I’m trying to watch the West Wing again, which I used to love, but it is just so detached from our current reality that it seems like science fiction.
This guy is good:
A little treat for fans of #TheCrown!
— Kieran Hodgson (@KieranCHodgson) November 20, 2020
I’ve already binge-watched Season 4, which was pretty good, IMO. The mister and I also just finished up The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix — highly recommended. (It’s about chess, not royalty.)
Did a grocery run earlier to lay in supplies for a two-person Thanksgiving. I’m making Ina’s turkey roulade, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls and pumpkin pie. Plus extra stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce. It will be way too much.
It’s dark and cloudy today. The forecast calls for rain, but it’s just clouds and mist so far. The weather will likely deter us from taking a boat ride, but we did yesterday and saw this pretty anhinga in a tree:
That’s all I’ve got. Open thread!
Look who is going to be on TDS tonight:
Don't miss @DesiLydic's special tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg featuring @ewarren, @rtraister, @katekendell and Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady). Tonight at 11/10c on Comedy Central! pic.twitter.com/pgpUnivYzk
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) October 30, 2020
They grow up so fast.
Tucker Carlson calls for Senator Burr to resign and await prosecution for insider trading if he cannot provide a reasonable explanation for his actions. He goes on to say it appears that Senator Burr betrayed his country in a time of crisis pic.twitter.com/q7yJa5wjuA
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) March 20, 2020
He plays a bigoted thug to perfection on TV, but either Mr. Carlson isn’t quite as dumb as he acts, or he’s at least smart enough to hire competent advisors. Lo, a Damascus moment for one of the richest ‘conservatives’ on Fox News!
Tucker Carlson apparently flew to Mar-a-Lago to personally lobby Trump and his aides to take the coronavirus more seriously and to stop seeing everything though a political lens https://t.co/XO50HpH4qc
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) March 17, 2020
Though it’s hard to believe, Fox News host Tucker Carlson made his very first visit to Mar-a-Lago only a week and a half ago. The resort was hosting a birthday party for former Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle, also attended by Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, and Donald Trump Jr.,—but Carlson wasn’t there for the party. He didn’t even know about it, he says. Instead he’d come with an urgent message for the president. He was there to pull Donald Trump aside and speak frankly about the dangers of the coronavirus epidemic, the gravity of which had not yet fully registered with Trump or his White House.
For his troubles, Carlson was actually exposed to the coronavirus, along with Senators Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott, all of whom had been in the room with infected Brazilian officials attending the party…
Tucker Carlson started talking more extensively about the virus on his Fox News show on February 3, spurred, he says, by harrowing reports emerging from China. Trump, it seems, was the last to know. A White House adviser arranged for Carlson to meet with Trump so the TV personality could, in essence, penetrate Trump’s bubble. They talked for two hours. The oncoming pandemic, Carlson told him, was an existential threat to the nation. To translate it into Trumpian language, an existential threat to his reelection. Mike Pence joined at one point. Carlson won’t discuss the president’s reaction on the record, but suffice it to say that Trump’s denial went on for another week while the pandemic ballooned and right-wing allies—many of them on Fox News—suggested the virus was a liberal hoax and members of Congress, as recently as three days ago, told people to continue going out in public as if nothing was happening.
I’ve known Tucker Carlson for 20 years, since before his infamous Jon Stewart debate on CNN in 2004 and before his paleoconservative tendencies—he was always sympathetic to Pat Buchanan—found their moment in the election of Donald J. Trump, reanimating his career. Carlson has always been one of the most intelligent and reliably savage observers of Washington—even more so off camera. A canny TV diplomat, he won’t say Trump is terrified, weak, politically doomed, in deep denial and surrounded by toadies and mediocrities. But what he does say is enough to make you realize we’re entering uncharted territory…
A sample of the ensuing tonguebath:
We’re at the point where conservative media and right-wing politicians take their cues from Trump and from the White House. Tell me when you decided that maybe something had gone out of whack.
So a lot of Trump voters believe that all news about Trump is designed to hurt Trump. And they’re absolutely right about that. It’s been monomaniacal, the coverage of Trump. So when the moment came, when there was something that ultimately really didn’t have anything to do with Trump, which is the emergence of a weird new virus from Eastern China, they were trained to believe that all coverage was designed to hurt Trump. Because that’s been true. So it was very hard to convince a lot of those news consumers that this was fundamentally not a political story.
I suspect lead singer Natalie Maines would have been more than happy for this not to be true, but: Impeccable timing for the new single!
There are a half-dozen serious, weighty posts waiting to be written, but after this week I’m tired.
What are y’all doing as a respite from politics, at this point in time?
Spousal Unit & I both really enjoyed the first two seasons of Death in Paradise, every episode a sprightly Christie-style stand-alone mystery. I’m having trouble getting into the unlovely third-season replacement for the central character, but the rest of the cast is still sharp, and I console myself that the blemish in question eventually gets replaced in his turn…
Hillary Clinton: “Try to vote for the person you think is most likely to win because at the end of the day that is what will matter. And not just the popular vote, but the electoral college too.” https://t.co/QhhGevxfoT
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) January 17, 2020
… Clinton appeared at the press tour in support of the Hulu four-part documentary series “Hillary,” which details the former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State’s time on the 2016 Presidential campaign trail through never-before-seen footage. The series also features interviews with Bill and Chelsea Clinton, as well as friends and journalists.
She fielded a range of questions from the audience, including what she feels the most important message of the series will ultimately be.
