The Best and the Brightest

David Gregory’s panel on Meet the Press has noted scholars Harold Ford, Mike Murphy, and Chuck Todd on to discuss the situation in Egypt. Apparently McCain was unavailable.

I think DougJ is right that it is wise his sister gets most of her news from Wonkette.

*** Update ***

Steve Benen has informed me that McCain was on CNN…






85 replies
  1. 1
    Emma says:

    I find Wonkette considerably more informative than the Sunday morning gasbags, which is why I’m sitting here instead of in front of the tv. On the other hand, I haven’t sat in front of the TV except for two or three shows, usually on BBCAmerica, for years.

    American news television kills brain cells and should be avoided like the plague.

  2. 2
    Ash Can says:

    Well, now, those three ought to have the whole situation parsed and settled by snack time/recess.

  3. 3
    Kryptik says:

    Apparently McCain was unavailable.

    As was John Bolton.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    Good God. That lineup is just jaw droppingly inappropriate.

    aimai

  5. 5
    Keith says:

    I guess when you need someone to project serious tones about something – anything – Harold Ford’s the go-to guy. The guy could make a recipe for blueberry muffins sound like a dire tome on the need to lower marginal tax rates.

  6. 6
    Cat Lady says:

    In the credit where credit is due department, CNN has Fareed Zakaria interviewing ElBaradei. But otherwise it’s all just another day of media FAIL.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    I’m in the ‘haven’t watched Sunday morning TV since many moons ago’ group. Why, exactly, would anyone watch it? Seriously, I don’t understand.

  8. 8
    Ana Gama says:

    Face it, that panel is about as good as it gets in the good old US of A. We don’t need no stinkin’ foreign policy experts. We are exceptional. Just ask Kathleen Parker, whose still in a snit about Obama’s failure to use that word.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    Hilary Clinton was on too. She’s doing the morning show rounds.

  10. 10
    Kryptik says:

    @MattF:

    I think last time I watched it was Maddow’s first appearance on Meet the Press. I can’t punish myself to watch any more of it even with the incentive of seeing Maddow bring at least a modicum of sense to a panel.

  11. 11
    ppcli says:

    @Kryptik:

    Apparently McCain was unavailable./As was John Bolton.

    And Elliot Abrams.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    David Gregory is a dick. He’s trying to play gotcha “journalism” with Hilary Clinton. He’s just trying to get her to say something that will get a headline and lots of hits on the video. Asshat.

  13. 13
    gbear says:

    McCain is already booked on CNN this morning. No rest for the wicked.

    I want to thank everyone who provided links to Al Jazeera English over the last couple days.

  14. 14
    JGabriel says:

    Al Jazeera is just amazing. Skip the Sunday morning news shows and just watch Al Jazeera, now.

    Al Jazeera has reported that ElBaradei is now not just the opposition’s choice to negotiate on their behalf, but their choice for (interim? unclear) opposition president.

    Sulieman is not acceptable to the opposition, and while it was thought that he was the military’s choice, it’s not clear to me that he will continue to have their support if he can’t the people’s support. The military has been making intimidating gestures towards the crowds, but seem reluctant to go any further.

    Anyway, ElBaradei is headed to join the main demonstration in Tahirr (sp?) Square.

    .

  15. 15
    me says:

    He also talked to Martin Indyk and the Moustache. The effect on Israel is apparently important to NBC.

    @ppcli: Bolton was on Fox.

  16. 16
    morzer says:

    Couldn’t they find one intelligent, informed person to discuss the actual events and issues, rather than this trio of flatulent imbeciles?

    OTOH, perhaps Harold Ford will hover over Cairo’s financial district and rediscover his Egyptian roots and presidential aspirations. So there’s that to look forward to.

  17. 17
    me says:

    ABC’s panel has a guy from Al Jazeera on it to their credit. Not to their credit, George Will was there like always.

