Friday, December 26, 2014

The Sunday Shows as Authoritarian Self-Parody

I always like looking at the guest lists of the Sunday shows each week. I never watch them. For one, I don't own a TV. But even if I did, I'm not enough of a masochist.

The Sunday shows are funny in a dark way. Funny because they always seem to try to outdo themselves in authoritarian self-parody and irrelevance to and ignorance of the lives of the vast majority of the population. Funny in the way something can be funny while also being deeply depressing.

Let me use CBS's Face the Nation and CNN's State of the Union this week as examples.
Here's Face the Nation:
Tensions remain high in New York City, as the community lays to rest the first of two police officers murdered last week in the line of duty. People are defying Mayor Bill de Blasio's public requests for a moratorium on demonstrations - they've returned to the streets to protest what they call unfair police tactics. We'll be joined by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani to discuss this issue that has been a challenge all year and has reached a fever pitch in America's biggest city.
What a debate! One guy thinks the NYPD is good and right and should keep killing unarmed black teenagers (or adults). And the other guy also thinks the NYPD is good and right and should keep killing unarmed black teenagers (or adults). And they also both think the NYPD should have more power and that anti-police brutality protesters are bad.

The fact that Rudy Giuliani, who has not held elected office since 2001 and has spent his post-mayoral career enriching himself with a security consulting firm and fossil fuel lobbying job, is treated as the go-to guy for discussions about policing shows how invested these shows are in the police state.

If you don't feel like watching an NYPD lovefest, you could turn to CNN's State of the Union, where you can learn that Gitmo is good, Cuba is bad, and Rick Perry is awesome:
Sen. Lindsey Graham takes on Obama administration plans to transfer dozens of Guantanamo detainees in the next six months, arguing the U.S. should be concentrating on filling up the prison, not closing it, because "terrorism is on the march." He joins us. Then, Sen. Robert Menendez says the U.S. government has "thrown the Cuban regime an economic lifeline." We'll talk to the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the U.S.-Cuba relationship, North Korea and the consequences of cyber-attacks.
And, Gov. Rick Perry as he leaves the Texas Governor's office and preps for a possible 2016 run for the White House.
By contrast, the utter vapidity of ABC's This Week's "2014 Game Changers" seems like though-provoking analysis.

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