Pure Venom

The raging, unhinged bit of me has always been a fan of Matt Taibbi, despite his tendency to come off like someone trying too hard to be a neo-Hunter S. Thompson, ever since his writings in Russia for eXile and then the New York Press.

Godwin’s Law violations aside, one must admire the rhetorical audacity/complete insanity (depending on your political point of view) it takes to describe Sarah Palin’s RNC speech as “Gidget addressing the Reichstag” in his latest Rolling Stone piece.

Methinks HST would have liked that one.

Additional note: if you have lost Campbell Brown, the wife of a big-time Republican, regarding your campaign’s handling of Palin, you’ve got issues. Free Sarah Palin!

Everyone’s A Pundit, Even If They Shouldn’t Be

There’s a particularly annoying development I’ve noticed in the past few months or so when it comes to cable news. Unfortunately, I watch a LOT of it. It’s part and parcel of what I need to know for my day job, and usually, Headline News does the trick in an hour because they don’t dwell on a story for so long that they forget to mention anything else interesting that might be happening. One hour on Headline News and I’m set with the basics of what might be on my station’s video service when I get to work at 2:45 in the afternoon.

(SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Exposure to Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace is detrimental to your health when ingested via cathode ray or plasma on a regular basis. Avoid Headline News in the early afternoons or evenings.)

The fellow in the picture to your right is Mike Galanos. He hosts Prime News starting at 1 PM Pacific or so, and I wouldn’t really care about who he is or whatnot except for the fact that he seems to be the most aggressive example of something I despise: newsreaders/anchors making editorial and opinion judgments on air when they read the news.

Example: today, a Texas appeals court ruled that the state’s Child Welfare Services erred in taking children from their mothers during the raid on a polygamist compound about a month ago. Galanos starts ranting and raving, wondering how the court could do such a thing, when the actual story makes its decision perfectly clear: the department had no evidence that the children were in any immediate danger. This makes no difference to Galanos — he’s perfectly content to ramble to the local reporter, asking, “How could the judges do this to these children?” (In no way am I defending child marriage/statutory rape, for some reason I feel compelled to point this out.)

After hearing this display of Lou Dobbs-style indignation at judges possibly knowing the law better than he does, I looked up Galanos’ bio — he’s a former sports guy, no wonder he’s used to rushing to judgment no matter what actual findings might interrupt it.  It’s like every straight news anchor is now an opinionated asshole, and we simply must hear it. It’s crossed over from the anonymous line-up of women in the A.M. on MSNBC to those on CNN Original as well. I wouldn’t tolerate it from an anchor I worked with and I don’t know why producers at networks don’t put a lid on this.

You get paid to read the news, not let us know what you think of it. Shut up and read the prompter. Whether you think the judges are right or wrong is irrelevant — they’ve got law degrees, robes, and decades of experience — and I don’t tune in to watch a pundit opine. Read the damn headlines, please.