  18. 18
    cmorenc says:

    ABC’s “This Week” with Christine Amanpour is the one conventional Sunday talking head show that is often worth watching, because she’s the one host who’s not herself a gasbag, but an experienced on-the-ground reporter, mostly as a foreign correspondent. True, some of the regular members of the “round table” discussion are CW gasbags (George Will, for example), but Amanpour herself is not a frequent tool the way David Gregory is, or a Village CW idiot like Chuck Todd or David Brooks. When she first emerged as the permanent replacement for George Stephanopoulos, I was concerned that her lack of the right kind of insider Village allegiances and probable lack of hospitality for the usual insiders bearing talking points might result in a short tenure. She appears so far to be a survivor, albeit George Will is still spewing his swill during the Round Table discussions.

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    I bet Harold Ford can’t wait to bust out his one awesome Egypt joke, the punchline of which is “I want my mummy.”

    What a fucking asshole.

  20. 20
    Ash Can says:

    I want to thank everyone who provided links to Al Jazeera English over the last couple days.

    Enthusiastically seconded. I’ve bookmarked AJ right alongside the BBC as one of my top go-to news sources now. I knew AJ was good, but I never really appreciated until now just how good they are.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @Ash Can:
    It could take something like this uprising in North Africa to make people watch Al-Jazeera, and perhaps request it from their TV providers (cable, etc.)

  22. 22
    JGabriel says:

    morzer:

    Couldn’t they find one intelligent, informed person to discuss the actual events and issues, rather than this trio of flatulent imbeciles?

    Screw them. Al Jazeera. Watch Now.

    .

  23. 23
    azlib says:

    I have always wonders if George Will has a permanent contract on This Week. His comments are so predictably tendentious. He has been saying the same thing for at least 30 years.

  24. 24
    BGinCHI says:

    As an addendum to our discussion of Egypt and the unrest in the region yesterday, here is an excellent post by Benen. In it he skewers Elliot Abrams’ (the liar and perjurer) claim that all the freedom busting out is a George Bush production.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....027761.php

    What most interests me, as I said yesterday in a response to Amanda, is that these dumbfucks want “freedom” without any context, without thinking through what happens when a country “frees” itself only to be taken over by another kind of repressive regime.

    I’m amazed at how little the neocons know about history.

  25. 25

    I’m beginning to think that the only way to understand modern TV/Cable decisino making as a kind of test-to-destruction experiment. It’s as if MTP wants to find out just how useless they can become before self-immolation sets in.

    Seriously. These folks are asking for an asteroid.

  26. 26
    JGabriel says:

    Al Jazeera is reporting that ElBaradei will be asking the military to “take a stance” when he makes his remarks at Tahrir Square.

    If ElBaradei can get the military on his side, then, I suspect, he wins. He must already have support amongst, at least, some of the military leaders to risk taking this step.

    .

  27. 27
    JCT says:

    @Violet:

    David Gregory is a dick. He’s trying to play gotcha “journalism” with Hilary Clinton. He’s just trying to get her to say something that will get a headline and lots of hits on the video.

    Too bad for him that she is way too smart/savvy for his puerile tricks.

    I can’t watch this stuff either.

  28. 28
    Ana Gama says:

    The Guardian has a pretty decent live blog going, too.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news.....s#block-22

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I’m amazed at how little the neocons know about history.

    History ended. Didn’t you read Fukuyama’s book?

    /neocon

  30. 30
    beltane says:

    @Kryptik: I made the mistake of checking out ABC last night and was rewarded with the sight of John Bolton providing his wonderful expert analysis of the Egyptian revolution. I imagine all the American networks will also go to Bernie Madoff to provide economic analysis.

    The Egyptian situation has definitively unmasked the American media as the pathetic, unfunny joke it really is. There is no reason for anyone to watch anymore except for purposes of mockery and ridicule.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    @JCT:
    Yeah, she even called him out on it, “David, you’re trying to get me to say [whatever annoying trap he’s trying to set] and I’m not going to do that.”

