Saturday, September 06, 2008

Comedy Nails It

I listened to most of the speakers at the Republican convention on Wednesday. Any observant person had to note the nasty, sneering (dare one say "elitist") tone of the speakers as they mocked Obama's resume, and especially his work as a community organizer. When they weren't being downright vicious, there was the down-home, folksy (volksy!) militarism of Huckabee who thinks that great teaching means group think indoctrination where elementary students get no desks for a day so they can learn that every right as a human being they have comes from the US military.

So this morning it was stunning to hear Dan Schorr offer up this assessment of the two conventions: "...both conventions found unity....candidates were all busy extending hands across the invisible barrier." Extending hands?

Then when Simon asks, "How did governor Palin do in your estimation?" Schorr replies: "I think she did awfully well, I mean everybody thinks she did awfully well. This woman, known in Alaska, not very well known anywhere else, stood up there read a speech, whoever wrote it, it was a good speech- and very well delivered. But I must say that for all the main speakers at both conventions, they've all now learned how to speak. Nobody really fell on his face, but I would say the star was Mrs. Palin."

Holy smokes, "everybody thinks she did awfully well." And it "was a good speech." And most importantly "they've all learned how to speak."

Sadly, the best mainstream coverage of the convention was on Comedy Central. As my graphic shows, Colbert nails the mean-spirited ugliness of Guiliani's speech, and John Stewart accurately parses the message of Republicans to people like community organizers who want to make their communities better: "F_ _ k You!"

Yep, it's a little different take than the swooning of NPR's Liasson who characterizes Palin on Thursday morning: "an instant star....on her own terms....came back with an adlib....down to earth and self-confident....cheerfully took aim at Obama." Cheerfully?! Could I make this up?


miranda said...

Dan Schorr should be put out to pasture already. The "soft" nature of NPR's "news" coverage is not only infuriating, but dangerous when the stakes are as high as they are in this election. Palin's "star" quality is a figment of the mainstream media's imagination -- most voters have b.s. detectors and can see that this woman is manifestly unqualified and a stunt pick by a perilously shaky geriatric candidate. One hopes!

Slave Revolt said...

Schorr puts the 'con' in the word 'conventional'.

He plays along with the propaganda goals of the US empire, and his occassional selective outrage is pretty tepid.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Schorr?

More like Daniel Snore -- which is what i find myself doing every time I listen to the guy (which I do very rarely)

Schorr and the rest of the NPR gang have outlived their useful lives and should ALL be put out to pasture.

Congress should defund the entire charade (including member stations that purchase NPR programming).

NPR has essentially become little more than a moneymaking venture for the people who work for NPR -- and a very lucrative one at that.

Many of the announcers at NPR pull in over $200,000 per year in salary and benefits and the top management do even better: close to half a million per year. Even the ombudsman gets paid over $150,000 in salary and benefits. Not bad for a non-profit!

The goal of NPR management is not to get at the truth, it is to present the version of virtual reality that is most likely to keep the dollars (corporate and public) coming in.

Hence, NPR shies away from any story that might offend any of their major donors (eg, pre-war reports that Iraq had no WMD, the Downing Street Minutes, etc)