Sunday, November 24, 2013

FOX "News" Sunday Jumps the Shark

Despite the "liberal media" allegations, the Sunday political talk shows on network television are decidedly right-wing biased. Over and over again--no matter which party has more power in Washington, D.C.--studies have shown that guests and commentators are weighted heavily to the right. I don't really know why this is, if Republicans are just more apt to want to go on, or if Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain actually live in the green room.

So, when you start with the fact that the shows are canted to the right, you can only imagine what comes out of the likes of FOX "News" Sunday. This week, the main topic was the surprise nuclear weapons and sanctions reduction deal with Iran. Of course, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) thinks it's a bad thing, and unleashes quite a number of conservative talking points unrelated to the deal, to depict President Obama as weak, indecisive, etc. The counterpoint was fairly soft with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Who?) providing support for the president, but without swatting down Corkers corkers.

That was par for the course, something that you might see on Meet the Press, had it been on this morning. But then, the vaguely creepy Chris Wallace brought out former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Ostensibly, she was there to talk about current political controversies, though her depth of knowledge on the subject is. . .what exactly? She has no credibility on much of anything outside of her half-term as governor of a small, remote state. And she doesn't disappoint, with her shallow, fragmented, "pageant" answers to each question. She has nothing of value to say, and it is clear every time she opens her pretty (for nearly 50) mouth, and spews her patented word salad.

But the real reason Sister Sarah was there was to respond to the MSNBC/Martin Bashir "controversy." Bashir (who I suspect was looking for the viral video he ended up getting), had been outraged about Palin's earlier comparison of the budget to slavery of all things, and had given a particularly nasty lesson in slavery to his audience. He then (after a series of insults toward Palin, all of which were absolutely true), he insinuated that the punishment given to slaves in the story, maybe ought to be visited upon Mrs. Palin. Well, Right Wing World went wobbly on its axis!

Since the story had to do with urination and defecation, the implications were quite vivid, so I get it, sort of, why Palin (who made the original, offensive comments) might be PO'd. But who is she that she needs to be tippy-toed around anyway? So, Bashir was apparently called on the carpet, and ended up giving the most thorough, detailed, over-the-top with effusive apology I've ever seen. Way more than Palin deserved. And so, Palin was gussied up and put before the F"N"S cameras nine days later.

If Wallace had just had her on for that purpose alone (even so belatedly), I could forgive the appearance. But he asked her about the important issues of the day, and given her complete lace of gravitas, I find the notion idiotic that she'd be asked her opinion on much of anything. But that wasn't all! No, no! In the completely pointless, regular feature "Power Player of the Week," Wallace had a puff piece on Mitt and Ann Romney, having a folksy family breakfast! Just like back in the campaign, when they did the same thing.  The Romneys aren't even liked in Right Wing World, so I can't see how they're any more relevant than Palin.

In all, it was the most pathetic Sunday show I've seen in years. And in this bunch (Hello, David Gregory!), that's really saying something.

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