Part 1—Faux outrage, all faux, all the time: After four days in Durham, we feel we can make the following statement:
It’s much as Obama recently said. Being great uncle to a 5-year-old and a 6-week-old really is the world’s toughest job—even when a fellow can repair to his suite at the Super 8 for a mid-afternoon “nap.”
(Grandma, down from Maine to help with The Nugget, continued to hog the guest room.)
Being great uncle is real work! Between the soccer games, the kindergarten visit and the non-stop snuggling and cuddling, there was little time for anything else during our visit to Durham! We only got glimmers of “news” this past weekend. This helped us see how hard it can be for actual parents to keep up with events—especially given the clowning performance they receive from so many large “news orgs.”
Over the last four days, we grabbed our glimmers of news where we could, often in the day's early hours. We read this column by Charles Blow—a column about the crying need for (Blow’s conception of) justice. We scanned this detailed report about future taxation by David Leonhardt, then set it aside for later.
Safely ensconced in our Super 8 suite, we watched a weekend morning news program we had never watched in the past. We were surprised and disappointed by parts of the discussion.
And then, there was the service we received last night when we returned to our sprawling campus, having driven six hours from Durham.
This week, we’ll review the glimmers of news we received in four days as great uncle. This morning, we’ll start with the pleasing faux outrage that was dumped on our heads when we clicked on the TV machine thingy last night.
Big Ed Schultz was joined by Joan Walsh and E. J. Dionne; they discussed the latest outrageous conduct from those in The Other Tribe. As his segment began, Big Eddie played tape of Romney and Romney, interviewed on Monday morning’s Good Morning America.
(To watch this full segment, click here.)
A silly discussion had continued right through the weekend—a silly discussion of Hilary Rosen’s recent remarks about Ann Romney. But sure enough:
Complaining about all the fake phony outrage, Walsh ginned a ton of faux outrage herself! Returning home after four days of work, we were struck by the ubiquity of the fake outrage on this “liberal” program:
SCHULTZ (4/16/12): “Dazed and confused” comes into mind when I start thinking about the Romney campaign and where they stand on working moms in America. Did they create even a bigger problem for themselves? What do you think?Joan was outraged about everything! She was outraged that Mitt Romney, in response to a stupid question, jokingly said that he’d like to tell Obama to “start packing.” (“That’s what I’d like to say,” a laughing Romney said on the tape Big Eddie showed. “Obviously, we have a very different view. The president, I’m sure, wants another four years. But the first years didn’t go so well.”)
WALSH: Oh, I think they did. You know, Ed, I’ve always thought that Ann Romney was, was literally his better half and that she was a better campaigner, a more natural campaigner, more personable in general. But really, with that comment, she shows herself to be so entitled. “A birthday present!”
I mean, we ginned up this faux outrage. Hilary Rosen, I just want to say a kind word to her, she didn’t mean it the way it came out and we all knew it! Had she added three little words, “worked outside the home,” she would have been fine, we understood that’s what she meant, but we all had to have a big hissy fit and a big, you know, horrible conversation. And they declared that President Obama had declared a war on moms?
They ginned up this phony outrage, and then that woman calls it “a birthday present?” And I think it’s really wonderful that you ran that clip also with her husband saying that it’s time for President Obama to “start packing.”
I mean, between the two things, you see the cluelessness and the absolute entitlement of these two people, who expect us to just show them the White House and show that guy out.
Joan was outraged that Mitt had said that. She was also outraged that Ann Romney had referred to the recent flap as an “early birthday present.” These remarks showed the Romneys’ “absolute entitlement,” the outraged pundit said.
Joan was also angry about the faux outrage surrounding Rosen’s remark. She was so angry that she misspoke, saying that Rosen’s remark would have been fine had she simply added three words to her statement: “outside the home.”
In all candor, that isn’t quite true: It still would have been an oddly cutting remark if Rosen had said that Ann Romney “has never worked outside the home a day in her life.”
Almost surely, a silly conversation would have ensued even if Rosen had said it that way. But that’s because our political culture is now almost wholly dependent on faux outrage about pointless remarks—and the dumb conversations which ensue.
The outrage about Rosen’s comment was faux, mainly because Rosen was speaking for no one but herself. But then, Walsh was also pimping faux outrage last night.
In the process, she managed to make the conversation even dumber.
How full of faux outrage was Walsh last night? So full of it that she even referred to Ann Romney as “that woman!” Good God! We marveled last week as Rosen blurted a formulation which progressives dropped a long time ago. But last night, Walsh followed suit, employing the term which provoked so much outrage when Bill Clinton famously used it to refer to “that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
The outrage was faux, and very foolish, when we returned to our campus last night. Question: Were you persuaded to feel pure rage about the vile things the Romneys had said? Most tellingly, did Walsh persuade you that you should be outraged about that “start packing” remark?
Many folk get their news in glimmers. Given the way our big news orgs work, these glimmers can now be quite inane. Last night, returning to our cable TV, we were especially struck by the fake, phony tone of much of Big Eddie’s furious program—and by the foolish, low-IQ way he formulated several real issues.
Of course, faux and dumb tend to walk hand-in-hand, snuggling and cuddling as they go. Over on Fox, the hustlers and hacks have sold you faux outrage for many years now.
Has The One True Liberal Channel explicitly adopted this same corporate policy? Returning from Durham to this big load of faux, we found ourselves asking that question.
Tomorrow: Blow’s conception of justice
Later this week: What we learned in kindergarten