Part 2—What the staffers wrote: Last Monday, April 11, a certain major cable news star enjoyed a much-deserved day of rest.
Steve Kornacki took her place on her eponymous cable news show. As such, he was forced to read the politically-careful drivel concocted by the major star's horrible staff.
Poor Kornacki! As a company man, he was even forced to read this at one point:
"All right. We have a big update tonight on a story we've been following closely on this show. It concerns one of the great Washington D.C. scandals of modern times."
To which great Washington D.C. scandal was poor Kornacki forced to refer? Earlier, he had teased the segment on which he was now proceeding:
KORNACKI (4/11/16): All right. And what do the FBI, the archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and the embassy of Japan all have in common? It turns out they have a pretty interesting connection to the D.C. madam scandal. Some new reporting on that tonight.For the full transcript, click here.
Stay with us.
"Stay with us" may have been the real nugget statement there. At any rate, poor Kornacki was then forced to read the material the cable star's staff had composed about "that pretty interesting connection to the D.C. madam scandal."
Poor Kornacki! The segment he proceeded to front was the fourth segment about this thrilling sexy-time scandal performed on this cable news program since the inaugural segment on Tuesday, March 29.
When the major cable star returned to her eponymous program last week, she performed the fifth such segment on Wednesday evening, April 13. On that occasion, the nugget statement was this:
"Watch this space."
From March 29 through the present, this particular cable news program has presented five separate segments about the so-called D.C. madam. That's a reference to Deborah Palfrey, the very exciting madam in question, who thrillingly took her own life in 2008.
In none of these sexy-time segments have viewers been told some basic facts—that Montgomery Blair Sibley, the living link to the thrilling story, is a frequently-disbarred lawyer, a crackpot former presidential candidate, and a ginormous birther. The reason we keep getting served this story was made abundantly clear in the third such segment, when the major cable star speculated that the name of Candidate Cruz may appear in the madam's old phone books, although she offered no evidence to that effect and pretended to be disgusted by the tabloid rags which are spreading that rumor around.
(She displayed one of the tabloid rags two times, thus letting us know how disgusted she was with the tabloid's ugly rumor. For our previous report, click here.)
In that segment, you got a look at the current state of this cable news program's soul. That third segment came live and direct from familiar satire about the way a certain type of player will spread a rumor around by pretending to be appalled by the rumor's existence.
Back in the day, we liberals uniformly mocked behavior like that. Now, behavior like that helps define our corporate cable soul.
Please understand. That silly segment about the madam wasn't the only indignity Kornacki was forced to endure. The cable news program he was guest hosting opened with a segment about an important topic, the 1994 crime bill.
Typing very carefully, the staffers made Kornacki utter the silly/cruel remarks we highlight below. We'll also note a few other points about this part of the poor guy's text:
KORNACKI: On a Saturday morning in January of 1994, a group of policymakers and activists met in Washington, D.C., to discuss a $22 billion making its way through Congress. The crime bill it was called. This was a very big deal back in 1994. It was a plan to deal with to do something about violent crime rates that were making Americans across the political spectrum nervous. But not everyone liked where this was going.Americans were "nervous" about that era's "violent crime rates!" The staffers forced poor Kornacki to utter that cautious pabulum two times.
In theory at least, those [black] leaders were supposed to be on board with the crime bill. At least that's what the Clinton White House wanted. A new poll that had just come out showing that the percentage of African-Americans who listed crime and violence as the number one problem facing the country spiked from 8 percent to over 28 percent. That just in the course of a year back in 1994.
And this huge new $22 billion crime bill, well, it was supposed to be a direct answer to that, to something that all Americans were nervous about but something being felt particularly acutely in lower income, heavily black inner cities. But what many black leaders saw were deal breakers embedded in that bill, deal breakers like mandatory minimum prison sentences, funding also for even more jails. This was some components in the bill.
