What’s up with ABC News?
The producers of its Sunday morning talk show “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” are set to inflict us regularly with the “insights” of a pair of the most obnoxious former office-holders in a nation filled with obnoxious former office-holders.
I speak here of the recently departed neoliberal Democrat mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and the loud-mouthed, conservative Republican ex-governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie–both of whom left office with their ratings in the tank and the stench of scandal hovering about them.
Christie, who got a lot of media attention for his nasty retorts attacking citizens who asked him uncomfortable questions, will probably be best remembered for the “Bridgegate” scandal. Several of his closest aides took the fall for a scheme that interrupted traffic on the George Washington Bridge to punish a Democratic small-town mayor who refused to endorse Christie’s re-election.
Somehow he managed to escape punishment for the escapade, though his own assistant testified he knew of the plan and almost everyone else was convinced his patronage workers would never pull off such a bizarre stunt without his knowledge and agreement. But now they are sitting in the slammer while he sits on a panel of respectable journalists and political analysts hosted by former Bill Clinton advisor Stephanopoulos.
As a Trumpian Republican he must be “balanced “by a Dem. In tryouts they had picked the thoughtful, moderately liberal former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is also ensconced at Harvard. But it seems they are about to give the permanent seat to Emanuel, also known as Mayor One Percent, who became a media favorite for his foul mouth and colorful antics while working in the Clinton and Obama administrations.
Elected mayor of Chicago twice but never truly liked, history will surely view him as central to the coverup of the police murder of the troubled black teen Laquan McDonald five years ago, when revelation of the killing might have killed his re-election campaign. Once a telltale tape was released the top cop was fired and complicit state’s attorney was defeated. The killer cop eventually got a light sentence while Emanuel realized he could not win a third term and dropped out of the race recently won by Lori Lightfoot.
So the so-called “powerhouse roundtable” portions of the hour-long show apparently will feature verbal duels between the two thuggish wiseacres who supposedly represent their respective parties. I suppose the producers expect their exchanges will add political sex appeal to an often dull show filled with partisan talking points and conventional wisdom.
Let me note, however, that there is one regular “powerhouse” panelist who is an excellent political analyst and commentator. That’s Matthew Dowd–a Republican political consultant who was a key advisor the Bush-Cheney election campaign.
Yes–I am speaking highly of a Republican. He’s a Never Trumper, not a propagandist–a smart analyst who plays it straight and nonpartisan. Dowd is always worth hearing even if you ultimately disagree with his point.
Hey ABC–we need more like him instead of “colorful” wiseacres.
One thought on “ABC’s Obnoxious Tag Team: Christie and Emanuel”
“What’s up with ABC News?” I suggest these personnel changes simply represent the relentless drift to the right in US media. [I must state at this point that I quit watching any of the Sunday morning “news/talk” shows many years ago.] The Ministry of Truth has been hard at work to ensure there are no genuinely dissenting voices in the American media. FOX “News” is a special case, of course, and is rightly now being called Trump TV. But all the “respectable” media march in lockstep more than ever now on the big issues. They have been relentless in stating daily that “Russia hacked our elections.” They have been absolutely unanimous in calling for regime change in Venezuela, that great threat (!) to the US colossus to its north. No one on the airwaves or in print media dares point out that if the United States didn’t insist on continuing its 70-plus-year military occupation of the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, there would be no “nuclear missiles crisis” there. How about the news programs of the Public Broadcasting System? Many years ago, rightwing extremists would have had you believe they were servants of Moscow or Beijing! But with the withdrawal of public (taxpayer) funding, pushed for vigorously by the GOP, these operations turned to corporate support, and guess who is now a most prominent funder? The Koch brothers, that’s who. Though PBS and National Public Radio still try to cover stories somewhat differently, they have been successfully neutered politically. You will not find a genuinely dissenting view there. Corporate interests have a death-grip on mass media, where we now find “all the news the 1% think is fit for our consumption.”