Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Roundup: Face the FOX Press This Week

That amalgamous headline means it's Sunday morning, and heathens like me who are interested in politics and don't go to church, watch the Sunday political talk shows. The process has become difficult to endure over the past several weeks. Meet the Press with Tim Russert has become the most difficult for me, because this once-smart program seems to have devolved into a political version of The National Enquirer. In short, it has become very much like FOX "News" Sunday, only with a (usually) stranger looking batch of mostly white pundits.

This particular Sunday, MTP came off better than usual, at least in its first half. The guest was Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean. Say what you will about Dean (yee-aaarrrggghhh!), he knows how to stay on point, without becoming transparent about it. He didn't let Russert steer him, and came off very well. When it was time for the panel discussion, I switched over to Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, where representatives for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton faced off, neither coming off too badly. I switched back to MTP when an interview with Roger Mudd came on--sorry, just not interested. Over there, they were still talking about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

By the way, when at about 8:49 am, Tim Russert says "more Meet the Press when we come back," he's not telling the truth, unless you like to watch end credits. So, it was time to watch the DVR recording of FOX "News" Sunday with (vaguely creepy) Chris Wallace. As I've said before, watching this program on DVR is a must for me. FNS is an extremely commercial and graphics-heavy show, and can be watched in about 40 minutes or less on DVR--about the time it takes to fry a pound of bacon.

This morning, Barack Obama was making a possibly ill-advised appearance. I don't know if he felt pressured by Wallace's ridiculous "Obama Watch," or if he just wanted to show FNS viewers (often alluded to on the program, but never spelled out to be right-wingers) that he isn't the bogeyman they think he is. On that front, I think he acquitted himself nicely. It is difficult to get into the mindset of a FOX viewer, though, so who really knows. Unfortunately, he spent so much time coming across as a nice guy, not a closet Muslim, or deranged fanatical (Black, as seen by many FOXian viewers) Christian, he didn't really get to offer a lot of substance. Still, it would be hard to hate him if you watched this interview.

The (still stupidly named) "Power Panel" portion of the show got squashed down to under 15 minutes this week, with the regular cast of characters. Bill Kristol was shaking his pom-poms facetiously for Hillary Clinton, and Chris Wallace even cast Karl Rove as an Obama supporter.

There is no This Week with George Stephanopoulos this Sunday in Las Vegas--at least not this morning--so I am unable to see what they had to offer.

In short (I know, too late), the only thing newsworthy that has happened this week, if you went by these shows, was the horse race between Obama and Clinton. John McCain only warranted a mention if it had to do with how they would fare against him. Nothing happened internationally, nothing happened domestically, and there is no issue facing us otherwise, apparently. If one of them were to drop out tomorrow, what the heck would these shows talk about?

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