Nevertheless, the crime bill made its way through Congress and in September of 1994, president Bill Clinton signed it into law. And to this day, many blame that law for the rise in incarceration rates over the years since then, particularly among minorities. And since then, the Clintons have renounced parts of the law and it continues to haunt them politically.
Presumably, the staffers had their ears to the ground and their fingers in the wind as they typed that insulting formulation. The phrase comes from the tony, "high privilege" locations where pseudo-liberal corporate cable news staffers dwell.
In 1990, more than 2200 people had been murdered in New York City alone! That was making Americans "nervous," the cable staffers cautiously typed, even as they failed to include any such statistics in their politically cautious report.
(At present, there are roughly 350 murders in New York City each year.)
Just a guess. Because they had their ears to the ground, the staffers knew they didn't want to suggest that there may have been some rational impetus for that 1994 bill, which is now very hot. And so they reported that people were "nervous," not that they were being murdered and felt terrorized, deeply scared.
Might we note a few other points about that part of poor Kornacki's text?
"To this day, many blame that law for the rise in incarceration rates over the years since then, particularly among minorities," the highly-privileged pseudo-liberals made the poor fellow say.
Poor Kornacki! The staffers made him report what "many" say. They made no attempt to tell their viewers if such claims are accurate!
"Many blame that law for the rise in incarceration rates over the years since then?" Are people correct when they cast such blame? This corporate channel's careful staffers made no attempt to say!
Our unpaid analysts couldn't help noting another part of that text. We refer to the place where the staffers made poor Kornacki say this:
"Now in theory at least, those [black] leaders were supposed to be on board with the crime bill. At least that's what the Clinton White House wanted."
That statement followed a piece of videotape from 1994 in which two black leaders were shown speaking about a related topic, not about the crime bill itself.
Only one was a member of Congress. That was Kweisi Mfume, our own extremely impressive member of the House.
"In theory at least, those [black] leaders were supposed to be on board with the crime bill?"
Forget about theory—as a simple matter of fact, Mfume voted in favor of the crime bill, along with two-thirds of black House members and the Senate's lone black member. The cable star's pseudo-liberal staffers never quite managed to work those facts into the text poor Kornacki was forced to read that night.
Our unpaid analysts moped about as they watched the cable star's program that night. "Same old cablecrap," one analyst said, as she watched Kornacki reading the script which scrolled before him on prompter.
Poor Kornacki! As a company man, he'd been forced to read the latest segment about that thrilling sexy-time scandal. His "big update" concerned "one of the great Washington D.C. scandals of modern times," the fellow was forced to say.
That, of course, was just sexy-time piddle, designed to keep us gullibles "watching this space." Governor Bentley hadn't "shtupped" anyone that day, so the staff turned to something equally thrilling and dumb.
That initial segment about the crime bill was more important, and worse. This brings us back to that front-page report in yesterday's New York Times.
Farah Stockman wrote the report. Yesterday, we issued a few approving words, and sure enough—by yesterday afternoon, Farah Stockman had won a Pulitzer prize.
That 1994 crime bill is suddenly very hot. It has become a major point of discussion in evaluations of Candidate Clinton and her noxious racism.
In theory, cable news programs should be providing viewers with basic background information about that 22-year-old bill which is now very hot, and about a range of other substantive topics. Last week, viewers of one major cable star's cable program learned almost nothing about any such substantive topics involved in the White House campaign.
To the extent that such topics were discussed at all, a sagacious viewer could possibly think he saw pseudo-liberal thumbs being placed on the scales. For the most part, though, such matters of substance weren't discussed at all.
Instead, we were handed sexy-time thrills and taught one glorious lesson. When the major star returned to her show, we liberals were repeatedly taught how to loathe.
Presumably, approaches like that will keep us "watch[ing] this space." Presumably, they also keep the cable star pulling in her reported salary, which involved seven million corporate dollars each year at last report.
Such approaches may keep us watching that space; they plainly keep us barefoot and dumb. Our own major star taught us little last week except who and how we should loathe.
Tomorrow: Upon the return of the star