Dear Cable News Directors…

Angela Rye through discourse convincing Joe Walsh he's a bigot. a

You’ve had your fun with the talking-head roundtable “discussions” on your 24-hr news networks. Now it’s time for them to die, screaming in agony.

To put it another way, just because you can create three splitscreens appear on a television screen, doesn’t mean that you should. People say that the world doesn’t need any more lawyers, I disagree.

What society really don’t need anymore of is political commentators. Especially paid political commentators. What does a political commentator do when they’re not yelling at a screen, of an avatar who is not really there, anyway? Jet-ski? Read a book?

And this isn’t a partisan issue.

Nothing ever gets resolved on these damn segments and everyone will continue not to communicate with each other long after. Can you readily admit any such segment on CNN or HLN where five random people yell at each other for 12 minutes has ever accomplished anything?

Tucker Carlson hasn’t changed for as long as he’s been known to political junkies on TV for past 20 years. And surely he will continue act smug and drown out any fool with belligerence, just as sure as the sun will rise and set everyday, for the next 20 years, too. Same goes for Ed Schultz, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow and every other talking head to appear on cable news.

One of the best moments of television ever, wasn’t from The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, but when whatever EP or scheduler foolishly booked Jon Stewart to appear on CNN’s talk-news debate show Crossfire in late 2004. They expected him to play nice-nice with political hacks/pundits Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. He did not.

I’ve never such an elegant takedown done on the fly. Stewart charms and disarms when he tells the two that their show is hurting America and public discourse. Even when his delivery is couched in a joke, there’s a uncomfortable truth beneath the surface.

Judging the clip alone, Begala and Carlson genuinely believe their show, in which pundits from the Left and Right yell at each other for 30 minutes for spectator sport soothes the partisan divide in this country.

A few months later Crossfire was off the air. Sometimes two events are automatically associated with another, despite no causation of such. But, in this case, I truly believe CNN looked themselves in the mirror and got an icky, clammy feeling come over them.

Just as Mark Burnett is eventually gonna have to answer to Jesus for accidentally elevating Donald Trump’s specter to President of the United States through The Apprentice, Ted Turner is gonna have to do the same for creating CNN, the first 24-hour news network with all the time for information and news, but still wound up with less of it…

Six Impossible News Articles Before Breakfast

Last week, I kept seeing news items about rumors of various famous people contemplating running in the 2020 Presidential Election. Oprah Winfrey was rumored to run one day and the next Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, was thinking the same.

Celebrities are always in hot-water for expressing a political stance (A policy, I personally don’t understand, but that’s a blog post for another day.) but when some of them run for public office, people are suddenly perfectly okay with it.

With all due respect to Ms. Winfrey and Mr. Igor, I don’t want them to run for president.

As an adult, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term as the freakin’ Governor of California may have ruined celebrities holding public office for me. I loved the surreal concept of his election when I was 12 years old, but eventually you realize there are enough adolescents voting in this country as it is.

I’m not through and through opposed to this idea (Look no further than Senator Al Franken), I hold onto the promise of democracy in electing the best people for the job, who aren’t necessarily celebrities. Again, Al Franken.

Truth be Told, I look at celebrities deciding to run for office as a sideshow. It really is.

Fame is a dangerous amplifier of visibility and a conflation with comprehension of complex issues. And being famous gives you a headline every time you speak. Someone like Donald Trump is a dangerous testament to the power of the uniquely ignorant speaking to his own.

Furthermore, if you’re famous, you effectively steal the limelight, and votes, from candidates of more competent merit. Jeb Bush dropped out because he couldn’t compete with Trump’s cable news coverage. Trump may or may not hate CNN but they were the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

I’m a traditional guy. America is a grassroots nation. It’s in our DNA. There’s a man or woman out there, with a few thousand in donations and a handful of true believers, driving around in 10-year old SUV, getting votes by going door to door and wearing out the rubber on their shoes.

That’s more irresistible than ever in a nation blinded by the haze of hysterical partisanship and money.