After Obama swept the Beltway primaries, the MSNBC team was practically partying. Following Senator Obama's speech (a long 53 minutes), Mathews gushed, "oh my God, I just felt a chill run up my leg"...his colleagues tried to rescue him, but he just kept slobbering on. He's slowly moving from "news" to advocacy and opinion. Eventually, he'll be lumped in with Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly, etc.
treatment. I'll never forget his last sit-down with Dick Cheney; Russert was just as sweet as pie. So much for the notion of big tough Tim, who was never intimidated. With Cheney, he changed from "big Russ" to "big Wuss".
Russert's questions, that's my point. Little if any new ground was ever plowed. It became like "Larry King Live" during the OJ Mess--nothing newsworthy, just a re-hash of shit that everyone already knew. Semi-decent ratings, giving viewers a chance to wallow in stuff that was already in the headlines.
Can't disagree with what you say about Moyers, and why he's on PBS. But it's not like the "big 3" networks are really a factor anymore, either. The public continues to get more of its news online and/or from cable outlets.
represented your basic dumb American...that like most folks, he was duped by the administration on Iraq.
While I wasn't a fan of Russert, I can't say whether this was true or not. In any event, it was not pertinent to anything, and was incredibly nasty and self-serving (i.e., I "got" it, Russert didn't)....in other words, typical Chris Mathews. He's the only guy on cable who makes Bill O'Reilly look good.
No, my concern is that Mr.Dodd is not conducting hearings on nominees to the Federal Reserve, which is what we--the taxpayers--have hired him to do.
fyi, Fed nominees are generally apolitical individuals--their job is to formulate a sound monetary policy, utilizing the tools at the Fed's disposal. Apparently, you don't understand this. Ben Bernanke was a Bush appointee, and is generally winning kudos from the financial sector as well as from leaders on the Hill--both Democratic and Republican.
In any event, refusing to act on these nominees is just childish and petulant. The idea of a fat and aging playboy on the Hill--who himself looks pretty corrupt at this point--refusing to do the people's business won't play well...especially if we have another Bear Stearns fiasco, and the Fed can't act quickly because they don't have a quorum. That scenario will define "broken government".
From everything we've all heard over the last couple of days, Russert was a well-liked and decent guy. But this effort to turn him into Walter Cronkite, or Ed Murrow, etc., is in my judgment, way off the mark. He was a broadcaster/TV personality, not a journalist.
I really tired him of him in the last couple of years, and found him incredibly annoying. Mainly, because he was a one-trick pony: the "gotcha" game. He would quote something a politician said recently, and then "run the tape" of something they said years ago, which supposedly contradicted his/her first statement--and the show rarely got beyond that approach. In fact, I sometimes played a game on Sunday mornings: guess Russert's first 5 questions....usually, I was right; he was so predictable. You knew what he was going to ask Barack (Rev.Wright stuff), you knew what he was going to ask Hillary (why are you trying to change the rules on Michigan/Florida) and so forth. There was nothing remotely unique or original in what he did.
I think the increasing tendency to "deify" mediocrities like Russert reflects our culture's disappointment with those we'd hoped would be our heroes. Our current President is nothing more than a fool, Elliot Spizer became the hypocrite supreme, and now it looks like Chris Dodd may be the latest casualty. Too often, our leaders don't have either ethics or competence. And it all extends to pop culture, sports, etc., as well. Michael Vick turns out to have tortured innocent dogs, and the country's beloved Rosie O'Donnell turns out to be a venomous and mean old hag. We are use to being disappointed by reality and so-called "heroes"--so we turn to video games, Celebrity Circus, and so on.
When I think of a true TV journalist, Bill Moyers on PBS comes to mind. I know that when I watch one of his interviews, I will invariably learn something I didn't know previously. I never learned a damned thing when watching "Meet the Press". When I watched Moyers' recent interview with Jeremiah Wright, I learned what Black Liberation Theology was all about, its roots, as well as a few things about James Cone. I came out feeling that Wright was neither as bad as his detractors would have you believe, nor as great as his followers suggest....but in any event, I increased my knowledge, and could now converse intelligently about the man. A Russert interview would never even have scratched the surface. "Meet the Press" is nothing more than "National Enquirer" dressed up in respectable clothing.
All of this gushing about "the great Tim Russert" reminds me of that remake of "Titanic" back around 2000, which won Best Picture of the Year. When some fool where I worked told me that they thought it may well have been the greatest movie of all time (wonder where that leaves "Schindler's List", "Gone with the Wind", etc.).....I simply told them that it wasn't even a a good movie. It had won by default. And that they knew absolutely nothing about American cinema.
Such is my take on the host of this overrated and mundane TV show. History will be kind to Mr. Russert...it will forget him.
btw--check out the Chris Mathews rant in which he diss'es his late colleague...Keith Olberman tried to save him (Mathews) by changing the subject, but he kept blathering on. He's getting slammed on the blogs by both right and left....couldn't happen to a nicer guy!!
it does stink...I think what makes it more notable than your average Washington sleaze is the fact that Dodd is chairman of the House Banking Committee, which is supposed to regulate the very people from whom he was getting "goodies". His long-forgotten father, Senator Thomas Dodd, is one of only nine members in Senate history to have been censured--his offense was misappropriating camgaign funds. So let's just say that ethical behavior doesn't exactly run in the family.
More reprehensible--and less reported--is the fact that our Federal Reserve now has three vacancies, which will become four at the end of August with Fed Governor Mishkin's departure. Senator Dodd refuses to confirm any of Bush's nominees to fill the openings, which have existed for some time. Once Mishkin departs, the Fed will have less that 5 members--the number required for a quorum--for the first time since 1936.
We all know how the game is played in the Senate--frankly, if this were a Supreme Court vacancy, I'd probably favor waiting until next year to confirm anyone, in the hopes that a President Obama make the nomination. But the shit that Dodd is trying to pull is dangerous, in that the Fed not only needs to function, but should project strength to financial markets. Deliberately reducing it to half strength is not only petty, but the kind of extreme partisanship that McCain and his "gang of 14" regularly decry.
This may not be an issue now, but it will be come Fall, and I think it will be a lot more serious than Dodd's friendship with creeps like Angelo Mozillo. At a minimum, it will undercut Senator Obama's hopes for "a new kind of politics".
And yes, I'm pissed. We should be winning in a cake walk this year, and yet we've got a candidate with more baggage than an airport carousel. Gas at $4/gallon, economy is in a mess, and the GOP nominee seems more feeble by the day--folks,this presidential election SHOULD NOT EVEN BE CLOSE!!
With a Joe Biden or John Edwards, we'd already be planning the innauguration. But our great Democratic party--which can snatch defeat from victory bettern that anyone--is in a statistical dead heat with some tired and clueless old man.
Among the policy questions in the poll, respondents see McCain as better equipped to handle the Iraq conflict by more than 10 points.
When I've expressed these frustrations to fellow Democrats, they just gleefully talk about the legions of footsoldiers they're about to dispatch across the country. Wow...I'll sleep easier now.
They're not as sanguine when I explain to them what 527's are, and what happens once they go to work. Maybe John Kerry would be willing to tell them.
is not necessarily a good thing in the midst of an energy crisis. We're the Saudi Arabia of coal, let's act like it! The price of coal just this year alone is through the roof--just look at the stock performance of Arch (ACI), Massey (MEE), Patriot (PCX) and Peabody (BTU).
Coal is one of our great natural resources--let's maximize it. This all makes me think less of Ms.Sebelius.