Favorite

Drinking tea, watching Fox. 

Two recent polls require acknowledgment and explanation. They reveal American disaffection, a mighty thing.

One says Fox News is the most trusted of five national television networks, besting by a formidable margin NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN.

The other says the upstart insurgent Tea Party has higher favorable ratings than Democrats or Republicans.

Taking television first: The survey represents a subset, TV news viewers, not all Americans. Most of the liberal people I know assert that they eschew the superficial nonsense of commercial television and rely on newspapers, the Internet, periodicals, public radio and public television, which wasn't included in this survey.

People spending a lot of time watching television news will tend to be those finding something on it that pumps their adrenaline. Fox is plainly the most proficient adrenaline-pumper out there.

But there's this: The survey suggests that people aren't buying this mainstream media assertion of objectivity and that they tend to favor Fox, which calls itself “fair and balanced” but only with an implicit wink, because there's no pretense about its predilection and prejudice.

People think the mainstream media are left-leaning or Democrat-leaning and bogus in their protestations otherwise.

Actually, I see that.

The other night I happened to catch CBS's evening news program, or at least the start of it. This was the day Barack Obama sparred with the Republican House caucus.

The lead story by Katie Couric and her White House reporter stunned me for its celebratory judgment that Obama had outshone his adversaries and won the day, so much so, Katie “reported,” that the Republicans were thinking maybe they had made a mistake by inviting the cameras.

I think the assessment was correct. But I don't think the news was properly presented.

People have a pretty good idea why Brian Williams at NBC gets special White House access. It's because he's friendly with the president and because his network, with its cable child MSNBC, is friendly to Democrats.

On the Tea Party's higher favorable rating than Democrats or Republicans: This reflects the utter contempt ever-increasing numbers of Americans hold for the partisan silliness and dysfunction of our political institutions. So, naturally, given a superficial choice, they react more favorably to something new and different that bears no complicity in what they disdain.

It does not mean that a majority of Americans is ready to embrace the specific outsider impracticalities of the Tea Party movement.

The Tea Party would have let our financial sector collapse in the fall of 2008, then declined to provide any stimulus in early 2009. The combined effect of that would have sunk us into a depression and expedited our evolution into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese.

That our political institutions managed to head that off serves to relieve the Tea Party of any serious responsibility. So our focus turns to what wasn't done properly.

The stimulus was essential, but was not as tightly targeted to jobs as needed. The bailout was essential, but it did not carry sufficient concurrent regulatory restrictions on how the banks, once recovered, could behave.

So all the political passion in America right now is for “other,” and Fox and the Tea Party catch the “others.”

P. S. — I've been invited to attend a Tea Party meeting next week in Conway to observe that adherents aren't wild-eyed crazy people. I look forward to it. I need to go where the story is and the Tea Party, sure enough, is today's story. For the record: I don't think they're crazy — or stupid or dumb. I think some of their ideas are so simplistic and naive and impractical as to be irrational. But that's not the news. That's one man's opinion column.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by John Brummett

  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • Can we talk? Can we get anywhere?

    Dialogue is good. It would be even better if someone would venture off script every once in a while.
    • Sep 21, 2011
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Latest in John Brummett

  • Gone to the DoG

    We're now longer carrying John Brummett's column in this space.
    • Oct 12, 2011
  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

August

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: On Charlottesville

    • I've allowed myself "to educated". Cheap shot, I'll admit; but, proofreading might be a skill…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: Charter secret

    • Max uses the words irony, logic etc. All the arguments and reasons he uses to…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: On Charlottesville

    • Then allow your self to educated. Living as white, is not condescending a lot of…

    • on August 18, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation