Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday Morning Party Line

"Ordering off the nouvelle cuisine menu" Edition.

When it comes to the business of breaking bread, while I don't need a Flintstone's car-tipping slab of ribs, on most occasions I would like what is on my plate to resemble, y'know, a meal and not a Willard Wigan micro-sculpture.

And yet, on other occasions, a small but elegantly presented main course is just exactly right,

And so, in this Sunday's recapitulation of the Gasbag Cavalcade, you will find in two short exchanges that perfect crystallize of everything that has been irredeemably horrible about the format for decades now.


CHUCK TODD:  Welcome back, panel is here. Tom Brokaw, Grand Poobah of NBC News here. Eliana Johnson of Politico, Joy Reid, host of MSNBC's AM Joy, and always a joy to have you here. And Hugh Hewitt, host on the Salem Radio Network. Alright, Hugh. I'm gonna start with you because this is what the Washington Examiner headline is: GOP Cave on Obamacare Repeal is the Biggest Broken Promise in Political History, was the top of, I believe, Phil Klein's, analysis. Is he right?

HUGH HEWITT:  No, it's overstated. We had a very good week with Neil Gorsuch, he's going to change the balance of the Supreme Court for 30 years and so President Trump has a huge win to put on the table this week. It was a big loss, but I agree with the autopsy that Director Mulvaney just put out there - that loss isn't on the president, it isn't on Paul Ryan...
Nothing Hugh Hewitt just said there true.  It was the worst week any president has had possibly ever, and it is entirely Donald Trump and Paul Ryan's fault.

And while is was nauseating enough to see this psychologically malformed freak smirk into the camera and lie and lie and lie before the election, since the election he has abased himself so completely on behalf of his new Dear Leader -- has become so fully Donald Trump's creature -- that it is positively creepy as fuck to watch.

But it is also important to remember that America's Most Famous Cyborg Sent From The Future To Destroy America is doing  exactly what NBC is paying him to do (with emphasis tossed in here and there):

CHUCK TODD:  Charlie Dent said that, Hugh. He basically said this was just all about trying to finance a $2 trillion tax cut hoping that they could make it deficit neutral.

HUGH HEWITT:  Charlie, who is a friend of mine, lives in a marginal district. He has to be very careful with every vote. The half of the Freedom Caucus that killed this live in very safe, red districts. Obamacare is the timeshare that the Democrats bought that they cannot admit the cost of, that they keep telling themselves was a good idea. It is in a death spiral. Joy and I have had--

JOY-ANN REID:  Is not.

HUGH HEWITT:   --many disagreements about that.  But it is in a death spiral.

JOY-ANN REID:   It is not.

CHUCK TODD:  It's not the definition of an economic death spiral yet.

HUGH HEWITT:  The New York Times yesterday pointed out that there are, and the president of Aetna, that you will lose coverage in many places in America for everyone. And that is, to me, a death spiral for those people. Joy disagrees. I know she should jump in here.

JOY-ANN REID:   Yes, yes.

CHUCK TODD:  She wants to, but I appreciate her reticence.

JOY-ANN REID:  And let's not take Aetna's word for it. Because we know that Aetna lied. We had already a federal judge say that they lied. Aetna wanted to do a merger with Humana. They were told no. They pulled out for other reasons. Insurance companies raise premiums. It's what they do. That's what they're in business to do. But the Congressional Budget Office made it quite clear the Affordable Care Act is not, not collapsing, not in a death spiral, just not.

CHUCK TODD:  I want to quickly get to Paul Ryan here...
No, Mr. Hewitt, it's not that Joy-Ann Reid "disagrees" with you.  It's that she is telling the truth and you're simply lying.  


And to complete the farce, rather than stand up for the integrity of his own house and his own profession (and before the presence of scary facts make Mr. Hewitt go all Devil's-Rain-melty-face) our moderator intercedes to "quickly" move on to some other subject!

Because these staged Sunday morning disputations are really nothing but political kabuki in which.a fake "moderator" pretends to referee a series of vignettes between carefully selected liars (who will never be allowed to lose) and carefully curated truth-tellers (who must never be allowed to win.)

I appreciate Ms. Reid's persistence and think she is currently the most credible, critical thinker anywhere on cable teevee.*

But Hugh Hewitt is not an asset.  He does not represent a legitimate political point of view.  He is simply a stooge who, in a healthy democracy, would have has no business on the public airwaves.  Another dead-eyed, dissembling log in the road, placed there by NBC corporate to create scripted, artificial conflict.

*Thanks for the catch!


Meremark said...

Ms. Reid, last graf, not "Mr."

Davis Statton said...

Politifact rated his statement "spiraling out of control" as false. They helpfully explained what the insurance industry's definition was. Hewitt complained that they did not try to get in touch with him for comment, so they posted a copy of the email doing just that.

Even though it's mostly shouting into the wind, I appreciate your perseverance.