MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2023
On blue cable, no one knew: Stephanie Ruhle had assembled another all-star group for her weekly "Friday Nightcap."
As the second half of her program began, she pretty much said so herself:
RUHLE (3/10/23): All right—you know what it's time for. Time for our "Friday Nightcap"—and it is a great one!
Presumably, she meant that her four-person panel was "a great one." Needless to say, the best thing about the four-person panel was this:
Every member of the blue-chip panel was going to say the same thing! That's the way pseudo-discussion now works on our own tribe's "cable news" channel!
Ruhle began the Nightcap with a discussion of Fox News and the Dominion lawsuit. Seven minutes in, she shifted to a vexing set of questions:
What do conservatives mean by "Wokeness?" And why would they say that it's bad?
Ruhle played a montage of short clips in which seven conservative figures made overwrought remarks concerning Wokeness and Woke. She included Trump and DeSantis and Tucker—and then, evincing total bafflement, the cable news star offered this:
RUHLE: What does one do with this, right? A "war on wokeness?" "The woke mob?"
The most recent mob in this country was on January 6—people storming our Capitol, threatening to violently attack members of Congress. But this is what we watch every night, and this has Americans fired up.
Plainly, Ruhle was baffled. Why in the world would anyone want to say bad things about "Woke?" Surely, the baffled star seemed to suggest, January 6 was far worse!
So began the Nightcap panel's pseudo-discussion of Woke. Based on what followed, none of Ruhle's panelists had any idea why someone might criticize Woke.
Indeed, no one seemed to have any idea what the word even meant! David Gura agreed to go first:
GURA (continuing directly): It's a remarkable catch-all phrase that I don't think anyone would define in the same way. And I think—
RHLUE: What is it?
GURA: —if you were to ask any one of those people what it means, you would get a completely different answer.
"What is it?" Ruhle helplessly asked. Gura said the seven conservative critics wouldn't agree with each other at all!
At this point, Alex Witt said, with apparent surprise, that conservatives "use it as a pejorative." She went on to explain what the word really means:
"What it really means, it's a modern sort of way to describe people who are educated on, they're aware of social media, they're aware of social issues, they've kind of studied it. And I think that's what woke truly is."
It's just a modern way to describe people who are educated! That's what the word really means!
We're sorry to say that even Al Sharpton took part in this silly display.
We've long admired Sharpton at this site. He's much sharper than the average bear, and he has an excellent sense of humor which he frequently puts to good use.
Indeed, Sharpton has often pushed back against some of the stances some critics would tag as "Woke!" But on this night, he may have known the role he was expected to play:
SHARPTON: What I always say to people when they start talking about woke. Well, what's the opposite? Asleep?
The clowning continued this way. As the pseudo-discussion finally ended, Ruhle drew again from the well:
RUHLE: There's woke, and there's asleep.
And as Rev Al has said, "Democrats, you better redefine this and wake up." I think that's what he just told you.
Democrats need to redefine the term! That's the way this exercise in scripted stupidity ended.
The Nightcap panelists were utterly baffled this night. No one seemed to have any idea why anyone would criticize Wokeness or Woke, or even what the familiar terms might mean.
The fix was in on The One True Channel as viewers were sent off to sleep. As we watched this gong-show proceed, our thoughts drifted back to a pair of panel discussions in the fall of 1999.
The discussions occurred on CNN's weekly program, Reliable Sources. Media reporter Howard Kurtz had been in charge.
To his credit, Kurtz asked two separate panels of mainstream journalists, appearing on two separate programs, why Candidate Gore was getting such negative coverage from the mainstream press. Here's what happened next:
Every panelist agreed with Kurtz's basic premise. They all agreed that Candidate Gore was, in fact, receiving hostile coverage from the mainstream press.
But how odd! None of the panelists could figure out why they and their mainstream colleagues were conducting themselves this way! They tossed out a few simple-minded suggestions, but none of the panelists seemed to have any real idea.
Those panel discussions had been a fairly obvious fraud. After making those two separate attempts, Kurtz abandoned the topic.
Hopefully, Ruhle's panel discussion this past Friday night was utterly phony too.
Back in 1999, the journalists refused to squeal on the attitudes which obtained within their own news orgs. Last Friday night, Ruhle's collection of overpaid stooges were pretending they had no idea why anyone would criticize Woke.
In fact, it isn't just people like Tucker and Trump who criticize what they called Wokeness. And there isn't any mystery—none at all—concerning the sorts of behaviors these people have in mind.
Two hours before Ruhle's pseudo-discussion, we had watched a rebroadcast of Jake Tapper's hour-long interview with Bill Maher, in which Maher expressed his critical view of Woke. Elsewhere, criticisms of Woke are easy to find—criticisms coming from high-end liberal voices.
On Friday night, blue cable viewers were shielded from such ugly knowledge. Ruhle and her panelists agreed to pretend that they were baffled by the nature of any such complaints.
In this recent column in the New York Times, Michelle Goldberg has said that the GOP's War on Woke is unlikely to be effective. It may turn out that her assessment is correct—but on The One True Cable Channel, Ruhle's all-star panelists were pretending something different.
Why would anyone criticize Woke? Presumably, Ruhle's four stooges were all pretending that they had no idea!
We'll recommend that you take a look at Friday's pseudo-discussion. You can find the video at this link, under the title "Friday Nightcap: Fox News exposed to the meaning of Woke."
What you'll be seeing is very stupid. It's stupid, and we can only hope that it's fake.
The War of Woke may crash and burn, but everyone knows what the war is about. We'll be spending the rest of the week dipping our toe in those waters.
Last week, we looked at life From Their Side Now. Starting with that braindead panel, we'll now be looking at the sheer stupidity which often prevails on our side.
Tomorrow: Maher and McWhorter and Packer, and on and on from there
Also here: You can watch last Friday's night entire program thanks to the Internet Archive. To watch the silly pseudo-discussion, just click here, then search on Woke.