Archive for the ‘Partisanship’ Category

I wake up to Washington Journal in the morning because the irritation I immediately feel prevents me from going back to sleep. There’s nothing like the application of senility to politics.

More and more frequently the elderly callers on the Republican Line complain about the bias of the moderator. This on a show that in a way is an ongoing lobotomy — so inexpressive in its attempt at neutrality that you can practically hear the crawling line of drool. (This I wake up to? My own senility beckons).

The “Lines” (the phone lines I mean) are themselves a disappointing tactic, as if the maddened partisans must be herded into their respective stalls — “elderly people, we respect your opinions, but not enough to discuss them with you, not enough even to disagree — there are issues of sanitation; please just turn down your radio, say your last political words, and then click through this turnstile on your way to Republican or Democratic heaven”. At is as if the show is the political version of a nursing home: “this is the logical consequence of the partisan mind,” it seems to say, “we’ll take care of you while your spleen deteriorates”.

None of this boring sanitation satisfies the paranoia of old age — and perhaps in the sense the show has been designed to infuriate and revitalize (a paradoxical defibrillator). One man calls to give a long complaint (with Joe Conason as guest) about how the moderator always cuts of Republicans before they’re done, and one gets the impression that they mean the moderator eventually feels compelled to get away from the long, rambling complaints about “liberals” who should be “run out of the country”. But the moderator patiently waits until the end and then says, as usual, “thank you caller.” This only incenses a bout of octogenarian gang-banging: another old woman calls to give her point and then the final blow, oh yes, “you’re a democrat and it shows” she says with great satisfaction: the show is completely biased.

You’re a Democrat, you listen to us, you say nothing, secretly you despise us, and we know it; you’re a Democrat and it shows. Where is the fair and balanced ranting, the huffery rush limbaugh puffery? You’re a Democrat and it shows — this infuriating pretense of neutrality notwithstanding — show your cards, Democrat!

You’re a journalist and you’re not on Fox, and oh how it shows!


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