We’ve got a new Think Again here. It’s called “Cable News Blues.” My Nation column, comparing Jon Stewart with yes, Edward R. Murrow, is here, and I did a post about Obama’s press conference for The Daily Beast, here. Oh and I did an interview with TPMTV about the Israel Lobby here. Oh, and if you didn’t make it into the Nation column, here is the key line:
PS: Don’t tell my publisher, but Why We’re Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America’s Most Important Ideals is out in paperback.
The Beast piece comes up in this interview with CNN’s Jack Cafferty here:
MACNICOL: There’s an article in the Daily Beast today by Eric Alterman that, sort of, suggests that Obama has a tendency for long term thinking, which, I think we saw in the press conference last night. And the press is so trained to report on, sort of, snap judgment that they’re not equipped to report well, sort of, on how he’s thinking and the big picture.
CAFFERTY: Well, I don’t know if it’s the press. We’re a nation of people who are very impatient. This is the only country in the world where you stand in front of your microwave oven and say hurry up. You know, we have no patience when it comes to almost anything. We expect the answers to our problems yesterday and we don’t want to be bothered with the fact that it might take some time and require some hard work. And the media simply are a reflection of the way people think about these things. It’s- I’m not so sure it’s the media. That’s convenient for everyone to say, “Well, it’s the media.” But the fact of the matter is the American public is an impatient group of people and always has been.
What I find so funny, and so revealing about Cafferty’s statement is that he is just making shit up. When he says “You know, we have no patience when it comes to almost anything. We expect the answers to our problems yesterday and we don’t want to be bothered with the fact that it might take some time and require some hard work. And the media simply are a reflection of the way people think about these things.” He offers nor presents a shred of evidence and yet for him the question is solved. The quality of cable news sucks, his colleague Ed Henry asks a series of stupid questions of the president which, if taken seriously, would make it impossible for anyone to govern this nation correctly, somehow it’s our fault. In fact, polls demonstrate that Americans are a great deal more patient with Obama’s efforts to fix the mess he was left by the Bush administration than is anyone with cable mike, but Cafferty’s got it all solved on the basis of…um what? Even scarier is the fact that, as Matt Yglesias points out, these guys think they’re doing a great job. One silly gotcha after another and not one question about Iraq, Iran, Pakistan or Afghanistan; only the guy from AFP asks about the Israeli Palestinian issue and the guy from Univision asks about Mexico and here, these guys are doing advanced yoga to pin a bunch of medals on their own backs. It would both sad and funny, were it not dangerous. And it’s one more reason that “our” Ed Murrow is a comedian, not one of these so-called “journalists.”