Late Night: Food For Thought

Personally, I gave up watchingKeith Olbermann months ago, when it was clear that his primary coverage had become biased. James Poniewozik exaimines Olbermann’s latest “gasket” blowing commentary directed at Hillary Clinton and says:

But mostly his outburst reminds me of how the long Democratic primary has divided the left-of-center media (or at least, the media outlets with a left-of-center audience) into camps, like a bad divorce. Personalities and institutions that were once universally beloved by people who were sick of the Bush administration have either taken sides, or have been perceived to, splintering what used to be a unified and largely uncritical amen chorus.

Most of the perceived side-takers have been on the Obama side, as we’ve seen—it’s not just Olbermann, Daily Kos and the Huffington Post, but even some viewers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (as sanctified as any center of anti-Bush comedy can be) have gotten alienated by the shows’ attacks on Hillary Clinton. (I haven’t sat down with a stopwatch to see if they mock her more than Obama, but they certainly mock her better.) There are fewer pro-Clinton equivalents, but Saturday Night Live, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and my old employer have all taken criticism for carrying water for Hillary, from the same sorts of people who loved them when they were knocking Bush and Cheney.

As much hand-wringing as there’s been over the strife in the Democratic primary, however, I have to wonder if these particular schisms aren’t a good thing. It has to be healthy in some way to see that someone you used to cheer automatically is actually capable of believing something you disagree with. Shocking, I know! (For this reason, I only wish there were more anti-Obama outlets to balance the anti-Clinton ones, because the other half of the Democratic Party—not to mention the entire Republican party—could use this experience too.)

It’s probably asking too much, but maybe the experience of being annoyed by someone you used to constantly agree with could teach political audiences something about how they have appeared all along to their adversaries. Think about it: if you’ve found yourself suddenly irritated by any of the people or outlets I mentioned above this election, is it really they who’ve changed? Or are they simply less charming when they’re not confirming your comfortable beliefs?

Sometimes, maybe, the only way to really understand how your idols sound from the other side is to actually find yourself on the other side of them.

Words of wisdomFood for thought

Bookmark and Share

Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Late Night: Food For Thought

  1. Frenchdoc says:

    On this topic, Somerby is a must-read.

  2. Diane says:

    I have never been able to tolerate Olbermann because of his sexism (“Slut of the Week,” the now-famous “A Slut and Battery”) and his constant derision of humane activism. Apparently, as long as he made vicious, woman-hating remarks about Hollywood stars, he was given a pass, so it was just a small step to make those same remarks about a candidate for president.

  3. avwrobel says:

    2 things: As a huge fan of The Daily Show I’m disappointed to see Jon Stewart bending Obambi’s way in recent weeks. I was in Harrisburg, Pa to see Hillary the day before the Penn primary (she was fantastic!) and Rob Riggle (one of the Daily Show’s great people) was there covering it. I spoke with him (a cool guy) and he seemed to think that Hillary was going to lose and would perhaps be dropping out of the race. I told him ‘no, I don’t think so. It’s pretty intense here.’ I think he was genuinely moved by her speech that followed, and her big win the next day must have given him a whole new look on things; a look that perhaps the people in the liberal-Obama-elite-NYC bubble don’t see.
    Second, Obambi must be forced to state what his views on reparations for African Americans are. His church rails against institutional injustice constantly, so he must be forced to confront that issue as soon as possible. Meaning, NOW! Bloggers spread that question and bring up the heat!

  4. coldH2Owi says:


    How mature.

  5. John P says:

    everyone comes at life from a different set of experiences, hence it’s always good to be able to look at things from someone’s else’s perspective, even if you disagree strongly with them. and most likely, there is some common ground–however small–from which a possible solution can be built.

    Olbermann really said the word “slut” on his show? i never had much appreciation for him anyway, but come on dude, that’s so unprofessional.

  6. John P says:

    bad choice of words on my part using “unprofessional”–let me clarify that also it’s also sexist and demeaning lest anyone think i’m not aware of that. it’s hard to respect someone who uses language like that.

  7. green bean says:

    To Mr. Secretary of State, an imaginary X person whoever he or she might be.

    A match between Camp. A and Camp B should have been a match between Camp. A and Camp. B. Seemed like an upset was in the making after B won the first game. But when A came back from behind and took the second game, you lost your nerve sir. An opportunity opened. You and companies started throwing things over the fence and into the court, deliberated a loosely defined passion for the goodness or evil, fairness or bias of the game. Umpires and referees kept quiet all the way and down the line, calling ins out, calling outs in. There were so many debris on the court at the end of the match, even the turf was demaged. Game, set and match, Camp A and fans left the stadium bruised, bitter and cheated. Camp B and fans rowed rowdily on to the next sweet round of showmanship with a flick of the finger.

    Congratulation Mr. Secretary of State, you are almost half way there to the promise land of yours. A few years of my life wasted believing that you were different. Well, stupidity which is priceless and so therefore has no value. Lord of the land talks, we the people of the world – children of the lesser God, listen. Learn from thy preach, follow thy lead,deserve thy punishment, grateful thy help. Savior of the chosen can do and say nothing wrong. Those who don’t get it are idiots.

    Peel my skin and I am bare. Lecture me if I don’t sense a race card when I see one. Lecture me if I don’t know an exploitation when I hear one. Not everybody was born with grace and glory sir. There are a lot of people do have to walk an extra or two miles just to get half way. And if you cannot understand that, with all do respect sir, consider yourself lucky. “Do and say anything to get elected” may still be a lame old joke among the circle of the privileged ones, but it is a fact of life for many.

    A nation of 57 states from sea to sea under a giant flag of red, silver and blue comes only once in a lifetime. Strong and unwaver, confidence of a nation in the world standing would elect even a woman for president during wartime. But the loophole is there, however. A new image for the “greatest country on Earth” has a market. Identity on the world stage has its appeal. The pain in the butt did not play old politics. In fact, she fell victim to the politics as usual. A democrat can somehow bewitch a White House, drain life out of living organs and eat babies is an extremely hard to beleive gospel.

    Food stamps are only for those who don’t know how to use a replicator. There is no smart if there is no dumb. There is no rich without the poor, no winner without loser. Balance of the universe, kick butt for a win, lick ass for a lost. What is to clean if there is no dirt. You have a thousand dollars, I have two thousand pennies. You have more dough, I am heavier.

    Mr. Secretary of State, you did not win. You lost by becoming one of them. You have grown a set of jaws not spine. They are not backbones, they are spurs. As a diplomat, you undermine diplomacy and the integrity of it. Talking to the other side as if they are villains. Freedom is not free. Peace comes with a price. Thesis of peace contradicts their actions for peace by the so-called progressive liberal activists. Slaughter the challengers brings out the demons within themselves. However the last seven and a half years had been, they have brought out the conscience and the righteousness in people. They have lost the trust of the people more than you have won the trust of the people. Remember sir, there are only two major parties.