratio, but one unabashedly partisan Republican woman dominated the conversation monologue.


A major broadcast network's morning national news. A "political analyst" spins the Hillary testimony. In this case, "political analyst" meant "paid Republican hack."


Another major broadcast network's morning national news. Carly Fiorina, not pitted against any Democrat, ranting derogatory crap about Hillary, with no one on set to defend Mrs. Clinton. You can just imagine... it was as if Fiorina had been given a free ad spot.
[flip — OFF]
There's not even an attempt to be subtle about it. Many Republicans hate Hillary so much that I am worried that if they can't stop her by legitimate means, one or more of them may assault her. But whatever they want to say is OK with me, as long as there is someone on set to present an opposing viewpoint. Somehow, there seldom if ever is such a person.

Regular readers know I am a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders, and I wish to goodness it was his year, but as much as I personally enjoy supporting a genuine progressive, I think Bernie is the proverbial snowball in Hell in the race for President. It ain't gonna happen.

When Bernie departs the race, I will revert to type: I am a strategic voter, and as distasteful as I find big-money politics, I plan to vote for Hillary... no matter what stupid (and utterly false) scandals the Rethugs toss at her. Hey, she's gotta be better than The Donald (admittedly not a very high standard).

As to who will win, I have no idea. With the broadcast networks wholly owned by right-wing nut-jobs (even PBS news shows are dominated by executive directors who lean right), the public never has a fair chance to see any other views. (A colleague of mine with whom I carpooled many years ago, a well-educated wing-nut but nonetheless a wing-nut, used to rant about the "liberal media." I can only wish...)

From Buckley v. Valeo (1976) forward, the "spending-is-speech" crowd, themselves mostly wealthy Republicans, have effectively owned US politics. If we want our democracy back, I don't know how in Hell we're going to get it. It's sad, when you think about it. <sigh />


  1. Voting for someone like Hillary might be tactical -- depends on what you think you'll get out of it -- but strategic it ain't. For anyone who actually leans left, supporting conservative Democrats is a losing proposition. Often enough that's even true in the short term. I've mostly been reduced to hoping that the crazy Republicans will save us from the neolib Dems.

    1. pj, it may depend somewhat on what I was doing before. For many years (mostly before "neolib" became a concern), I was a fairly conventional Democrat, mildly left of center and uncompromising mostly on women's rights (I did a couple of contracts for the local Planned Parenthood near the beginning of my IT career). Then Reagan and his henchmen came along and decided to have it all and have it now; their premeditated thrust to the extreme right forced me to examine what I advocated, who I could support, and what my short-term goals were, the goals every voter is forced to pursue if s/he is not to throw away his/her every vote as mere symbolic gesture (e.g., voting Green). I concluded my personal short-term voting goal was and is to do what I can to keep the nation from quite literally running off the rails into a neo-anything government of whatever sort... IOW, there are many roads to fascism, and I must do what I can to prevent America from following any of them. No vote for any major-party candidate is justifiable for a doctrinaire lefty; that's why having Bernie in the race has been such a rare treat for me. But I always knew it had to end; the only questions were how, how soon and what to move to when the end came. Either I have been successfully played for a fool, or Bernie has nudged Hillary a notch to the left on some issues; honestly, I never hoped for more than that... hey, it's only one person's one vote!

    2. Afterthought: IMO, Mr. Obama did in fact successfully play me for a fool, in just that way, but I'm not sure the result would have been different had all of his supporters voted for any other candidate actually likely to take the presidency. Perhaps that's the strategy for me, and yes, it is often equivalent to voting for the least offensive of a bad lot of candidates. Welcome to my world... :-)



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes