WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 2021
Cable star discusses herself: We promise! Before the week is done, we're going to let you know about Joe Manchin's sexist racism—the sexist racism put on display when he failed to support Neera Tanden for head of the OMB.
Also, we plan to address the punditry which has welled up around Oprah's attempt to conduct an interview with the current pair of extremely hot royals. It was the greatest TV interview ever, top reporters and professors said.
Basic questions arise from that punditry, questions such as these:
To what extent is the antiracism widely seen in Our Town a type of performative virtue? Also, to what extent can modern journalists evaluate the reliability of imprecise, unverified, extremely high-profile claims? Do major journalists in Our Town possess any such analytical skills at all, especially when pleasing performance beckons?
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our species' rational skills are known to be quite limited. Few episodes have displayed this fact quite as plainly as pundit reaction to Oprah's attempt at an interview with a rather strange pair of royals.
(Before they got married, they didn't discuss what life in the palace was like?)
For today, we'll praise a pair of journalists who have begun to push back a tad. At the New York Times, Farah Stockman is wondering why people here in Our Town are so attracted to royals.
We thought her sardonic reaction was reassuring and morally good.
Meanwhile, at the Washington Post, David Von Drehle says it has always been thus in popular journalism, dating all the way back to the early days of William Randolph Hearst. We thought his piece was reassuring and quite informative.
We stand in praise of Von Drehle and Stockman as they fight to hold back the tide. For ourselves, we can offer a scholarly answer to the question they're poking at:
Why are we the people so drawn to silly, unreliable chatter concerning various royals? Sadly, it's deeply bred in the bone, major top scholars have said.
It's the way our human brains are wired. Or at least, so these top experts insist.
To their vast credit, Stockman and Von Drehle are discussing our peculiar attraction to royals. Last night, a certain major top cable news star started out, once again, with her latest discussion of self.
The major star will go unnamed, but her latest song of self began three minutes into her program. Our analysts shrieked and covered their ears, then ran about the room.
"I I I I I I I," the youngsters reflexively said. It's what the analysts always say when the star launches one of her digressions, selling the car as she does.
We understand their vast annoyance. Here's how they were triggered last night:
The star was discussing the $1,400 checks a tiny number of us the people will soon be receiving by mail. (Almost all of us get our free money by electronic transfer.)
She noted the fact that President Biden's name won't be on those checks. She said that it was "petty" when the previous commander-in-chief put his name on similar checks.
After that, it happened again! As she so reliably does, she launched a discussion of self:
UNNAMED CABLE STAR (3/9/21): But honestly, as I get older, as I live through more and more years of Republican governance, I'm getting more and more petty all the time—
[HA HA HA HA HA]
—about stuff like this.
Only because Republican presidents put their names on everything. Democratic presidents are the ones who are all modest, right?
If I was a Democratic president, I would put my name on this check, and like a big hologram on it too, so that it like glowed when you open the envelope. I'd make it like one of those gift cards that plays a song when you—
[HA HA HA HA]
It would bling at you and sing at you. I would do anything. I would put sequins on the thing. It would be all about remembering which party made this thing happen and which party voted against it.
But like I said—
[HA HA HA HA]
As I develop an increasingly severe case of the O-L-D, I'm getting cattier and pettier with each passing day. And Biden is not. It's why somebody like him is president, and nobody asks my advice on these things.
She ended with a humblebrag, explaining why she isn't president.
The star wound down from there. Along the way, she had said that if she were president, she'd put her name on the check (with sequins) and make it sing at recipients.
"We're completely sure that you would," one of the horrified analysts cried. "I I I I I I I," her colleagues continued to wail.
Is the star "getting cattier with each passing day?" We can't say that she is. We would say that years of massive stardom seem to have damaged her work.
The rewards are too damn high, we frequently tell the young analysts. Star status, and undisclosed millions of dollars, often lead to bad work.
For whatever reason, it seems to us that the star is also becoming more openly Catholic. (Did you catch her remark last week?) Obviously, there's nothing wrong with being Catholic—we were raised Catholic too—but a certain strain of older-school Catholic culture has possibly played a negative role at the cable channel in question, dating all the way back to the formative days when it was run by Jack Welch.
After her requisite song of self, the star dreamed of locking them up for terms of "life without parole plus twenty years." During last evening's 10 P.M. hour, Lawrence was even more weirdly locked in to dreams of locking them up.
Our profit-based, corporate "news channels" serve us all rather poorly. On balance, we don't seem to notice or mind this blatantly obvious fact.