Is there a better example of the stupidity of cable news than the “black Santa” episode? Frank Rich cites this example in his article about the decline of FOX News.
There ain’t no sanity clause,” Chico Marx told Groucho. There is also no Santa Claus. And there was no sanity in the Santa fracas that became an embarrassing liberal-media fixation just before Christmas. For those who missed it, what happened was this: A Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, came upon a tongue-in-cheek blog post at Slate in which a black writer, Aisha Harris, proposed that Santa be recast as a penguin for the sake of racial inclusiveness. After tossing this scrap of red meat to her all-white panel of prime-time guests, Kelly reassured any “kids watching” (this was nearing 10 p.m.) that “Santa just is white.” (For good measure, she added, “Jesus was a white man, too.”) Soon and sure enough, Kelly’s sound bites were being masticated in op-ed pieces, online, and especially on cable, where a passing wisecrack best left to the satirical stylings of Stewart and Colbert became a call to arms. At CNN, one anchor brought on Santas of four races to debunk Kelly. BuzzFeed reported that MSNBC programs hopped on the story fourteen times in a single week.
Of course what Kelly said was dumb. But the reaction was even dumber. Every year, Fox News whips up some phantom “war on Christmas” plotted by what the network’s blowhard-in-chief Bill O’Reilly calls “secular progressives.” This seasonal stunt has long been old news, yet many in the liberal media still can’t resist the bait. You had to feel for the NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, who was drafted into filing a Kelly-Santa story on the Today show for no discernible reason other than that she is not white.
When this supposed “national firestorm” (as Al Sharpton inflated it on his MSNBC show) finally died down, only two things had been accomplished beyond the waste of everyone’s time.
FOX is and always has been a propaganda machine. MSNBC saw a business opportunity in going hard left and thus has become a mess. CNN has sucked for years, and adding an entertainment executive like Jess Zucker can only lead to more mediocity. Where’s Will McAvoy when we need him . . .
Yesterday was a good day for those of us who want universal health care coverage. It was also a good day for those of us who think CNN and Fox both suck. The video below from Politico mashes up some of the funniest reactions to the Supreme Court decision and the massive fail by CNN and Fox News.
I just watched one of the worst interviews I’ve ever seen. Piers Morgan interviewed Rudy Giuliani, who took his expected shots at President Obama’s Libya policy, and Morgan didn’t ask a single question challenging anything Giuliani had to say.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. First, few “journalists” ever challenge Giuliani. Like Michael Moore, Giuliani usually peddles his bullshit without any worry that he’ll be challenged by his interviewer.
I looked up Morgan on Wikipedia and discovered that he’s a former host of Britain’s Got Talent and a host of America’s Got Talent. He also won Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. What a surprise. Maybe he can invite Trump to his show and let him howl about Obama’s birth certificate without any tough questions.
Somehow, the geniuses at CNN gave this guy Larry King’s time slot. Besides being a tremendous bore, Morgan manages to make Larry King look like Bill O’Reilly. He didn’t even pretend to ask Giuliani a tough question. When Giuliani proclaimed that Obama and the United States should have insisted on regime change in Libya and led Britain, France and the United Nations to achieve that goal, it didn’t dawn on Morgan to ask Giuliani how that could happen given that the Chinese and Russians would have certainly vetoed any resolution that went as far as regime change.
This organization is so obsessed with getting hits and ratings that they will hype up every controversy they find, no matter how trivial or how ridiculous the charge. How is a stupid charge from a fringe blog worthy of a news headline on CNN?
I don’t have time right now to lay out all the reasons, but the hiring of Erick Erickson from RedState.com as a contributor is just another example of how clueless CNN is these days.
Erickson has said he needs to “grow up over time” now that people actually listen to or read what he says, but that hasn’t stopped him from making more stupid comments. I’m glad to see bloggers get air time, but is this the best they can do?