Blackburn, Brazile drop the gloves: Has the American cable “news” business ever been quite so inane?
That’s the question we found ourselves asking as we watched Donna Brazile and Marsha Blackburn drop the gloves for a hockey fight on yesterday’s State of the Union.
In recent weeks, our cable nets have been playing by two basic rules:
If Candidate Trump is speaking somewhere, the nets must break away to watch.
If Candidate Trump is sleeping or silent, teams of pundits must spend their time examining day-to-day changes in polls—day-to-day changes which, at this point, are almost totally meaningless.
Yesterday, on CNN, Jake Tapper led his panel of pundits on a forced march through the new polls. First, though, he let the ladies drop the gloves and stage that hockey fight.
People, that’s entertainment, a point which was rather transparent.
At issue was the comment in which Hillary Clinton had compared Republican candidates to terrorists. Or had she actually been drawing a contrast?
When Brazile advanced the latter claim, she and Blackburn dropped their sticks. Like a veteran ref in the NHL, Jake stood back and let them fight.
Below, you see the way the official CNN transcript captured the engagement. In essence, it was a war between INAUDIBLE and its long-time companion, CROSSTALK.
We’re simply cutting-and-pasting here. This embarrassing bullshit is live-and-direct from the official transcript:
BRAZILE (8/30/15): Look, she was making a contrast, not a comparison. The contrast of course—“The (INAUDIBLE) are going to agree with us?” It’s almost like some modern haiku, designed to capture the essence of a deeply degraded, corporate clown-car age.
BLACKBURN: No, Donna, she made a—she made a comparison.
BRAZILE: She was making a contrast because—look, she understands the difference between a Taliban and their views toward women and their policies toward women. And what she was saying is that Republicans have taken this extreme position on giving women the full range of reproductive health services. That's the point she was making.
I'm sorry if you are upset that she said the word Taliban, but the truth is, 21st century policies and leaders do not respond to give women access to birth control do not—
BLACKBURN: The 21st century women—well, most (INAUDIBLE) are in line—
BRAZILE: —access to abortion if they are victims of rape and—
BLACKBURN: More of the American people—yes, they are. Yes, they are.
BRAZILE: Giving women the exception or giving women the right to have the full range of services—
BLACKBURN: —that she made is inappropriate.
BRAZILE: It was a contrast not a comparison.
BLACKBURN: That's why Hillary is so far—it was a comparison. She was down in the polls—
BRAZILE: Let's see who wins the conversation when it comes to—
BLACKBURN: We're going to win that conversation.
BLACKBURN: The (INAUDIBLE) are going to agree with us.
BRAZILE: All across this country, Jake, Republicans are trying to restrict, trying to—
BLACKBURN: That is wrong.
BRAZILE: —defund planned parent. Planned Parenthood which provides—
BLACKBURN: Yes, we do. Planned Parenthood doesn't need the money.
BRAZILE: —mammogram services.
BLACKBURN: No, 94 percent of their business—94 percent—
BRAZILE: No, 97 percent.
BLACKBURN: Ninety-four percent is abortion services.
BRAZILE: Ninety-seven percent is for non-abortion services.
BLACKBURN: For abortion services, 1800—absolutely. (INAUDIBLE). Go to their website. Their main business—they are America's biggest abortion provider.
BRAZILE: Have you visited the Planned Parenthood site? I have. I have.
BRAZILE: And I visited (INAUDIBLE) neighborhood. I have visited—
BRAZILE: —access to (INAUDIBLE)—
On the other hand, who knows? Whoever said whatever it was may just turn out to be right!
As you can probably see, Jake let this insulting bullshit go on for a very long time, just like in the NHL. Essentially, the two pundits were speaking at once, without even a hint of a glottal stop. This made it impossible to hear what either savant was saying.
It almost looked like Jorge Ramos had provided stage direction! Finally, Jake stepped in to stop the fight—and the ladies quickly explained that they had just been funnin’.
Or something! It was still hard to tell:
TAPPER (continuing directly): Let’s put a button on that. (INAUDIBLE) agree to disagree. We'll come back—According to the transcript, Blackburn and Brazile are going to have INAUDIBLE. Apparently, as Southern women, they do it on the INAUDIBLE!
BRAZILE: But we’re southern women.
BLACKBURN: That’s right. That’s right.
BRAZILE: We do it on the (INAUDIBLE).
BLACKBURN: That’s right.
BLACKBURN: We’re going to have (INAUDIBLE).
At this point, there was only one way to make it stop. Using all his powers and skills, Jake turned to Old Faithful:
TAPPER (continuing directly): Dan, I want to—let's bring up the poll numbers again from Iowa about Hillary Clinton.“Let's bring up the poll numbers again from Iowa about Hillary Clinton?” Every one of our fake corporate pundits knows how to CROSSTALK that!