Friday, May 11, 2012

Questions Are Better Asked With A British Accent

Last Sunday I had a nice long face to face chat with my Godfather, Uncle Joe, as he baby sat my cousin's kids up in the NW Phoenix suburbs.  We discussed books, politics, taxes, guns, travel, designing, engineering, tooling, and pattern making, to name a few subjects.  We both watch The Daily Show and Colbert, devotedly.  He asked why people continue to vote against their own self interests, and I posed Steinbeck's temporarily embarrassed millionaires theory to him.. which he pondered for a while, rolling it over in his head.

My Uncle and I agree on our progressive media personalities & journalists, though as a retired pattern maker he has more time to listen to progressive radio & watch MSNBC than I do.  We concurred on the following:

Rachel Maddow - very smart, excellent journalist, but sometimes takes Forever to get to the point, and from time to time, tries to turn molehills into mountains.

Ed Schultz - an angry bear.  The left's answer to Sean Hannity.  Too angry and indignant to listen to for any extended period of time.

Al Sharpton - much better as a Progressive TV show host than he was as a politician or activist.  His show can be humourous. 

Lawrence O'Donnell - snarky, snide, biased, great as a "fill in" host for Olbermann and others, but now that he has his own show, too snide & acerbic to stomach.

Keith Olbermann - stuck on Current TV, in a under-funded, hardly-watched, low production value environment that he has trouble not showing how annoyed he is by the dimming lights, lack of satellite feeds, and very unrehearsed / inexperienced support staff.  He was good when he was on MSNBC, but now on Current, he's an "also ran" second or third tier show.

Dylan Ratigan - sometimes spot on, other time rambling or ranting... Ratigan provides a mixed bag that can lack consistency.

Meet The Press's David Gregory - a weak willed, easily bypassed, mostly soft-ball lobbing Sunday interviewer who lets his guests wiggle away and talk fluffy talking point circles around him without trying too hard to get a meaningful answer from them.  (We both miss Tim Russert, tremendously).

and then... Uncle Joe mentioned:

Martin Bashir - I'd not heard of Martin (he's on at noon here in Phoenix) but Uncle Joe said that Bashir doggedly pursues the answer to his questions, in the mode of Tim Russert, drilling down, and latching on, until the guest answers or refuses to answer, but without a dodge or deflection.  So I started DVR-ing Bashir's show.   He's very good, and very determined.  He had a fundamentalism tool, the smug "Rev" Jeffers on his show this week.  Jeffers who wanted to cherry pick and reinterpret New Testament Bible quotes, and Martin corrected the narrow minded Baptist with quotes from the Apostle Paul that shredded Jeffer's arguments.  I thoroughly enjoyed Bashir's interview with a pious religious leader who I normally can't stand. 

I think I have concluded that questions sound best, when asked with an educated, intelligent, British accent. 

I told my uncle how I sometimes record O'Faladel, Hannity, and used to get a kick out of crazy Glen Beck, but I only set the DVT to tape them when Faux News gets all whipped up over nothing.  He shuddered at the thought. 

I'm glad I've got a very cool Godfather, with whom I can discuss a wide range of topics.

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