Some Tuesday morning navel gazing

I’m sorry for the lack of updates from me lately but I’ve been busy getting ready for a 2-week family vacation. Oh, and by the way, I’m not sure how much posting I’ll be doing starting Saturday because I’ll be on a 2-week family vacation.

Anyway, because I hate my brain, I was watching The Last Word last night on MSNBC. Lawrence O’Donnell had the night off and Alex Wagner was guest-hosting. I like Alex Wagner, I guess. I mean, she seems intelligent and funny and she smiles a lot, which is a plus. Last night she had Ana Marie Cox and Jonathan Capehart on the panel and they were talking about a ridiculous trip Mitt Romney took to the supermarket and the hardware store to buy stuff. They all had a good time mocking Romney because, I mean, he’s Mitt Romney.

Here’s how the International Business Times described it:

Mitt Romney Goes Shopping, Successfully Executing The Lamest Photo-Op Of 2012

And there are pictures there. MSNBC showed some awkward video of Romney carrying a bucket out of the hardware store and answering the question of what he bought with, “um, hardware stuff.” If he had answered, “I haz a bucket!” I may have switched my vote.

All this stuff is kind of funny, I guess, but I couldn’t help being pretty disgusted by the whole thing. This guy is running for president, and the talking heads are talking about whether he “connects with the average voter” and whether his trip to the store is an obvious photo op, and blah blah blah. Jonathan Capehart actually dug deep into plucked the top item from the Big Book of Presidential Campaign Media Coverage Cliches and said, I am not making this up, “Mitt Romney is not…,” wait for it, “… comfortable in his own skin.” Did you throw up in your mouth a little? I sure did!

Look, I want Barack Obama to get re-elected. I think Romney would be a disaster for this country. But I have actual policy reasons for that. Romney’s tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of $2,000 while cutting taxes for millionaires beyond what the Bush Tax Cuts did. Polls have shown that when shown that information, people have two reactions: 1) they are strongly against it, and 2) they don’t believe that is his actual plan.

But! It is his actual plan. In fact, the Obama campaign put that into a commercial:

This commercial was evaluated by the Washington Post fact checker Glen Kessler and given a rare Gepetto rating for its accuracy. It would be nice if, when polled, independent voters were aware of what Romney’s tax plan would do, rather than whether or not he can naturally pull off a hardware store shopping session in Mom jeans.

I’m pretty sure the entire panel of Alex Wagner, Ana Marie Cox, and Jonathan Capehart are going to vote for Barack Obama. Nobody watching that show last night would come away thinking they are presenting an objective news show, and MSNBC isn’t hiding the fact that they are programming for liberals and progressives in that time slot. So maybe it really doesn’t matter what sermon MSNBC chooses to preach to its choir, and showing Romney being Romney can be pretty entertaining. Ultimately, MSNBC exists to make money, not to inform its viewers, and not to secure some liberal agenda, and not to help electoral prospects of Democrats.

Still. I complained when the media focused on Al Gore’s “earth tones” and the endless replaying of the debate sighs, and Howard Dean’s scream, and John Kerry’s gaffes. I honestly don’t care at all whether Mitt Romney does his own shopping or what he wears when doing it. I care about the policy. In the case of Mitt Romney, the media focus on his gaffes rather than his policies actually helps him.

On a related, I-hate-my-brain note, I’m ready for the Olympics to be over. As bad as MSNBC is in the morning (and yes, it’s awful) I’ve been forced to alternate between CNN and FOX News in the morning while MSNBC shows Olympics coverage, and holy crap are those two networks terrible.  I can only hope that some day they will all be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

Author: Wiesman

Husband, father, video game developer, liberal, and perpetual Underdog.


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