“I think the most important message is we are…in a real struggle with a form of politics that is incredibly negative, exclusive, mean-spirited, and its going to be up to every voter, not only people who vote in Democratic primaries to recognize that this is no ordinary time,” she said. “This is an election that will have such profound impact so take your vote seriously. And for the Democratic voters, try to vote for the person you think is most likely to win because at the end of the day that is what will matter. And not just the popular vote, but the electoral college too.”…
“It wasn’t so long ago that we actually had a President that we didn’t have to worry every morning when we woke up about what was going to happen that day, or what crazy tweet would threaten war or some other awful outcome,” she said.
“You can disagree with the facts, but there are facts,” she continued. “You can choose not to vaccinate your children but there are facts. You can choose not to believe in climate change, but there are facts. And somehow we’ve got to shoulder that responsibility not only at a political leadership level but literally at the citizen, activist, concerned human being level.”
Elsewhere, the end of the beginning.…
Voting in the 2020 election has begun / someday this war will be over. https://t.co/R1w2tR02Z0
— laura olin (@lauraolin) January 17, 2020
A few hearty Minnesotans spent the night in an RV outside the Minneapolis Early Voting Center Thursday night so they could cast the first votes in the nation at 8am for Elizabeth @ewarren @DaviSense @jared_mollenkof @toreyvanoot story https://t.co/hwwBTB4ECs pic.twitter.com/sogOXN2dsk
— Glen Stubbe (@gspphoto) January 17, 2020
Voting begins in Minnesota’s first presidential primary since 1992 https://t.co/hwwBTB4ECs
— Glen Stubbe (@gspphoto) January 17, 2020
… The deadline for voting is still over a month away. But the chance to participate in the state’s first presidential primary since 1992 — and cast a ballot before first-in-the-nation contests have their say — was enough to motivate some voters to brave frigid temperatures and a looming snowstorm to show support for their candidate of choice.
“We can’t afford to wait,” said Sean Duckworth, a Joe Biden supporter who attended an early vote rally for a range of Democratic candidates in Ramsey County. “We need change now, and he’s the person who is best able to do it, so I’m here to vote for him.”
Votes in Minnesota won’t be counted until after the polls close March 3. And some other states, including New Hampshire, have already started accepting absentee ballots for voters who can’t make it out on Election Day. But Minnesota’s election calendar and early voting laws mean the state can “confidently say we’ll be the first state in the country to open up the presidential contest to all eligible voters,” said Secretary of State Steve Simon…
“There’s some kind of special magic to the idea of getting to be one of the first people to cast your vote,” said Mitchell Walstad, a Warren supporter. “I thought it would be kind of fun, to go make a tweet out of it … and have an opportunity to show my support and do it in a loud fashion.”
In Duluth, City Council Member Arik Forsman joined a handful of Klobuchar supporters who showed up at City Hall right as early primary voting opened Friday morning.
“I think she has a really great track record in Minnesota of bridging that rural/urban divide,” Forsman said.
In South St. Paul, two local officials showed up at the polling place early Friday to not only cast ballots for the primary but to symbolically mark the city’s legacy as the first place in the U.S. where women voted after the 19th Amendment went into effect in 1920, officials said…
"The institution of the office is not changing Donald Trump, because he is already in the sway of another institution." That other institution is TV. https://t.co/OwImP85c9V Recommended.
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) September 6, 2019
Not sure I could bear to read a whole book on this topic, but NYTimes TV critic James Poniewozik makes a good argument here:
… Try to understand Donald Trump as a person with psychology and strategy and motivation, and you will inevitably spiral into confusion and covfefe. The key is to remember that Donald Trump is not a person. He’s a TV character.
I mean, O.K., there is an actual person named Donald John Trump, with a human body and a childhood and formative experiences that theoretically a biographer or therapist might usefully delve into someday… But that Donald Trump is of limited significance to America and the world. The “Donald Trump” who got elected president, who has strutted and fretted across the small screen since the 1980s, is a decades-long media performance. To understand him, you need to approach him less like a psychologist and more like a TV critic.
He was born in 1946, at the same time that American broadcast TV was being born. He grew up with it. His father, Fred, had one of the first color TV sets in Jamaica Estates… TV was his soul mate. It was like him. It was packed with the razzle-dazzle and action and violence that captivated him. He dreamed of going to Hollywood, then he shelved those dreams in favor of his father’s business and vowed, according to the book “TrumpNation” by Timothy O’Brien, to “put show business into real estate.”
As TV evolved from the homogeneous three-network mass medium of the mid-20th century to the polarized zillion-channel era of cable-news fisticuffs and reality shocker-tainment, he evolved with it. In the 1980s, he built a media profile as an insouciant, high-living apex predator. In 1990, he described his yacht and gilded buildings to Playboy as “Props for the show … The show is ‘Trump’ and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”
He syndicated that show to Oprah, Letterman, NBC, WrestleMania and Fox News. Everything he achieved, he achieved by using TV as a magnifying glass, to make himself appear bigger than he was.
He was able to do this because he thought like a TV camera. He knew what TV wanted, what stimulated its nerve endings. In his campaign rallies, he would tell The Washington Post, he knew just what to say “to keep the red light on”: that is, the light on a TV camera that showed that it was running, that you mattered. Bomb the [redacted] out of them! I’d like to punch him in the face! The red light radiated its approval. Cable news aired the rallies start to finish. For all practical purposes, he and the camera shared the same brain…
If you want to understand what President Trump will do in any situation, then, it’s more helpful to ask: What would TV do? What does TV want?