What Hersh was talking about: Last Wednesday night, Seymour Hersh complained to Don Lemon about the conduct of cable news.
Hersh was perhaps a bit inarticulate, so we're going to translate for him. For yesterday's report, just click here.
Hersh said that corporate cable's stars should stop focusing on whatever Donald J. Trump said in the last ten seconds. He said they're playing Donald Trump's game when they play that ratings-boosting game.
At one point, he even said they should actually talk about some actual issues which matter:
HERSH (6/13/18): I sometimes think that—I just wish sometimes, instead of so much about Trump and how awful he is, and there's certainly a lot of things not to like about him, I wish sometimes we'd talk more about what's going on in Yemen, about mothers having their children taken away at the border and all that.In the days since Hersh appeared with Lemon, cable stars have talked about children at the border non-stop. But when have you seen your favorite stars discuss events in Yemen?
I wish that was more of a focus. But I can understand Trump is great for ratings. He just is. That's just the reality.
For that matter, when have you seen your favorite stars talking about events in Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador? When have you seen our big major stars discussing life in our major cities? When have you seen your favorite stars seem to give a fat flying flip about S-hole places like that?
Hersh said cable is playing Trump's game by speaking of Nothing But Trump. It's good for ratings and profits, he said. But it's "terrible for journalism."
That very same night, a major corporate cable news star displayed the kind of behavior to which Hersh referred. She came on the air at 9 PM—and she spent the next eighteen minutes [sic!] talking about Herb Kalmbach!
To watch that ridiculous segment, click here. To read the transcript, click this.
Who the heck is Herb Kalmbach? You're asking an excellent question! Kalmbach was Richard Nixon's personal lawyer during the Watergate era. That was 45 years ago! In 1973!
Kalmbach ended up going to jail. Such otherwise pointless recollections make our corporate star quite glad. Wasting eighteen minutes of time, she fed us our nightly partisan porridge.
Eighteen minutes on Kalmbach! If this were a decent, intelligent land, this multimillionaire TV star would be frogmarched off to the countryside for some good solid re-education.
Alas! This is a world in which we liberals are suckers for corporate pander. This star keeps pleasuring us with pointless tales about the depredations of Richard M. Nixon. By way of contrast, black kids in our cities can go hang in the yard, as can the kids of Honduras.
At present, every star from Mika and Willie on down is posturing about the border. They're playing tape of children crying and adopting their best stricken pose.
BREAKING! Children are crying every day in the tormented countries from which the migrants are emerging—from the situations our star ignores so she can pleasure us with pointless tales of Herbert Kalmbach instead.
The suffering people who come to our border have come from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador. What is happening in those countries? What has become of civil order? What could the United States do to help their frayed situations?
You haven't heard such topics discussed by this overpaid circus clown on her profit-rich TV program. In fact, we decided to run some Nexis searches. This is what we found:
We searched on "Maddow Show AND Honduras OR Honduran." We got no relevant hits for the past two years, starting this June 1.
We searched on "Maddow Show AND Guatemala OR Guatemalan." No relevant hits for that same two years!
We searched on "Maddow Show AND Salvador OR Salvadoran." No relevant results! (One hit for Salvador Dali.) Instead, she frequently played the Bentley sex tape, mugging and clowning as she did, and she likes to dumb the whole world down by yakking about Herb Kalmbach, who's supposed to be just like Michael Cohen and is therefore Totally Trump.
That eighteen minutes she spent on Kalmbach is eighteen minutes she didn't spend on the major gaps confronting black kids in Chicago and New York City. It's eighteen minutes she didn't spend on the suffering children of Central America, who suffer fears and indignities every day and cry pretty much every night.
Children have been crying in all those places for many years by this time. Our big cable star didn't seem to care. But now that the sound of children crying is very hot and Trump-related, she played the tape of the crying children on her show last night.
This is what Hersh was talking about! Indeed, two hours before he spoke with Lemon, one corporate star had devoted eighteen minutes to pointless chatter about Herb Kalmbach. Pleasing tribal message received! It's just like Cohen and Trump!
That eighteen minutes was a low-IQ journalistic disgrace. On the whole, our deeply self-impressed liberal team neither sees this nor cares.
Just to be clear: No really! She rattled on about Kalmbach for eighteen minutes! To convince yourself, click this.