Secret Pop

Feb 1, 2006

I'm going to Disneyland.


And that's the only reason I'm up early enough to be showered and getting dressed when the Today show is on. It's been a while since that was part of my morning routine. And maybe that's good for my blood pressure, because watching Katie Couric interviewing John Kerry in response to the State of the Union address made me scowl and run to my computer to tip tap type my disapproval.

Is there no journalistic standard anymore? Is it the role of these performers to just play devil's advocate? Because if Katie Couric wasn't playing devil's advocate, then she was letting her personal agenda show like a petticoat under too short a skirt.

She brought an opponent of the President on the show and asked for his response and then reacted with theatrical surprise and dismay at his thumbs down. She cited an NBC News/Wall Street Journal(?) poll that said 62% of Americans are dissatisfied (my words) with the Democrats not stepping up and providing a clear agenda in the face of this administration's failures. Now, I don't know what the details of that poll were, but it seems so the opposite of incisive to frame a question with that brand of generalization. Could the Democrats do more? I doubt you'd find a Democrat who would say "no." But that floats above the topic of the Bush Administration's performance and flits down onto the head of the minority party for no other reason than to avoid actually commenting on the administration in question. It was essentially this: Senator Kerry, don't you think that everything that has gone wrong in Washington is really your fault? or better yet: That man who was murdered, isn't it really your fault, Mary Forrest, for not doing more to save him? But I don't live in Baltimore. Isn't that just an example of the partisanship that separates California and Maryland?

I wish I could follow the logic and not want to beat the person at the end of it with a broom handle. Katie Couric asked John Kerry why the Democrats have been so unsuccessful in winning the approval of America and John Kerry rightfully pointed out that being the minority party and not in control of the House, the Senate, or the Executive tends to narrow the platform from which his party can speak. I think he said something about the size of the megaphone the other party gets to use, and he's right. Katie Couric said, Oh, come on. You can't blame the media. Once again turning the interview into her personal battle with the interviewee instead of acting as the liaison she is supposed to be for her viewers. And then to point out the Democrats' unified clap/no clap strategy as an example of how Democrats are to blame for the partisan divide. I personally like to be a good sport. I don't know that choosing not to clap or choosing to clap with mocking enthusiasm are the most effective responses when you think the guy up top is a shithead, but I also know that this is not where the deals get cut. And John Kerry was right to point out Karl Rove's recent flagrant (and continuing) abuse of 9/11 to imply that Democrats who don't support the Bush tactics in Iraq are delusional and naive. That line is constantly being drawn and always with that insidious Rove-ian approach of saying you are either this or this. And one of those things is what everyone wants you to be and the other is a cockroach in a dirty prom dress. And America responds to that. You can say, You are either with us or against us. And Americans will go, "Oh, okay. Well that clarifies things." But I just don't see very many Beltway issues that are as binary as that. You can support the troops and not support the war. Duh. You can support a woman's right to choose and not dance a jig whenever an abortion happens. You can disagree with President Bush and not be a crackpot with a partisan agenda. And you can also agree with him on specific issues and not change your surname to Lemming. I just wish you could be a television journalist and also be concerned about getting to the truth. Granted, getting your news from mornings news programs is already questionable, but if I had gotten these thoughts from an online news source, they probably would have made these arguments for me, and that wouldn't have given me anything to blog about.

I'm having Mickey Mouse pancakes.

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