The Morning Joe Rebuttal for July 7th, 2010
1) Loud applause for not thinking of the Lohan story as obligatory. I was curious, but I was curious yesterday afternoon. By yesterday afternoon anyone with a Twitter account had seen the pictures and video. The concept here is unless your changing the world or possess some exclusive angle, taking these stories and inserting them in hard news brings you one step closer to the generic, especially a day later.
But Mika made it a proud case one step further, she implored those who disagreed with her to change the channel. This is straight out of the happy subscriber, unhappy lowest common denominator, long tail argument of how to be a relevant media outlet in this day and age. On a channel that has to constantly fight against it’s old generic self, this kind of prickliness got Mika her gig on Morning Joe in the first place, and is why she is here to stay.
Yesterday, I called Mika’s priorities into question as a reason that she could not carry the show in Joe’s absence. Those priorities might be being too close to the White House to be objective, too far reaching in proposing obesity solutions, but do in fact include an absolute disdain for lowest common denominator news such as the Lohan story. Good with the bad, you may not be able to yell acknowledgment of a common truth out at the top of your lungs on the hard news issues of the day at a volume found by your co-star, but on your issues, everyone ducks. Nice.
2) The cast today acknowledged that they are off of the BP story. It was a subject they quickly made platitude from and exited, but it’s an important first step. Usually an alcoholic mumbles ‘I need help’ before seeking help, and this was that.
The supporting cast is unaware that the story is in the attic on this show. Erin Burnett put out some hugely relevant BP business analysis today, but was caught off guard that no one on the show was prepared to care. The fact that BP is larger than Exxon is something that I bet 90% of subscribers had not latched on to. The transfer of ownership of BP to Middle Eastern companies is an unknown complexity so large it becomes a national security issue that should involve Hillary Clinton.
Morning Joe has the pulpit that reaches the nation’s power structure the best. You have had two small side door mentions of two different news items, and you have handled them in 180 degree opposite fashion. You departed the BP story initially when in a side report someone mentioned the McChrystal occurrence and you took it and ran with it. You were widely acknowledged as the author of the sea change in that story.
This morning, Erin Burnett gave you another story about the logistical complexity of BP’s management of the spill crisis. The number of facts that were not what we all perceive to be the case were equally significant to the McChrystal story, yet you were under equipped to respond similarly, so it got by you.
It’s a job, you are like the Homeland Security Department, you did something right on McChrystal, but the first time you miss something like the Burnett BP angle, there is no similar safety net to catch it, unless you double back.
So double back.
3) For some time we have listened to ‘we cant afford it’ as the chief reason we shouldn’t be providing health care, education, police and fire services, or safe bridges to the tax paying population. Sometimes we sprinkle some ‘I believe in free enterprise solutions’ on top of that, but that is usually a smoke and mirrors angle to promote a profiteering angle on what should be a public good.
Defense is another public good. We have to protect the homeland from Osama Bin Laden and Mexican drug cartels. Both are negatively impacting our security. But the Barney Frank and Ron Paul take on the grossly out of proportion amount of our national treasure being sunk by the Department of Defense is a pitchfork moment on par or greater than the ‘Goldman Sachs engineered the financial crisis for profit’ story.
I have said previously in this column that ‘we can’t afford it’ is only a good objection when all things are on the table, and that it was being used to blind the taxpayer to the real wasted expenditure out there. You are being robbed of local services by disgusting back room contracts for unneeded and unnecessary defense expenditures. You could otherwise easily afford universal services and have your deficit replaced by a surplus.
These defense expenditures enrich a very few already rich people who vote against the middle class at every turn. Class warfare may be a loser political mantra for the middle class because it gets undermined in our current ‘paid-for’ election process, but it is in fact happening, just in the other direction.
You have to ask yourself, why do all those people in all those other democracies protest so often? Oh yeah, they actually control their governments.
That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.