And here I was thinking that broadcasting in the United States couldn't get any dumber.
You know, I don't know what makes me sicker: the prospect of triumphalist drooling from the Big Giant Head at Fox and his flying-monkey legions, or the artificial and scripted way the discourse is shaped on so-called "centrist" outlets like CNN.
A mere two minutes of channel-surfing and, oh look. Anderson Cooper's hosting a panel discussion in which Ali Velshi manages, in one soundbite, to dismiss Olbermann as "mercurial," "volatile" and "bombastic." Followed up immediately by Howard Kurtz weighing in about Olbermann's "fierce independence."
Context is everything, as they say, and when you're setting the stage by letting Velshi use terms like that, all of a sudden "fierce independence" starts to sound just as pejorative. By the end of the segment, they're all nodding sanctimoniously and agreeing that Olbermann's a talented broadcaster who'll have no trouble finding an outlet somewhere.
Ever have one of those times when you want to throw a brick at the TV? I do go on (and on ... ) about the continuing stupidification of American public discourse, and it's pretty easy to blame the teabagging Palinistic screaming Foxheads and wannabes, but you know what? This kind of shite is just as much to blame.
Right after that, for bonus points: a promo for a white-slavery special. See how the pimps are selling the girl next door, tomorrow on CNN!
Update: lest anyone think it's just on this side of the pond, the Grauniad makes sure to describe him as "liberal"in the very first line of its report.
Now if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go and watch Rachel Maddow's reaction. Please god, tell me she'll have something intelligent and thoughtful to say, and put it in the right context ...