  32. 32
    Zach says:

    I flipped on NBC this morning to catch up on Egypt news over coffee, heard Harold Ford point out that what’s really important about Tunisia and Egypt is that it will help Mitt Romney win the GOP nomination, and was grateful to learn that you can take things out of perspective just as much as you can put them into it.

  33. 33
    Persia says:

    @JGabriel: Yeah, my family was wondering yesterday why I was watching it. This blog post is the answer, lol.

  34. 34
    morzer says:

    @thomas Levenson:

    Bit unfair on the asteroid, surely? Must it take responsibility for cleansing our sins of journalistic indulgence and folly?

  35. 35
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Violet:

    David Gregory is a dick. He’s trying to play gotcha “journalism” with Hilary Clinton. He’s just trying to get her to say something that will get a headline and lots of hits on the video. Asshat.

    In other words, it’s just another Sunday for him and the rest of the Villager Idiots.

  36. 36
    Kevin says:

    One of the few redeeming things on Huffington Post is a weekly column called “Sunday Talking Heads”. The writer, Jason Linkins, used to write for Wonkette, and he eviscerates the Sunday boorfests in fine fashion. His liveblogging is great entertainment, I suggest checking it out.

  37. 37

    The Sunday morning gasbag format aims straight at its dwindling demographic – old people who never learned to weigh sources of information for themselves and who need a comfortable non-challenging bunch of gray eminences in a very narrow range of opinion.

    Since this demo is not even a majority of old people, I’ve stopped worrying about the world according to McCain.

  38. 38
    Ash Can says:

    @JGabriel:

    If ElBaradei can get the military on his side, then, I suspect, he wins.

    I think so too. Given all the military firepower that has converged on Tahrir Square, I’m really thinking this is the tipping point.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:
    Yep, exactly. You’d think with such a huge event happening in Egypt they’d not try to turn it into political partisan crap. But no. They’re inherently incapable of doing that. I watched the first bit of MTP to see what Hillary Clinton would say (she was good, imho), but then turned it off. I really can’t stand David Gregory.

  40. 40
    morzer says:

    @beltane:

    Well, if they wanted analysis of America’s financial institutions and how they operate, I should imagine Ol’ Bernie would be an excellent guide. Unless Jamie Dimon is available to detail how crooked “legal” shenanigans work these days.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    It should be noted that, while this is largely a revolt of the young, the leaders getting the most attention are all pretty old: Mubarak, 82; Suleiman, 74; ElBaradei, 68.

    .

  42. 42
    BGinCHI says:

    @Kevin: I read Linkins religiously for quite a while on the Sunday talkies, but even that wore me out. It’s a soul-killing enterprise all the way round.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    aljazeera english online is still broadcasting. They lost their license to broadcast in Egypt but it appears that they are ignoring the order to stop. Does anyone know if their broadcast can be received in parts of Egypt?

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @JGabriel: The original demonstrators were young but Friday that appeared to change. All walks of life are now on the streets.

  45. 45
    JGabriel says:

    @Ash Can:

    Given all the military firepower that has converged on Tahrir Square, I’m really thinking this is the tipping point.

    The military is deployed all throughout the country, but seems to have pulled out of Tahrir Square in the past hour or so.

    No idea if that’s a good sign or a bad one. It could be read either way.

    .

  46. 46
    JGabriel says:

    @JPL:

    The original demonstrators were young but Friday that appeared to change.

    Yes, I meant to add the word “initially”. Good point.

    .

  47. 47
    JGabriel says:

    @Persia:

    Yeah, my family was wondering yesterday why I was watching it. This blog post is the answer, lol.

    So true. It just highlights how useless the Sunday pundits (Sundits?) really are.

    .

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @morzer: Life is unfair. Asteroids should learn to deal with it.

  49. 49
    beltane says:

    @JPL: Someone on Twitter #Egypt says Al Jeezera is blocked within Egypt but that is, of course, unverified.

