Lie to Me!

Have you ever noticed how the sports coverage in this country is far superior to the political coverage? It occurred to me this morning while I was up early due to totally forgetting about that spring-forward/fall back thing.

Politics as Usual

Anyway, having accidentally woken up earlier than originally planned, I found myself watching one of those “Meet the Nation” kind of shows − allegedly the networks’ best political coverage and analysis of the entire week − and I was shocked at how terrible it was.

First they had this senator, some pro-Tea Party bozo named “Jim DeMint,” on. “We’re going to repeal Obama-care,” DeMint stated. “Obama-care is really bad,” he reiterated. “The American people flatly rejected Obama-care,” he explained. “I totally plan to run for President against Obama-care two years from now,” he didn’t actually say out-loud, “so get used to this narrative.” The host − Dick Gregory or somebody − made himself an accessory to this by not demanding that DeMint immediately shut up.

Eventually Gregory asked DeMint, “You guys claim that you’ll cut the deficit without raising taxes and without touching Social Security and Medicare. Care to explain how?” DeMint responded, “We’re gonna cut fat and waste in government and repeal Obama-care which the American people hate. Did I mention that?”

“Maybe you could be more specific about where you’re going to find the money?” asked Gregory. “I could,” replied DeMint, albeit in not so many words, “but that would make somebody angry at me. Instead I’m gonna talk about how first we’re gonna go after Obama-care.” This went on for some ten to fifteen tiresome minutes before Gregory surrendered and moved on to another segment.

Wouldn't it be great if politicians and analysts were held to the same level of honesty and accuracy that we hold used car salesmen to?

The next segment consisted of Gregory sitting at a table with three Democratic stooges to his left and three Republican stooges to his right. These included former presidential speech-writers, campaign managers, and other Beltway Insiders. The format was simple. Gregory would bring up a subject, then alternatively a Democratic stooge and a Republican stooge would spin out the party-line response. This was followed by several minutes of pointless bickering. Nothing was explained or solved, and the stooge with the biggest mouth won. It was just like most of my FaceBook debates.

After this we went out and had pancakes.

Sports, of Course

By the time we got back home, the political coverage was over and the Sunday football coverage was on. And boy was this superior. The sets were better, the suits the guys wore were better, and the hairpieces were better too. And the reporting was far more unbiased and analytical, if laden with more forced manly laughter and semi-creepy bromance.

A guy would say to a coach. “Coach, your team has the worst running game in the entire NFL, and your starting quarterback has been arrested for molesting a guinea hen. Just how screwed are you?” Coach would reply, “Well, Dan, I’m not gonna lie to you, we’re screwed. But our backup QB is looking pretty strong, so we have some options.”

“Your backup QB hasn’t started a game since the 20th century and he can’t turn his head to the left, can he?”

“Well, that’s true Dan. But we’re gonna do our best out there.”

“Good luck, Coach. You’ll need it. Back to the best damned sports team in the business. Steve?”


Don't you think that Supreme Court nomination hearings would be better if cheerleaders came on during the boring parts?

Then Steve and a bunch of loud ex-football players and coaches would diagnose the team’s chances.

“Ho, ho! They’re boned.”

“Ha, ha! They’re beyond screwed!”

“Close the door and turn out the lights. Hee, hee!”

“They’re as dead as that thing you wear on your head, Steve!”

Eventually the point would be made: i.e., that this team was unlikely to emerge victorious in the upcoming sports contest. A good if mind-bogglingly tedious job of analysis had been done.

However, if pre-game sports coverage were run by the same clowns who run the news analysis branches of TV news, half of the commentators would be looking for future employment from the crappy team in question, and they’d be desperately spinning the situation to the point where much of the audience would be thinking that maybe it’s not as bad as all that.

This is what happens when the “analysts” work for or are deeply committed to the object being analyzed. Bullshit is generated and gushes forth from the TV set directly into your brain, where it ferments and makes you vote for fools who vow to keep the government’s hands out of your Medicare.

The problem is that Americans are far more interested in accurate reporting in sports than they are in politics. If an expert says that the Ravens are going to beat Tampa by 27 points on Sunday and in fact, the Ravens lose 13-0, fans will remember that, particularly those who lost 50 bucks to their useless brother-in-law. Questions will be asked on sports radio in loud voices. Jokes will be made by other analysts. Eventually that guy might even lose his job to somebody less obtuse and with a better hairpiece.

That NEVER happens in political analysis. A guy could claim that in the next election the Democrats are gonna hold the House and the Senate and maybe pick up a couple of governorships. After the election the guy is never questioned about his predictions. That’s because the guy was a Democratic analyst, and he’s EXPECTED to lie for his side. If he didn’t, he might not get a big fat political job when the Democrats next get back into power. We understand and approve of that.

What’s WRONG with us? Why do news organizers give these clowns platforms from which to lie to us, anyway? Why do we listen to them?

Something MUST change!

Fortunately, I have the solution.

The Murphy Plan

What we need in this country is a fantasy politics league. Guys could draft politicians before an election and/or session of Congress. Each week a guy’s “party” would compete against another league member’s “party,” points given for  elections won, bills passed, polls, secret fundraising goals met, corruption investigations stymied, etc. People would become intelligently interested in politics again.

I can hear the water-cooler discussions. “How’d your party do last week?” “Terrible. I got my ass kicked by that cloture motion. Who are you playing in Congress this week?”

“Barney Frank. I get fifty points if the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” gets out of committee.”

Wouldn’t this be great? You could take “Obama-care” and the spread against Yertle the Turtle − I mean Mitch McConnell.

Analysts would have to analyze honestly and intelligently, or they’d lose their cushy jobs to smarter guys like Terry Bradshaw and Joe Theismann. With real money riding on the outcome, people might actually care about politics again!

And NOBODY would watch Newscorp’s trained fear-monkeys ever again − Glenn Beck may talk a good game, but his gross political bias makes him really crappy at picking the over-under on energy reform.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Lie to Me!”

  1. Pundit on ice Says:

    This column seems very uninformed. Yertle the Turtle is in fact Joe Lieberman. Everyone knows that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: