The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Thumbs Down, MSNBC

I don’t know why anyone ever invites Ken Mehlman to be a guest on their TV talk shows. All he ever seems to do is respond to questions using talking points and spin. And he seems so pleased with his responses; and maybe he should be pleased. It is not easy to weave talking points and spin into a coherent answer, but he is a master at doing just that, although I thought Norah O’Donnell did a pretty good job of trying to pin him down last week (August 18) when she hosted Hardball. But then the MSNBC website had the gall to publish excerpts of the “interview.” When I read them I realized that, in the excerpts at least, Norah asked him five questions about Iraq. Mehlman responded with four separate assertions that Iraq “is the central front in the war on terror.” To the other question he responded by invoking the memory of 9/11. Twice he asserted that we are fighting them there so that we don’t have “to face them at home” or that we are “safer at home” because we are fighting them there. Boy, that’s staying on message, and reminded me of President Bush’s repeated assertion during one of the debates last year that it was “hard work.”

I really despise talking points and spin. It’s as if you can make something true by saying it repeatedly. Well, it doesn’t make it true except maybe in the minds of certain imbeciles in some red states. (Let me stress that MSNBC is not the only network which serves up spin and talking points like this.)

I watch TV talk shows for information, not for spin and talking points. I lose a lot of my respect for MSNBC when they have politicians like Ken Mehlman on, and MSNBC loses me as a viewer, at least to a degree.


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