  50. 50
    PeakVT says:

    ElBaradei is becoming more vocal about Mubarak leaving (or he is being quoted more). I don’t have any idea about what he is like or how he might govern. He definitely is a well known figure internationally, and that might tempt the Obama administration to start backing him publicly. I hope they will resist and remain neutral.

  51. 51
    Ana Gama says:

    @beltane: Al Jeezera says that their news bureau in Cairo has been shut down.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/n.....94161.html

  52. 52
    me says:

    @beltane: They were on an Egyptian satellite but it was shut off. They’ve since switched to Arabsat and can apparently still be received in Egypt.

  53. 53
    maya says:

    Why haven’t the Village Pimples had Omar Sharif on one of their shows by now? He’s Egyptian.

  54. 54
    beltane says:

    Good quote from Naomi Klein:

    When #Egypt cuts off Al Jazeera it’s censorship. When US cable providers refuse to show it in the first place it’s “just business”

    Oh, and Fox news is supposedly claiming that Egypt is between Syria and Iran. I see they attended the Sarah Palin school of geography.

  55. 55
    bkny says:

    harold ford’s depth of knowledge of anything is contained on the sheet of paper listing key talking points that he reads in the limo on the way to the studio.

  56. 56
    Ana Gama says:

    @maya: Or Steve Martin…he played King Tut on SNL…

  57. 57
    BGinCHI says:

    @maya: Or Steve Martin, noted King Tut expert.

    David Gregory: “What can you tell us, Professor Martin, about his condo made of stone-a?”

  58. 58
    me says:

    Now MSNBC is talking about the effect on Israel. As if that is really the most important issue.

  59. 59
    gbear says:

    @Violet:

    It could take something like this uprising in North Africa to make people watch Al-Jazeera, and perhaps request it from their TV providers

    Or we could simply bypass the TV providers and watch it on-line. I haven’t had a cable feed to my house for over 20 years. I realized they weren’t providing anything that was worth what they were charging.

  60. 60
    JPL says:

    My views are polyannish but maybe Netanyahu will rethink his hard line to Palestinians. Nevermind ..

  61. 61
    Violet says:

    @BGinCHI:
    Don’t forget members of The Bangles. They walked like Egyptians.

    @gbear: True enough. And this is the way it’s heading. Why bother with cable.

  62. 62
    Ana Gama says:

    @JPL: One can hope he’d be forced to.

  63. 63
    beltane says:

    @JPL: AJE is just now reporting on Palestinians breaking out of Egyptians prisons and returning to Gaza. This is going to get interesting.

  64. 64
    gbear says:

    @Violet: But the Bangles didn’t write the song, which makes them even more qualified for Meet The Press.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    morzer says:

    Come to think of it, I played Pharoah back in the day. I demand to be invited into the yap-yap shows to give my Very Serious Views on Egypt. Damn it, I built pyramids and exported papyrus!

    EDITED: On second thoughts, I am probably what they call “over-qualified”.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @gbear:
    LOL. So true. I think Pam Tillis could be a good MTP guest. She sang “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial.”

    @morzer:
    Someone brought me a papyrus drawing from Egypt once. Can I go on MTP?

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @Violet: Only if you use egyptian cotton bedding.

  69. 69
    Violet says:

    @JPL:
    Like morzer, I think that would make me overqualified.

  70. 70
    morzer says:

    @Violet:

    By Harold Ford’s standards, Egypt is now your ancestral home. You could run for Mayor of Cairo.

  71. 71
    Nutella says:

    Jay Rosen says on Twitter:

    On a day like this the difference between @camanpour and @davidgregory is vast. She’s in Egypt, live. He’s got Friedman and Chuck Todd on.

  72. 72
    Origuy says:

    Earlier, someone was wondering about Zahi Hawass, the ubiquitous Director of Antiquities. He’s in Cairo; his website was just updated with more information about the breakin at the Egyptian Museum and the status at various museums and ancient sites.

