Ever since Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times embarked on this new phase of his career in which he "reports" from $120,000 luxury vacation junkets, hangs with Oprah, and occasionally stops along the way to collect a massive speaking fee for lecturing the petty humans far below on the virtues of humility, the incubii who run the American teevee industry have needed a reliable, back-up David Brooks type.
Someone whose presence suggests "Willie Loman with an irritable bowel". Someone who can sit on any teevee set, anywhere, any time, and, in the face of any Conservative atrocity, reliably intone the most powerful conjure words from the Beltway grimoire: magic words: Both Sides, Both Sides, Both Sides. And they don't even have to be particular good at it: any human dewlap who can put on the "Betwixt, The Sad Clown of Centrism" costume and mouth the words will do.
And so comes now Ron Fournier, who is making quite a career out of picking the Centrist peanuts out of David Brooks' shit (as the Buddha may or may not have put it) and, as a result, is getting passed around from one awful political "news" show to another like Tennessee Williams' proverbial dirty postcard.
Yesterday he landed at "MTP Daily" -- the MSNBC afternoon show which exists because the programming geniuses who put Shuck Todd at the helm of the five-alarm-fire-on-a-garbage-scow once known as "Meet the Press" decided that, instead of one hour of inedible Beltway gruel every Sunday, what the Murrican public really wanted was to stretch that inedible, Beltway gruel out to an hour a day, Monday through Friday, with inedible, Beltway gruel leftovers on the weekend.
And so there was Ron Fournier, doing what NBC has hired him to do: burying the grotesque Republicans reaction to the San Bernadino massacre under impenetrable layer of Beltway-brand Both Siderist vomit (h/t Karoli at Crooks & Liars for getting this up plus transcript almost as it was happening):
Mitchell: Ron, the fact that [Trump] interprets a tragedy like this as "it's good for me" is just -- there's a creepiness going on here on both sides. The fact that there was prayer shaming going on...David Brookes come and go.
Todd: The way the left was going on that one...and it wasn't. It was some people and liberals were saying "What are you guys doing here? There's nothing wrong with offering prayer."
Mitchell: The other big takeaway today about leadership is that the President as recently as October 1st came out after Umpqua Community College. "We can't tolerate this!" Today he was beaten down and he said you've got to get to your legislature, not the Congress.
Fournier: He knows where this is headed and he knows his party's heading in the wrong direction.
In another time, in the same political environment, if you have one party doing prayer shaming and another party demonizing and profiling Muslims, they'd be laughed out of politics. They would be marginalized. We wouldn't write about them --
We have two very dysfunctional parties and a media now that doesn't --
Mitchell: This is not a serious political debate.
Todd: No, and it's --
Fournier: It's dangerous.
David Brooksism is forever.