Postponement—Disintegration, gatekeepers gone: Confusing snow travel arrangements pending, we'll continue our award-winning series, The Year of the Liberal, tomorrow.
For today, we thought we'd take a quick excursion into the world of our culture's highly visible state of disintegration.
In each part of this rolling breakdown, we see the problems which arise in the absence of traditional gatekeepers. Part of the problem involves the way the disintegration is getting reported.
Sarah Palin's speech: Is disintegration all around us? Let's start with Sarah Palin's endorsement speech, which was broadcast in its entirety by The One True Liberal Channel.
In a word, the speech was astounding. Palin made crazy claims on behalf of Candidate Trump. Even for her, her delivery was pure perfect gong-show. For Drum's review, click here.
At one time, party gatekeepers kept players like Palin and Trump off the national stage. We voters weren't given the chance to display the fact that we can't see through their nonsense.
In its content and its delivery, Palin's speech was an astonishment. Adding to the air of disintegration, it was delivered one day after her adult son's arrest for violent, crazy behavior.
(Tribal warning! A prominent Democratic political family has also compiled a substantial record of wayward behavior by second, third and fourth generation members. Fame and wealth will often come at a very high price.)
Palin's speech was a mark of disintegration. Adding to the air of abnormality is this morning's front-page news report in the New York Times.
The weirdly upbeat account of the speech was written by Rappeport and Haberman. In hard-copy, it appeared beneath this upbeat headline: "Palin Backs Trump With a Dash of Rogue Appeal."
The factual gong-show Palin created was apparently left to the fact-checkers. Beyond that, on what planet is this a sensible account of Palin's national career?
RAPPEPORT AND HABERMAN (1/20/16): Little-known before Mr. McCain picked her as his running mate, Mrs. Palin ultimately eclipsed him in popularity and polls show her maintaining strong support among Republicans. She has endured as a coveted endorser with an impressive fund-raising list. After the loss in 2008, she declined to finish her term in Alaska, and went on to become a television star and a Fox News commentator.Her political image "diminished in the last year?"
The endorsement of Mr. Trump puts Mrs. Palin back in the center of the media maelstrom, and allows her to rehabilitate her political image, which had diminished in the last year as her contract with Fox News ended.
That may be technically accurate in some modest way. But in October 2011, the AP polled Palin nationally at 35 percent favorable, 61 percent unfavorable. In March 2013, CNN found her numbers to be 34 percent favorable, 58 percent unfavorable.
Meanwhile, did Palin "ultimately eclipse McCain in popularity?" That may be true if the claim is meant to include the reporters' tag, "among Republicans." All in all, though, we'd say that passage offers a very strange account of her national career.
The craziness of Morning Joe: The craziness of Morning Joe continues on a daily basis. It's very hard to watch the show and believe that it's being performed in good faith by its weirdly matched co-hosts and their assortment of side-kicks.
Who is crazier, Mika or Joe? That's a difficult choice. Joe is at least being crazy in line with his Republican affiliation. Mika constantly seems to be playing a very strange double game.
(This morning, Mika again insisted that Candidate Clinton will only get the nomination if she names Elizabeth Warren as her running mate. We have no idea what she thinks she's proposing, or why she keeps proposing it. Joe and the various sidekicks all agree not to notice.)
This morning, it occurred to us that Morning Joe is disintegrating in a way which is opposite but somewhat equal to the disintegration of the same network's Maddow Show. On Morning Joe, you're hearing the mess in Flint described as a breakdown of the EPA, full and complete total stop. On the Maddow Show, it's all Rick Snyder all the time, with the EPA being hailed for its overpowering greatness.
(Over the past few years, Snyder has been Maddow's second favorite political target, a villain who ranks behind Governor Ultrasound only.)
In this column by the (largely disintegrated) Ron Fournier, you will read extensive quotes from Virginia Tech's Marc Edwards about the EPA's failure. On Maddow's show, you hear Edwards cited as the "MacArthur genius" hero of the events in Flint. You've heard nothing about the things he has said concerning the EPA. It's Snyder all the way down!
In our view, several of MSNBC's major programs are in a state of intellectual free fall.
The joy of sex with Amy Chozick: In this morning's New York Times, Amy Chozick plays her standard role at the heart of the disintegration. We refer to the loving piece she pens about Anthony Weiner's sexy-time sex life, not excluding the troubling conduct of Weiner's two-faced wife.
In the past year, Chozick has proven herself to be the soul of tabloid, and hence the soul of the Times. Her long report about Weinergate is pure tabloid, all the way through and down.
In paragraph 4, we see the soul of Chozick, a rapid climber who regards "juicy" as a journalistic term. Before she's done, she cites a key scene from the juicy new film from which she's extracting the pulp.
Needless to say, her news report includes overt and subtle but always juicy tie-ins to Candidate Clinton. People! Weiner's troubling two-faced wife is a top Clinton aide!
CHOZICK (1/20/16): Mrs. Clinton is referred to in overt and subtle ways throughout “Weiner.” One sequence focuses on a claim in New York magazine that Ms. Abedin was being pressured to choose between remaining a Clinton insider and supporting her husband.According to Chozick, Abedin spoke one way on the phone, another way after hanging up.
Ms. Abedin turns to Mrs. Clinton’s longtime spokesman, Philippe I. Reines, for guidance, preferring his counsel to Mr. Weiner’s terse advice toward the end of his campaign that she “act like a normal campaign candidate’s wife” and say, “I think Anthony is doing an amazing job.” Ms. Abedin is also shown heeding the suggestion of Mr. Reines to not appear in public with Mr. Weiner as he casts his ballot. Mr. Weiner finished with less than 5 percent of the vote.
The contrast between Ms. Abedin’s public and private faces can be striking. One scene has the couple in a small office working the phones for campaign contributions. Ms. Abedin uses a sweet voice when she is asking for money. “How was the engagement?” she says on one call. “I want all the details!”
The film then cuts to her hanging up, showing a total change in demeanor. “His wife is going to max out, and he’ll try to raise another five,” she says flatly.
No one has ever done that before! It was all about chasing Big Money!
In the past year, Chozick has emerged as a nightmare out of the swamp of our cultural disintegration. That said, from the lunacy of Palin's speech to the faux and the crazy of Morning Joe, the smell of decay is all around, quite commonly in the Times.
The types of folk they hire: During Campaign 2008, Chozick, then roughly 28, was employed by the Wall Street Journal.
On August 1, 2008, she wrote a lengthy, ridiculous piece. It appeared beneath these hard-hitting headlines:
Too Fit to Be President?"In a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Sen. Obama's skinniness be a liability?" That was the question which lay at the heart of Chozick's exploration.
Facing an Overweight Electorate, Barack Obama Might Find Low Body Fat a Drawback
Was Obama too skinny to get elected? In the world of ace reporter Chozick, disintegrating minds wanted to know!
Right away, the brass at the brainiac New York Times knew that she had to be hired!
That said, everywhere we looked this morning, we thought we saw variants of this ongoing disintegration. Palin's speech was a tribute to gatekeepers gone. Eleven hours later, so was Morning Joe.