Stop me if this is too familiar: you’re watching a cable news show — they show Trump on the White House lawn pitching bullshit so bullshitty it hurts your ears. They cut back to the studio where the show’s host introduces three or four regulars to poke at what they just heard.
Now, some shows bring real conversations to these segments. Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline White House on MSNBC is consistently excellent. That’s because Nicolle doesn’t suffer bullshit. She doesn’t suffer bullshit guests and she doesn’t suffer bullshit conversations on her show. What a wonderful difference it makes. Put Nicolle (and Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow — though she rarely does whole panels, preferring to go one-on-one) off to the side. We’re talking about pretty much everyone else.
Having watched Donald Trump lie egregiously for the gazillionth time, the host will turn to their panel and ask the epitome of the Bullshit Question: “What do you make of this?” They might as well say “The sky’s blue… GO!” Into this shapeless, lazy intellectual void, trudges the Talking Head. They start excitedly chirping — almost verbatim — what Trump said, the equivalent of a chirpy open mic.
Then the Host will ask what they think is a solid follow-up. Why do the think that is? So — a bullshit analyst is about to employ buckets of bullshit to answer a bullshit question. What could go wrong?
The first thing the Talking Head invariably does is put themselves into Donald Trump’s place. Huuuuge mistake. The Talking Head, for starters, isn’t a treasonous, corrupt sociopath like Donald Trump is. The Talking Head has a heart and probably can’t buy their way out of trouble like Trump always has. The Talking Head’s whole way of seeing the world is completely different from Trump’s — but they’ll ignore that fact as they answer “why Donald did it” from THEIR point of view and not Donald’s.
That’s why — bet the ranch on it — every last word they spew will be pure drivel, unconnected to reality (certainly unconnected to Donald Trump’s reality). They’ll chalk the most recent racist rant as Trump’s strategizing or “solidifying his base”. They’ll describe thought processes they can’t back up with any sort of data. They’ll put words in Trump’s mouth that he would never ever say. They’ll characterize Trump as a normal potus doing normal things. Except he’s not.
Donald Trump is a career criminal. He’s a rapist. And a racist and a misogynist and a tax cheat and a money launderer and a fraud, and a charlatan and a con man and a traitor. At the very least, he’s a liar. We have ample proof of it.
Yet, that TV Talking Head will represent what Donald Trump thinks as if he’s never lied in his life. In other words, the TV Talking Head is talking about and analyzing a Trump who doesn’t exist. What, I ask you, is the point?
This isn’t just masturbation, it’s unproductive masturbation. Indeed – what’s the point?
Want to know how to fix it? Watch TV. Watch Nicolle Wallace.
Otherwise, you’re just a bunch of morons on the Titanic, arguing over what time to have dinner tomorrow.