    Since the Internet is down in Egypt, he had to fax the information to colleagues in Italy, who sent it to London where the website is based.

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    @Violet:

    Someone brought me a papyrus drawing from Egypt once. Can I go on MTP?

    I suspect that watching a few hours of Al Jazeera makes me more qualified than anyone MTP is likely to invite.

    .

  74. 74
    JenJen says:

    OK, here’s something that’s been driving me nuts about Harold Ford. Yes, I realize there are many things, but let’s just focus on this for a minute.

    A few weeks back, while watching “Morning Joe”, I noticed they were discussing the Challenger disaster. And Harold Ford said how he remembered the moment vividly, because he was in 5th Grade and they were watching the launch live, in class. I immediately thought, “Huh? That’s not possible.” Then, last week during the 25th Anniversary of the disaster, Ford repeated the story on Morning Joe while everyone nodded in somber agreement.

    Umm, Harold Ford was born in 1970. And it occurred to absolultely nobody on the show to ask him how it was, exactly, that he was in 5th Grade in 1986.

  75. 75
    Origuy says:

    Ford is probably thinking of the first shuttle launch, in 1981. He could have been in 5th grade then. But that was Columbia, not Challenger.

  76. 76
    Persia says:

    Dangerously close to actual news– they’re talking with an Egyptian government official (Mohammed Ragab) on Al-Jazeera right now, and the guy said ‘millions and millions of Egyptians support the President.” And the interviewer said “Where are they?” Which was, frankly, delightful.(The answer was that the lurkers support them in email.)

  77. 77
    scottinnj says:

    @Persia:

    Not only dangerously close to actual news that follow up question is also dangerously close to actual journalism. Could you imagine one of our stenographers (oops I mean journalists) following up with that question if any major US official said that on Meet the Press (or similar news show)

  78. 78
    JenJen says:

    @Origuy: I was wondering that myself. I also thought maybe he confused the Challenger disaster with the day Reagan was shot, which was a huge news event that he may have heard about at school. But it was just mindblowing to me that nobody looked at him and said “are you sure you’re remembering that correctly?”

    As chummy as the Morning Joe Villagers are, they had to realize Ford is over 40, right?

  79. 79
    Persia says:

    @scottinnj: Yeah, it’s depressing that the question surprised me, but there it was.

  80. 80
    Nellcote says:

    As an alternative to the SundayTalkingHeads I highly recommend The Bobblespeak Translations.

    It’s suitably reverent.

  81. 81

    I almost head banged the TV when Harold Ford decided to pollute the airwaves and speak about the situation in the Mideast. But I figured my head suffered enough with Gregory’s interview of Clinton.. Shutting the damn thing off was the only way to go. I’m SURE I’ve missed amazing analysis. Or not.

  82. 82
    JGabriel says:

    @Persia:

    Dangerously close to actual news—they’re talking with an Egyptian government official (Mohammed Ragab) on Al-Jazeera right now, and the guy said ‘millions and millions of Egyptians support the President.” And the interviewer said “Where are they?” Which was, frankly, delightful.(The answer was that the lurkers support them in email.)

    So, the internet isn’t shut down for people who e-mail the president? Just everyone else?

    .

  83. 83
    El Cid says:

    @JGabriel:

    I suspect that watching a few hours of Al Jazeera makes me more qualified than anyone MTP is likely to invite.

    That’s actually true. Unless they really surprise and have some reporter on in an introductory clip or short satellite link who has worked there for years.

  84. 84
    Arclite says:

    Was Juan Cole on anywhere? I would think that his views are what you’d want if you wanted expert commentary.

  85. 85
    Bulworth says:

    David Gregory’s panel on Meet the Press has noted scholars Harold Ford, Mike Murphy, and Chuck Todd on to discuss the situation in Egypt.

    In Harold Ford’s defense, he’s probably planning his next Senate campaign from a state to be determined and needs whatever TV time he can get.

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