January 30, 2018

The most over rated TV show

Sam Smith -  Here’s a handy tip for today: don’t watch the State of the Union address. The promotional efforts on its behalf by the mass media is far from unique but it is a good example of how deeply the media helps politicians distract the public from reality.
It is not new, either. In 1995 I wrote:

What's happening to Washington and America is not just a political phenomenon, but a cultural and pathological one as well. The primary interests of those running the country today are money, power and themselves.  Whatever it is that they are supposed to be doing is of tertiary concern.

Charlie Peters of the Washington Monthly calls them "spoiled yuppies" and Paul Tsongas notes that they are of a generation that has neither "suffered nor endured." Herb White, the perceptive DC restaurateur, says they were "trained to be aggressive, acquisitive, passively destructive and to consume without criticism." They are, in short, Generation $ - the most ill-prepared, ill-mannered and misguided leadership this country has known since the 1920s. In politics, this has led to some remarkable events.

Like the president turning the State of the Union address into an hour and twenty minute infomercial - lacking only a 800 number on his chest. One expected Tony Little to jump out at any moment and start teaching the legislators the right way to do abdominal crunches. This excruciating act of self-indulgence was followed by Governor Whitman turning the response to the State of the Union into a cliché-battered campaign brag about her first months in office. Like many of her peers (including the president), Governor Whitman thinks of words primarily as a marketing device.

Donald Trump is a particularly absurd example of how politicians these days misuse words. There are, however, relatively few major pols who still speak United States. This doesn’t mean you vote for them, merely that they get points for using non-commercial language in speaking with real people. Joe Biden is one example. Another is Joe Kennedy, who will be giving the counter State of the Union address. As Democratic strategist David Wade describes him:
 “His speeches go viral because he communicates in modern language. He doesn’t sound like he was invented in a focus group.”
So if you’re looking for something to watch tonight, try The Housewives of Beverly Hills. At least they look good..

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