Groundhog Night comes to cable: Last night, it started all over again. Right at the start of her hour-long show, the cable star even warned us:
CABLE STAR (3/11/19): And thanks to you at home for joining us. Happy Monday.It's gotten so bad that the big cable star has to start her show by assuring us rubes that we aren't watching a rerun!
And no, this is not a rerun. But you are going to have a little sense of deja vu...
That's because there's only one topic on this ghoulish "Groundhog Night" program. Last night, it started all over again. Here's the fuller start to the transcript:
CABLE STAR: And no, this is not a rerun, but you are going to have a little sense of deja vu, because the president's campaign chairman is due to be sentenced by a federal judge again this week.She knows this sounds like last week's news. She knows that the headlines—the ones she will choose to sell us this week—are going to look similar to the headlines she's been serving us for months
And I know that sounds like last week's news, but this week's sentencing on Wednesday will be in addition to the sentencing Paul Manafort went through with the federal judge in Virginia last week. So those headlines, from a distance, they're going to look similar.
But people! This week's sentencing will be in addition to last week's sentencing! Paul Manafort will be sentenced again, and there is basically no other topic on this deranged corporate program.
As she continued, the obsessive multimillionaire star kept trying to reassure us. Despite the fact that there's only one topic, this week's relatively insignificant events will feel very different from the relatively insignificant events on which she obsessed last week:
CABLE STAR (continuing directly): Before we get to the sentencing on Wednesday, it all sort of feels a little bit similar, but this is going to be a pretty different process this week, because this judge in D.C., who is going to be considering Manafort's fate this week and handing him down his new sentence on Wednesday, this is the judge who is going to be considering not the guilty pleas from a jury trial like that Virginia judge was considering last week.Do we remember how this went down? What chance is there that you can forget if you watch this peculiar cable news show, the top-rated cable news within our floundering tribe?
Now, this judge in D.C. is considering something very different. She's going to be considering the failed plea deal that Paul Manafort got himself into when he tried and failed to become a cooperating witness in an effort to try to get himself a more lenient sentence.
You remember how this went down, right?...
Impossibly, the cable star then began to review the ways last week's events "went down." She has been talking about little else, but she dragged us through it all over again.
In fact, the cable star burned her first 25 minutes, without a break, on astoundingly petty mini-details of the new sentencing process which may leave Manafort dead in his prison cell. About twelve minutes into this forced march toward 10 PM, the cable star even said this:
CABLE STAR: Now, do you care about Paul Manafort getting some of his legal fees paid for by this Republican pollster guy? Do you care? No, you don't care! I mean, not in the abstract. None of us care about this!In the abstract, none of us care about this! But in the concrete world of cable news, one star cares about nothing else. She cares about this with ghoulish delight and an astonishing lack of news judgment.
The cable star burned her first 25 minutes on amazingly petty aspects of this Groundhog Night story. After her first commercial break, she returned to present a segment running 6:31 about four Mueller cases, not excluding the Manafort matter itself.
You're allowed to hear about nothing else. Nothing and no one else matters.
Yesterday, we suggested that Rep. Ilhan Omar may care about deaths around the world in a way some others may not. Except for the imagined joy of seeing The Others dead in their cells, the very strange star of this very strange show seems to care about nothing at all.
You hear about nothing which actually matters. You hear speculation about the length of Manafort's prison sentence. This is the way our culture ends, not with a bang but with a vast tribal distraction.
Last night's program wasn't a rerun. Tonight's won't be one either!