There was this liberal I saw of cable news years ago. Every time I saw and heard him, I resisted the urge to do damage to my own television. He was unrelenting, insulting, rude and intentionally misrepresented the positions of conservatives in order to no only make Republicans look wrong, but evil.
In 2008, I was invited to speak at a gathering of black Republicans in Manhattan. At this event, I met this person and he was there to cover the event for his publication. I introduced myself, we talked a little about politics and I left the event feeling comfortable with this being someone I could sit down and have a beer with. It’s been around 10 years since that event and every time we’ve reached out to each other via email, etc. to promote our varied ventures, it’s been a pleasant interaction.
There’s a liberal talk radio host who invokes that same revulsion when I hear him on air or see his video podcasts. Around six years ago, I appeared around a dozen times on his television program. On one occasion, we were in the elevator together going to the studio. It was a bit awkward, given our political perspectives, but the short conversation was polite, the engagements during his program were respectful, and he kept things from getting into the insult-shouting matches we see on other cable news programs with four-people screaming to be heard.
I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed on many liberal talk platforms, and aside from one, they’ve all been relatively respectful debates on the issues and our differing opinions.
But this is totally different than what you get when political opinion is discussed on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the rest. A civil discussion would be the ideal but it also makes for boring television, so this is why we have guests who are on the far right of an issue versus someone on the far left, moderated by a partisan referee who tries to come off as neutral. Pokes, zingers, insults… the Jerry Springer-izing of political talk makes money and the guests are so-called pundits who are either employees of activist nonprofits and/or campaigns and those who wannabe.
On the right, we’re inundated with many people whose main goal in their activist lives is to get that oh-so coveted “Fox News Contributor” title. “Paid” would be nice, but just being able to say you were on Fox News opens so many doors with the easily impressed, whether what they have to say is really unique or they’re good at repackaging what others have so eloquently said previous. Many have attached themselves to anything Donald Trump; whether or not their personal activism had any real bearing on his 2016 election victory, they claim be one of his champions and some have managed to infiltrate his large inner circle. Some fundraise off him, create events off his name and accomplishments, and they invite headliners who’ve been on… Fox News!
We video recorded one such person at an event and she later came over to us and asked us to edit out her portion because she went off the rails and didn’t want her Fox News Contributor status imperiled. A clear example of her amatuer approach: saying something in a pseudo private setting that she didn’t want repeated. If we worked for CNN or Mother Jones and she said something stupid, would we not publish it just because she asked? These are the kinds of attention whores cable news creates and these are the people who supposedly represent one side or the other.
And we wonder why the nation is so polarized.
As said here many times before, for the most part the American people get along just fine. It’s the activists, politicians and those in the professional media that needs drama to keep them employed. Compensation can be quite lucrative so there will be no let up that will result in a reduction of their personal compensation.
Remember this when you watch CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, latenight what-used-to-be comedy shows, or read The New York Times, Washington Post and the like. This is all coming from people who, aside from their big mouths, have nothing of real value to offer the world. It’s not about informing the public as to what happened but creating personalities that are well-paid and organizations that will meet an elitist payroll.