Friday, April 11, 2008

And Then God Created MSNBC, The Obama Channel

I was following one of those reader comment threads in one of the major newspapers and everyone was commenting on the foreign policy acumen (or lack thereof) of McCain, Hillary, and Obama. It amazes me that the “debate” has become so focused on slips of the tongue or inadvertent word substitutions. The Obama Channel, formerly known as MSNBC, enthusiastically noted that McCain remarked that the Iranians were arming the Sunnis instead of their natural allies in Iraq, the Shiites. It’s likely that Iran would be supporting anyone with interests running counter to those of the U.S. so it seems idiotic to focus on banal chit-chat to make claims of foreign policy ignorance regarding Senator McCain.

Obama made a similar mistake in choice of words when he got Iran and Iraq mixed up. Obama said that the Iraqi government was supporting Shiite militias rather than the Iranian government. You probably didn’t hear about it since liberal media has a devotional feeling for Obama.

The danger of all this inane chit-chat is that the real issues recede into the quagmire of media ratings and attention grabbing headlines. MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams has descended further into the inferno of cheap headlines by adding cheap comic book graphics around the edges of his broadcasts. Pow! Bam! Whackem, sockem! That sort of thing.

Last night one of the Dan Abrams headlines surrounded by cheap graphics was “Why America Hates Washington.” Is it necessary to have the word “hate” appear in the teaser line? If such taglines are not expressly designed to serve as a magnet for nutcases, the expression does accomplish just that. Only fruit loops and hate mongers seem to email the show with commentary, and the commentary is ever more base and banal.

Barack Obama goes to Washington and I don’t like it very much but I don’t “hate” Obama. I don’t “hate” Cheney either, or Bush though I’m often encouraged to do so. Perhaps this is the perfidious influence of the hatred-spewing Reverend Wrights of the world. Or perhaps it is the hatred-spewing media which creates the Reverend Wrights.

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