Monday, April 29, 2013


I amuse myself sometimes listening to The Rachel Maddow Show. I'm not entirely interested in the news as a whole. World's goin' to shit and since the rest of you are happily helping it along, i ain't gonna worry about saving you. I do dabble in the juicier news stories sometimes, especially when they're framed in the appropriately derisive manner prompted by the irrationality of human behavior. I can stomach small doses of outwardly leftist commentary.

Years ago, when i watched no news, no television whatsoever, i remember glimpses of NBC and by extension MSNBC as regular old news channels. Forced objectivity. Kow-towing. Seems MNSBC now wants to sell itself as progressive, with the "lean forward" slogan and all. That's appropriate. They certainly are not stepping forward. They're barely even leaning. They're ever-so-slightly poking their noses forward out of the safety of the bunker of mass-appeal to criticize random examples of the worst behavior displayed by the American political system. Still, it's more than i remember any news or political commentary outlet doing. Even NPR had been cowed into servile toadying in the years after the Homeland Security spy ring secret police program started revving up.

MNSBC is not progressive. It's a public anti-Republican lobby. It's a bastard child of the Democratic Party, and that party is conservative. Luckily for the democrats, they have the rabidly fundamentalist, luddite, backwoods reactionary current incarnation of the Republican party to make them look good. I mean, honestly, no matter how spineless and ineffective the Obama regime has turned out, it'll still look like a new Enlightenment after eight years of Dubbya. The best thing one can say about spam is that it's not Alpo.

But it's nice to run a segment from some MSNBC show, usually Maddow's, while i'm doing something which doesn't use up my speech processing capability. Largely, it's a matter of aesthetics. News anchors have always tried to outdo each other in normalcy, to appear as innocuous and safely mainstream as possible. The one good thing to be said about the right-wing shock-jocks like Limbaugh is that they at least have a personality. I can respect an honest villain. There was however, no mirror phenomenon on the progressive side, with its meek, sniveling half-hearted attempts to pander to public opinion. The nice part of MSNBC's commentator line-up is that it looks genuine. They don't mind looking involved, educated, urbane and gods-forbid, sometimes maybe even clever. They've got a lesbian always making mountains out of molehills when a gay rights issue hits the press, a vaguely African-themed face going on about race relations and various Jews talking about money. Cool. At least they're making me roll my eyes for the right reasons.

I have made several posts in the past raving against the idiocy of post-modernist relativism. Western society, before it does anything else, must re-learn the very concept of critical thought. What makes MSNBC worth at least an occasional listen is their willingness to do away with forced objectivity, to take a stand at least on the most obvious issues. It's almost nothing. If they didn't have the fanatics on the right wing feeding them such morally unambiguous villainy, it truly would amount to nothing. Still, it's nice to hear someone with an audience say that no, ignorance is not equal to rational analysis, lies are not equal to truth and these do not deserve equal consideration.

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