Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Man, That White Noise?

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for February 24th, 2010


1) I don’t think I would’ve liked to have read Joe Scarborough’s Twitter feed yesterday. He re-Tweeted some of the most disappointing stuff ever and it was all from the left. I have to say I was able to easily find consensus on my point amongst the white noise of vitriol, but the vitriol won the day, which is a loss for the left. I re-looked at my own column yesterday, and if the noisiest thing I wrote was that in defending Goldman Sachs by blaming the middle class for causing the mortgage crisis, you are representing the dark side, I feel like I employed restraint I was comfortable with.

But the consensus outside of the hatespeak was that Joe Scarborough talked over Chris Hayes. That he used volume and editing to cover a lack of debatable facts. Joe Scarborough knows that the white noise is the cost of doing business, so when he edits what he rebroadcasts on Twitter, and then plays the victim on today’s show, but doesn’t acknowledge the good part of the post show debate, he empowers his less classy detractors. They are allowed by Joe to defeat the message, by replacing it with hatespeak.

So if the left loses but the white noise agents win, Joe covers a loss by claiming a crime of non-contextual contempt on behalf of the left, where is the progress? I hate to say it but victims aren’t winners either. You would have been better off to do what you normally do, what your best analytics tell you to do: white noise is meant to be filtered out, and you probably should attempt to make the Chris Hayes debate recur with a level playing field. Test your ability to defend your philosophy, but don't bury it using the left’s white noise as your defense.

Chris will be there to offer up that challenge any time you want, I’m guessing.

2) For me, the big numbers went unconnected today, again. The jobs bill is $15 billion, the Wall Street bonus pool $20 billion. And everyone is high-fiving each other. What a win-win! We have declared the jobs bill pocket change. Simultaneously, we have talked of the recurrence of a single employee of a Wall Street firm getting $30,000 to $9 million in bonuses per head, which is the opposite of pocket change.

So this is a money flow that is this period’s transfer of wealth. Mika reads both sides, you’ve got Sam Stein, Pat Buchanan right there, and nothing. I think you need a connect the dots czar on the show, because it appears to me that the crew is too comfortable and you lack a competitor making you try to raise the bar.

The last two days has you blaming the middle class for the mortgage crisis and handing the baton to Pat Buchanan on today’s bonuses, where he says he thinks that they’ve earned those bonuses. That’s Cavuto level distortion.

At least Sorkin mentioned the ‘wasted for its minimalism’ view of the jobs bill, but that was yesterday, and that would be asking too much to connect.

3) I think my optimism can withstand another round of arbitrary ‘the public option is dead’ opinions from your cast today. I find the lack of coverage of the growing number of public option votes, plus the backlash of the Gibbs downplay of the public option, plus the pointing to the progress of the existing framework as the only workable solution, to be business as usual favoritism on Morning Joe. I am the first to admit that I was surprised that the calculus predicted on the show last year won out, not because the show was right, but because the Obama administration seemed to perpetuate the negative outcome via its mismanagement.

Whether or not the public option is going to prevail, as I’ve indicated before, the carrot and stick mentality is in play, and it’s not the Obama administration, it’s those legislators who have realized that the voter doesn’t need a contract with them to hold them accountable for a lack of a spine. That the non-utilization of the 60 vote majority in 2009 is a national shame, and blaming the mismanagement of Obama this time around is a legislative body unable to learn. They don’t seem to be waiting for the President to get up to game speed anymore, realizing he is on a different electoral calendar. Both the House and the Senate have had a comeuppance, that they had better show a bit of self reliance, a little less waiting as a strategy, and a lot more clock management or it’s over.

They may not have heard what they wanted from the Obama press secrateary yesterday, but gone are the days where that matters. Obama can’t stump for them and be a game changer. Obama can’t get out of bed with his awful deals with pharma and the insurers. The Dems can distance themselves, and as interesting as anything going into tomorrow, they can distance themselves on the side of progress and show the President as part of the obstruction.

That’s a form of competition on my side of the aisle we haven’t seen in a very long time. More of that Rubik’s cube alluded to today than we have banked on.

Now if only Morning Joe had that kind of competition, maybe they could say the news and see the news at the same time. Aww, you know I just kid, kid.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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