Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stage Left

Continuing the apparent theme here today, if you didn't get a chance to listen to the Bob & Chez Show After Party that I referenced in my little diatribe against John Stossel it probably won't surprise you to learn that Al Sharpton came in a close second on my list of most disliked cable news personalities. The shockingly dumb stunt his unwatchable MSNBC show pulled last night is a perfect example of why I think he has zero place on the air at a major news outlet.

He and his crew staged a "reenactment" of Mitt Romney's Hamptons fundraiser on Sunday, complete with four actors playing the Biff and Muffy Hamptons cliché to the hilt -- all tennis-wear and phony finishing school accents, like they're extras in a Whit Stillman movie -- while rattling off actual quotes from the fundraiser's hyper-wealthy attendees. It was, literally, political coverage as cheap theater -- and it never should've been allowed on the air at MSNBC.

The argument is often made from the right that MSNBC is as horrifically biased as Fox News, just from the other direction. This isn't true, simply because MSNBC ultimately has to answer to the objective-at-all-costs NBC News mothership and it maintains a modicum of independence and fairness in its regular news programming, while Fox News has a top-down political mandate that infects every single show on its air. Still, despite the fact that Sharpton's show is opinion and nothing more, this kind of stupid stunt just makes the entire network look bad, adds more fuel to the fire of its critics and proves that political punditry on cable is nothing but a circus act these days. It isn't even decent and insightful advocacy because no one with an IQ above that of a gerbil will take it the least bit seriously.

Sharpton's a buffoonish, inarticulate joke -- and he and his show should be scrapped for finally resorting to this kind of nonsense in an effort to make its point.

Although it's admittedly humorous and ironic that, in keeping with the need for liberal political correctness, the show included a black guy among the cast playing the Romney fundraiser guests. I'm betting the only black people at this thing were the ones serving the food and drinks.


JohnF said...

He's a total clown. Just as much of an unprincipled hack as anyone on the right.
I have a lot of friends who think Sharpton's great, though. Friends with very short memories, obviously.

hamletta said...

I'm betting the only black people at this thing were the ones serving the food and drinks.

And they were wearing white jackets.

Anonymous said...

Man, I know you aren't overly fond of The Newsroom, but it'd sure be nice if someone created a TV news station that was dedicated more to facts than ratings.

Chez said...

I like the show much more than I dislike it. And you're right about that. Yeah, Sorkin can be preachy, but that speech on this past episode was the kind of thing anyone who's ever been a respectable and dedicated journalist has dreamed of hearing.