Monday, February 22, 2010

Pre Game Show

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for February 22nd, 2010


1) Welcome to Chris Berman’s world. It appears that the powers that be are moving towards a Morning Joe avoidance game. They will release their newest model an hour after your window for scrutiny, and that’s a badge of honor. Thus the President waited one hour after your available scrutiny to release his health care proposal.

You would be in the likeliest window to get your analysis wrong if stuff came out during your show. Case and point Sarah Palin VP analysis. Instead you get 23 hours and every other opinion to digest for your next day effort. So there’s nothing for the show to complain about.

But it is a very interesting trend that media experts are telling their clients to avoid the 6 to 9 AM slot for issuance of press releases. It is a statement not about accuracy but volume. You guys are loud, and on so many points, you will pick out the things that are important to you and go for the megaphone effect. Another good example is the Rahm Emmanuel appointment announcement. Joe Scarborough’s early comments still affect Rahm’s ability to do his job.

So you are the pre-game, which isn’t really thrilling but a job nonetheless, but far more importantly you are eternally relegated to the role of quarterbacking on Monday.

2) Ok, so lets delve into the megaphone effect. The most important thing in health care reform to Joe Scarborough might be tort reform. I, like anyone else have seen the 60 minutes reports that OB-GYN doctors are leaving some areas uncovered via an inability to afford or even acquire malpractice insurance. It is a huge problem that needs fixing, until you put it into the context of the other issues being debated as part of health care reform.

There are 14,500 medical related bankruptcies for every 50 people who lose doctor coverage for a single specialty due to tort risk, for every 1 doctor who is affected. That’s a 300 to 1 ratio per capita, and infinitesimal per doctor. When you listen to Joe put the issue on the same pedestal as universal coverage or pre-existing conditions, that is the megaphone effect, because for that minute, those two issues are of equal weight.

You need to come up with a way to derive equity in your debate framework. If you spend a majority of your airtime pontificating on a 1/3rd of 1 % solution at the expense of a 95% solution, you are doing a disservice and at least there should be disclosure. You know that awful and upsetting system they use on CNN that analyzes a focus group with a line graph in real time. Don’t do that, but that mixed with a consensus impact percentage is a necessary element otherwise the results are perverted. Don’t be a case study that that loudest guy wins a 5 cent victory so that $100 goes out a side door to CIGNA for lack of a shining light, simply because the nickel had the loudest guy in the room.

In all fairness, Mike Barnicle swings the conversation the other way for his position about pre existing and portability while nothing else matters, but he is not a host.

3) Today’s debate on torture and the later appearance by Kati Marton was unintentionally a powerful game changer that I think points to a new level of debate. You didn’t mean to do it, but it’s important for Joe Scarborough to come back to his audience and talk about how he felt when he witnessed a victim of government with no boundaries after advocating his willingness to pursue enhanced interrogation techniques, which, his own show has shown consensus is in fact torture.

First, let me give you mine. I am an advocate of the public option of a black hole. You point to it as one of the possibilities facing a person, but he and the world knows it exists so that we as a population against terrorism face that together, not relegate it to a crew of self appointed hypocrites like Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Marc Thiessen. The reason I feel that way is because of the good and the bad of the Kati Marton story. If we put KSM in the black room the press would constantly remind us that we are doing it, and we would be required to report on the efficacy of the project, like the press impact that freed Kati Marton’s parents. But without it, if its left to the creeps, it’s a government that is no better than all of our enemies of the last century combined and we have de-emphasized our own evolution as a nation with a conscience.

Now for you. Now that you know that what neocons are proposing via people like Thiessen is that we have to have a lack of accountability or else the world is less safe, help me reconcile. Help me reconcile that with the face of the other side. How do you know you aren’t performing rendition on an innocent man, torturing him, and victimizing his family in the Cheney model? We know we are doing it, because 60 Minutes showed you his face. The best thing in the world is to have a person like Kati Marton, who has had 50 years to reflect on an just such an event, an event that you know was repeated 4 years ago, only the US was the perpetrator.

Kati Marton is married to Richard Holbrooke, and has top line credibility. She has processed right from wrong on the issue longer than you have been alive. Dismiss any of her positions at your peril. Im not taking sides, I’m simply asking that you reconcile.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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