Strange. Because MY "takeaway" was how Debbie cleaned out GOP Chairman Reince Preibus's (pron: Grinds Pre-Bust) clock. My second takeaway was Reince's collection of snarky faces with every shot Debbie scored. The dude's face was a nonstop tick machine with each successive takedown as she slammed him to the canvas on Republicans' sex scandal hypocrisy — even the timid High Priest Gregory piped in on this one — when they didn't call on Vitter to resign when he COMMITTED A CRIME by soliciting and paying prostitutes, and allowed John Ensign to hang on until the Ethics Committee was poised to expel him from the Senate. Priebus's face was having a mini-epileptic fit as he struggled to retain his stupid grin. Reminds me of the guy at the frat party who's always laughing and making faces at every off-color sexist joke.
(Programming Note: Like, for example, the one slimeball Dana Milbank told Chris Matthews re: Weiner: "I love it when you talk dirty to me" ... Keith's return CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH! Mark your calendars, folks — May 20 on CURRENT TV. Why, exactly, do you "respect" Milbank, Chris?)
Back to Idiot Punditocracy World, as worshipers flocked to the Church of Beltway Media Tools, aka Meet The Press. High Priest David Gregory conducted services with his usual lapdog obeisance to the political RIGHT and concurrent Beltway Media narratives. Despite Chris Matthews's increasingly strident attempts to build Gregory up with his "cable TV" audience (more on this presently), floating the absurd claim Gregory asks "straight" questions, Gregory constantly violates the boundaries of an acceptable journalistic interview by allowing interviewees to spout their propaganda talking points unchallenged.
The TOOL-ish role of the IP's High Priest was once again in evidence hosting certifiable wingnut Rick Santorum. Occasionally he would ask a timid question — "what about abortion, I know you feel oh so strongly about this"? Santorum said he wants to criminalize abortion providers, which is bad enough, but a LIE; he is far more extreme. He will not even entertain exceptions when the life of the mother is at risk, which he says is "phony," much less in cases of rape and incest. Oh sorry, Santorum didn't say it on MTP to IP High Priest Gregory. Here's what an outside-the-Beltway reality-based Meet The Press interview would play to illustrate Santorum's extremism:
Where was Gregory? Nowhere. The cocky High Priest of the Idiot Punditocracy was MISSING IN ACTION. More like deserting to the DARK SIDE. David Gregory ASKS NO FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS. He may toss in a timid, vanilla-coated softball, à lá Larry King (who NEVER represented himself as a political journalist), and then drop it. He NEVER corrected Santorum on his outrageous claims about Medicare, about the so-called "Obamacare" "board" that Republicans claim is intended to ration care. Nothing could be further from the truth. The board isn't tasked with reducing quality of care, but with reducing costs through best practices, going after waste, fraud, and abuse, and doing sensible things like negotiating in bulk to reduce drug costs. NONE OF THIS WAS BROACHED BY GREGORY. What he said instead, was: "We'll get to Medicare later." BUT HE NEVER DID.
Then he asked, wringing his little IP hands, "Oh, how come you want to give corporations more tax breaks, when they're sitting on a TRILLION IN CASH?" Then he FAILED to follow up when Santorum recited the usual LIES that corporations are overtaxed and over-regulated. There's such an easy rebuttal to this it's an insult to the audience that Gregory wouldn't take it: "The most PROFITABLE corporations on the planet, the OIL COMPANIES, paid no taxes to speak of, BP spoiled the Gulf Coast economy by dumping MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF OIL into the ocean AS A RESULT OF LAX REGULATIONS, and the taxpayers are still subsidizing them. IS THAT FAIR?"
To kick off the interview, Gregory played a clip of Santorum's presidential announcement. Gregory picked such a non-controversial VANILLA clip that his producers must have scoured the extremist's speech to pluck the most boilerplate clip available: "Americans are not looking for someone that they can believe in. They're looking for a president who believes in them." Totally unmemorable and forgettable, instead of this, which was THE headline of Santorum's announcement:
But, unmercifully, that's not all. In the "roundtable" part of the show, IP High Priest Gregory hosted the usual collection of political miscreants: A hack from the FASCIST editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, whose sole contribution was the tired canard — more false equivalency shit — that Democrats "do IT" (refuse to resign) as much as Republicans. That's patently false. And Richard Wolffe, well known to MSNBC audiences, was so pathetically eager to curry favor with the High Priest, he made this idiotic remark about Weiner:
RIGHT. "Cable TV" ... that rather distasteful entity, as distinct from the clique-ish, omniscient Idiot Punditocracy and Beltway Media led by High Priest Gregory and his less hierarchical colleague, Dean Matthews. Wolffe was making a pitch to join the ultra-elitist club that it is to be a regular on Meet The Press. Newt was a member until, regretfully, he became a liability and Gregory had to cut him loose. Chris and Lawrence thought that was great journalism. They're still floating the falsehood that Gregory, except quite tangentially, "exposed" Gingrich. The "radical right wing engineering" line forever emblazoned as the 2012 bumper sticker for the GOP's plan to KILL Medicare was a GIFT FROM HEAVEN. It came as much of a surprise to Gregory as it did to progressives.MR. WOLFFE: Strong voice, but no allies. And outside the caucus, though, progressives love him. He was an effective advocate for their causes, not least on cable TV.
MR. GREGORY: Right.
Richard was so eager to throw "cable TV" under the bus, he had convenient amnesia regarding the fact cable TV PAYS HIS SALARY. What's a one-word description for the MTP studio. Here's mine: SMUG. Is it any wonder I don't watch it and recommend others do the same? We've got better things to do Sunday mornings. I only watched it this time because Debbie was on.
But the worst part about it is the show actually molds public opinion among those Americans who do not follow politics as closely as they should. I've said it before and I'll repeat it here: David Gregory is A DISGRACE to his "profession" whatever that is; he's no journalist. He's more like a hybrid publicist-propagandist, enabling the right wing to sell their product. David Gregory should be hosting an infomercial, not a political show. Oh ... but he does!