"Good Night and Good Luck" Edition.
"We will not walk in fear, one of another, we will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, we will remember we are not descended from fearful men."-- Edward R. Murrow, March 9, 1954"Because fear's always worked one way or another. An election of fear has always been one of the great tools of any election. But the reality is we are not the descendants of fearful people. We're not. So no, we're not going to ban Muslims from this country. That's never going to happen."-- George Clooney, co-writer/director of "Good Night and Good Luck", on "Meet the Press", April 17, 2016
Mr. George Clooney should be tasked with explaining things more often, because his breakdown of why he was raising "an obscene amount of money" for Hillary Clinton was as confident and good-natured as any candidate's campaign manager could dream of.
First, do not go out of your way to insult your opponent, Instead, agree with them when they are right and compliment them on their stands on issues. This shows you are not small and scared but expansive and optimistic:
GEORGE CLOONEY: Yes. I think it's an obscene amount of money. I think that, you know, we had some protesters last night when we pulled up in San Francisco and they're right to protest. They're absolutely right. It is an obscene amount of money. The Sanders campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right. It's ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree completely.
Second, clearly explain the difference between a strategic goal that both you and your opponent agree on, and an unpleasant but necessary tactic in achieving that strategic goal:
GEORGE CLOONEY: ... But, you know, I think what's important and what I think the Clinton campaign has not been very good at explaining is this and this is the truth: the overwhelming amount of money that we're raising, and it is a lot, but the overwhelming amount of the money that we're raising, is not going to Hillary to run for President, it's going to the down-ticket.It's going to the congressmen and senators to try to take back Congress. And the reason that's important and the reason it's important to me is because we need, I'm a Democrat so if you're a Republican, you're going to disagree but we need to take the senate back because we need to confirm the Supreme Court justice because that fifth vote on the Supreme Court can overturn Citizens United and get this obscene, ridiculous amount of money out so I never have to do a fundraiser again. And that's why I'm doing it.
Third, while explaining why you chose the side you did, once again refrain from gratuitous dickishness and reinforce your respect for your opponent's passion and positions:
GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, I've worked with Secretary Clinton as Secretary particularly when the Sudan and South Sudan were looking to vote for their own independence and it was an incredibly dangerous time for that country. And there were, you know, hundreds of thousands of people's lives at risk.... I found her to..be knowledgeable and to be-- and to care about the issues. And we've worked together since then and I've been a very big fan of hers. But I want to say this: I really like Bernie. I think what he's saying in this election is important if you're a Democrat. Again to have these conversations, I hope he stays in for the entire election and if he were to win the nomination, I will do whatever I can including if asked a fundraiser like this again to try to give him or her, Hillary, I hope she wins a Senate because honestly we see what happens when a President tries to get their Supreme Court justice confirmed without the Senate.
Everywhere else it was clear that whatever remained of the spirit of Edward R. Murrow has long since been exorcised from what remains of his profession. This Sunday, as far as the eye could see, it was the same old cowards and con men riding their same old hobby horses.
And also something else. A dog that continues not to bark in the night that I'll come back to at the end.
On MTP. Governor Pat McCrory shows that, deep down, bigots really never change. Their presentation gots better -- they look "aw shucks" straight into a camera these days and lie without getting all sweaty and rodent-eyed; they talk about "inclusion" and "dialogue" and a bunch of other feel goods that they have absolutely no intention of honoring -- but down in the bones, nothing changes. And, of course, as a minimally competent elected bigot, McCrorey knows to follow Bigot Rule #1: Blame (Insert any issue at all here) on the Dirty Hippies! (emphasis added)
GOV. PAT MCCRORY: I'm going to, as governor, as I did with mayor, I will always call out government overreach. And this example, the city of Charlotte, where I was mayor for 14 years, did government overreach. And what your pre-clip didn't mention was it was the left that brought about the bathroom bill, not the right...GOV. PAT MCCRORY: Not with -- but I've met with transgender people in the past, and I've met with them since, and have had very positive conversations. Now the conversation with a very powerful group called the Human Relations, uh, Human Rights Council, my gosh, they're more powerful than the N.R.A., and they have millions of dollars, which makes me want to overturn United, 'cause I don't know who their donors are either. But they are putting on a lot of pressure, instead of having good dialogue...
While the odious and omnipresent Hugh Hewitt continues to crab-walk his One Pet Issue into every single god damn panel that his status as Shuck Todd's contractually-obligated BFF pries him into:
HUGH HEWITT: Chairwoman, let me bring up something that did not come up in the more cowbell debate from Thursday night. And that is if after Lewandowski was charged, many Democrats and many Republicans said of Donald Trump's campaign manager that he should be fired, and he wasn't. If any of Secretary Clinton's aides are indicted in the F.B.I. server investigation, should they also be fired?...
In the last year, I have heard Hewitt work "F.B.I. server" into literally every single fucking appearance I have ever seen him make anywhere. I assume he practices it in the mirror at night one hundred times as he tries to make his face look human. But strangely I have never heard anyone anywhere ask Chuck Todd even once why he keeps holding the chair out for this scumbag.
And speaking of dead horses...
...over on "This Week..." Matthew Dowd -- the architect of the Bush 2004 campaign who practices saying "But now I am an independent" the mirror at night one hundred times as he tries to make his face look human -- continues to hunt "independent" unicorns in his underwear, and continues to be unable to utter a single paragraph of words that does not have the phrase "Both Sides" buried in it somewhere:
MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: They're right. The system is rigged. I mean it was designed to be rigged. It's been designed to be rigged, and it's rigged on both sides of the aisle in the course of this...The RNC is also right, and when they say the rules are there. They should have been known. You can plan around them. Both are right in that. But it is a rigged system.... the political system on both sides in broken. And it is a rigged system that it only benefits certain people...DOWD: To me, there's a problem on both sides and is regards that problem that they have, which is right now the leading Republican is despised by most independents, which is the largest group of voters in this country that are ultimately going to decide -- he's despised and distrusted -- the leading Democratic nominee is despised and distrusted by vast majority of the independents in this country.So both parties are fixing to nominate the weakest candidates in this race...
While Mary Matalin -- a full-on gorgon who co-hosts a terrible radio program with Arianna Huffington which no one listens to called (I am not making this up) "Both Sides Now" and gave up trying to look human years ago -- is god damn sure that the reason the GOP is about to implode is...
...it is not Conservative enough!
MARY MATALIN, CO-HOST, BOTH SIDES NOW: The party is going to blow up anyway. It's been blowing up for a long time, because it's not representing -- has not been representing conservatives. So, all the conservatives are angry -- not all the angry people are conservatives....
And finally, this.
With a few phone calls and without breaking much of a sweat, George Clooney can round up enough wealthy Liberals to raise $15 million dollars to fund Democratic candidates.
To fight an uphill battle to change our politics.
Which has been poisoned almost beyond recovery by a vast Conservative media empire with access to virtually unlimited resources.
When it comes to funding even a basic, bare-bones Liberal media infrastructure to push back against the Hate Machine behemoth it's Mainstream media enablers, there are no George Clooney fundraisers. Instead, we are perpetually fighting a series of desperate, rear-guard actions. Perpetually on the verge of collapse. MSNBC is being dismembered right before our eyes. Air America is long gone. And across to board, Liberal radio, blogs and podcasters dance for dimes just to keep the lights on.
Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference.” -- Edward R. Murrow