The Coultergeist-Edwards Catfight
By: Mark W Adams

First of all, who the hell decided it was a good thing to have Mitt Romney's BFF, Ann Coultergeist on "Teh TeeVee" for a full hour on Hardball yesterday? Why is this woman all over the place?

No, seriously. First she's on FOX (of course) to accuse Barack Obama of being a terrorist, a "cute" quip she repeated on Hardball. Then ABC's Good Morning America for a stint yesterday morning which of course generated this recommended Daily KOS diary and a bunch of blogtopian uproar for saying she "just wish[ed] that he had been killed in a terrorist attack." Finally, there was the already legendary exchange between her and a caller on Hardball -- a caller named Elizabeth Edwards.


Blogmainia ensued. 334 blog posts in the last 24 hours come up in a search for "edwards, coulter, hardball." This Daily Kos Diary is still on the recommended list this morning and has the video. MSNBC was still playing it this morning on Joe Scarboro's gig as Imus fill-in.

So if you didn't see Elizabeth's smack-down of Annie, you aren't looking real hard. Instant classic.

But Duncan Black's implied question remains. Jerome asks it too, more directly, and so do I.

Has the state of American journalism sold out so low as to require our constant exposure to the mental masturbation of any skinny blond bimbo's every move? Do we need to know that within a few hours of her release from the clink, Paris Hilton had a visit from a stylist to install new hair extensions? Why on earth do I need to know that, yet this "news" was unavoidable. I understand there are those that read the gossip columns and style sections of the newspaper first, people who subscribe to People and Vogue.

I even learned to accept that runaway brides and missing co-eds are unavoidable and even noteworthy news items -- but not Coultergeist pushing her paperback hate tome. She simply is not worthy of an hour program devoted to pushing her propaganda. No.

No, no ... NO!

This is not news. This is not newsworthy. Had Elizabeth Edwards failed to get on the air, Coulter's Hardball appearance would have been quickly forgotten if not subconsciously exorcised from most peoples brains. In fact, had I not heard that Elizabeth called into the show I would have simply turned the channel when it was repeated later in the evening -- like I did when I saw she was on earlier. Dinner hour was approaching and I didn't want to ruin my appetite.

Just when did responsible journalism die?

Is it possible for the news media brain-trust to take a chance on something that might just possible find an audience sadly ignored nowadays, like airing something actually in the public interest? Just a thought, but I've got an idea.

Instead of banking on increased viewership by putting Paris Hilton on Larry King for the full hour -- or at least in addition to that kind of news-porn or booking either Coulter or even Michael Moore to hawk their newest project in a infotainment hour-long commercial and calling it "news," why not have each presidential candidate on the show for a nice sit-down.

You know, something besides the so-called debates they put on that give us merely thought-bytes and are more like joint appearances than an actual exchange of ideas. This would certainly make news. Goodness, look how much press Fox got when it had Bill Clinton on for 15 minutes.

It might just generate a ratings point or two. Funnier things have happened when TV executives took a chance on something. I remember how everyone laughed when the fledgling ESPN decided to air the America's Cup from Australia at 2am, live. They were stunned that they found an audience for slow boats cruising in circles.

Who'd a thunk it? A sport's network finding a sports event and actually showing it live might sell some air-time even in the dead of night. Maybe, just maybe a so-called news network or two might dedicate some of it's broadcast time to some newsworthy events it can host in the public interest and also sell a commercial for Slim-Fast or Head-On.

Worth a shot, yes?


Ara said...

Great post.

Several thoughts:

1. Chris Matthews is, I believe, last in the ratings for his time slot. That probably has as much to do with it as anything. Not sure what everyone else's excuse is, though.

2. Watching Edwards "spar" with Coulter (MSNBC's word) was like watching a responsible adult debate a bag of worms. I felt bad for Edwards because it was such a waste of her time.

3. Putting Michael Moore's name in the same sentence as Coulter's is no longer fair; Moore has softened considerably. But Coulter? Not so much.

4. Annoyed by Vogue? Read Vanity Fair -- all the glitz, but with a social conscience.

Mark W Adams said...

I included Moorre because I understand he got bumped from Larry King fro Paris Hilton.

Agreed on Vanity Fair. Any mag that has nude pregnant celebretants on it's cover and Sy Hearsh between fashion tips is on to something.