Daily Archives: October 1, 2008

Memo to newsbloggers: PLEASE stop blogging about “The View” before I shoot myself

OK, I have deliberately kept any mention of “The View” off my blog to date.  Number one, the typical subject matter of “The View” does not remotely overlap with the chosen subject matter of WitSnapper.  Number two, whenever there is any overlap — almost inevitably in the political realm — the content is such that anybody with any interest in or respect for the art and science of politics (as opposed to individual politicians) would be embarrassed to post on it.

When the five clucking hostesses of “The View” (also known affectionately as “The Land On That B**ch Elizabeth Like A Tonna Bricks Every Day Variety Hour”) stroke their chins and opine on matters of state, the results aren’t just excruciatingly shallow and insipid.  They’re also mind-numbingly predictable:  token conservative Elizabeth Hasselbeck fends off the claws of the politically correct Hollywood horde occupying the rest of the couch.

Which leads me to wrack my brains over and over as to why, gawd, why the latest egregiousness from “The View” always seems to make it onto the newsblogs?  I mean, I can sort of understand why right-leaning newsblogs might post about John McCain’s ill-advised appearance on the show, in which Whoopi Goldberg in her infinite wisdom asked the senator if he was in favor of reinstating slavery (and comparing that episode to the drool-fest that was Obama’s appearance earlier, in which the sage Barbara Walters expounded on his sexiness, or the chick-love party with the fist-bumping La Michelle).

I can sort of see how differences in the tone and content of face-to-face excuses-for-interviews with prospective Presidents and First Ladies on “The View” might draw morbid curiosity from news-and-politics blogs, and maybe even the occasional post (not the way I’d go, but whatever).  But now newsbloggers are posting about “The View” even without any newsworthy people appearing there. People, why?

I never considered myself the type to presume to tell other people what to put on their blogs.  But like John McCain has said about the only stretch of torture he’s ever experienced that was worse than his “View” appearance, “I learned [in Vietnam] that every man has his breaking point.”

Newsbloggers, “The View” is not worth your bandwidth, your outrage, or your time.  Leave the henhouse beat to TMZ.com and other fluffy, crack-crazed entertainment blogs.  You’ve got much better things to do; some of you are even paid to do them.  Please do them, and refrain from posting Viewdeo clips and telling us, inexplicably, to “watch to the end.”

I mean, fertheluvvagawd, it appears even Hasselbeck herself is writing the show off as a waste of her time, and she makes a truckload of money on it.

Photo Break: Hopie

Still sticking to my “not birdblogging every day” oath, so I’m going with kidblogging now.  (Kind of like an alcoholic saying “oh come on, this is just light beer.”)  Story behind the photo below the break.



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Moderating with money on the mind UPDATE: McCain-Palin bites tongue

A number of blogs are raising the alarm over Gwen Ifill’s selection as moderator for tomorrow’s vice presidential debate, saying she’s “in the tank” for Obama.  In fact, she’s written a pro-Obama book, due out for release in the near future, entitled The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.

Yes, fine, that may well be a legitimate complaint, but come on, Republicans have had to deal with biased moderators since time immemorial, and in this election season especially.  The very first Republican primary debate was presided over by Chris “Thrill Up My Leg” Matthews, for cryin’ out loud.  His “moderating” was so officious, intrusive, and obnoxious that even the unflappable Sen. Fred Thompson felt the need to put the MSNBC crank over his rhetorical knee after hearing Matthews sneer that Thompson’s answer was so long, he should have just “stopped at no.”

So Republicans like Sarah Palin have grown fairly accustomed to debate moderators with an ideological interest in the political well-being of their opponents.  At this point, they’ve pretty much accepted it as part of the cost of doing business.

However, this year, Gwen Ifill is a different case.  This time she has a financial interest in the Obama-Biden ticket prevailing.

Ifill’s book is pro-Obama, true, but that’s not the head-turning part.  What caught my attention is that The Breakthrough is set for release on Inauguration Day, Jan 20, 2009.  That gives Ifill’s interest in this debate’s outcome a whole new dimension that wouldn’t apply if it were set for release before the election.  A book that expounds on the “bold new path to political power” for African-Americans, paved by Barack Obama’s “stunning presidential campaign” (quotes from the book’s product description), would generate considerably less interest if, for example, it were released on the day of the swearing-in of the man and woman who brought about Obama’s defeat.

In short, due to the post-election release date, Ifill is looking at a serious dent in her book sales if the Obama-Biden ticket loses.  Did the Commission on Presidential Debates even ask her about this?  Or at least do a Google search?

Gwen Ifill may well be a perfectly competent and even-handed moderator tomorrow (I’m certainly hoping so).  However, the fact that she could lose money if McCain-Palin wins makes her too much a part of the story; Sarah Palin and Joe Biden should not have to compete with her for the spotlight.  The CPD really dropped the ball in missing this looming appearance of impropriety.  Perhaps Ifill will use her newly broken ankle as a medical excuse now that her book schedule is finally being examined more closely, but I doubt it.

UPDATE: Politico reports (via Allahpundit) that the McCain-Palin campaign has taken the high road, figuring (correctly) that there’s no sense whining about it, certainly not at this late date.  I agree that crying “bias” would be pretty lame, but I still stand by my contention that Ifill’s book conflict is too much of a distraction.