Monday, March 14, 2016

TV: Chris Wallace versus Chuck Todd in the Battle To Bore The Viewer

Chris Wallace does a better job than Chuck Todd.


That's one conclusion we can confidently make.  Another is that Governor John Kasich is a flip-flopper.

But mainly, we can firmly state that public affairs programming are a waste of time.

We formed these and other conclusions Sunday while watching  two of the leading Sunday Chat & chews (leading by ratings) NBC's MEET THE PRESS and FOX's FOX NEWS SUNDAY WITH CHRIS WALLACE.

Donald Trump and Kasich appeared on both programs.

The biggest insight the two offered was just how ugly the Republican side of the race was.

On the Democratic side, you have Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders -- neither of whom will ever make PEOPLE's 50 Most Beautiful.

But they also don't risk scaring small children.

The same cannot be said for the eyebrow less Kasich.

Or for that matter, the Donald.

The Donald looks like a human Cheeto with eyes.

And what about all the concealer he's wearing under his eyes -- the only spot on  his face that isn't orange.

Then there's that ridiculous 'hair.'

At the front now, it creates a soft spot, as though someone's working the camera lens like this is an episode of MOONLIGHTING.

We would have put it down to a problem for just FOX but then we saw him on NBC with the same issue.

Who's the better campaigner?

Donald Trump.

Donald Trumps said pretty much word for word on FOX what he said on NBC.

Asked about the same issues on both shows, Kasich tried to vary the wording.

But Trump treated both appearances like a stump speech.

Trump's had some problems at rallies of late.

Protesters (against Trump) have been involved in situations.

Did they provoke those situations?

Donald Trump believes they did and tried to connect them to and the campaign of  Senator Bernie Sanders.

He may be right.

He may be wrong.

But Wallace showed clips of Trump endorsing violence ("Just knock the hell -- I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.  I like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you.  In the good old days, they'd rip him out of that seat so fast.  There's a group out there, just throw them the hell out.  That's OK.") and Donald went into a story about how some people had shown up with tomatoes and he didn't want to be hit by a tomato and he had asked his supporters to stop those who would throw tomatoes:

I was told by Secret Service that there were two people in the audience, they couldn't find them, they didn't know where they were, but they had tomatoes and they were going chuck them at me.  And maybe they had good arms, OK?  And, you know, being hit in the face by a tomato is not exactly so good.  So, before I saw them, in my speech, I said, folks, you have two people with tomatoes.  If you see ‘em, do whatever you have to do to ‘em, I don't care.  And you know what?  I think I’m totally within my rights to say that.

We honestly could understand his fear.

Catsup does not go with Cheetos.

It would have ruined the look he was going for.

Wallace was better on the violence issue only because he repeatedly pressed Trump -- even angering Donald in the process -- while Todd was happy to take whatever soundbyte was offered and quickly move on to his next question.

Kasich mainly showed he was a flip-flopper.

He is not "a fortune teller."

He insisted that when, after claiming he would win Ohio, he was asked about an earlier assertion that he would win Michigan and how that did not come true.

He's not a fortune teller but he insisted Donald Trump would not be the GOP presidential nominee.

Sounds like fortune telling to us.

His biggest problem with the Donald?

He's not offering "hope."

He's going around talking about what is wrong.

The more the eyebrow-less freak prattled on, the sorrier we felt for Donald Trump -- who would have thought that was possible?

Donald's big crime, in Kasich's eyes, is talking publicly about what he feels is wrong with the country.

He especially took issue with Trump declaring on MEET THE PRESS:

The reason there's tension at my rallies is that these people are sick and tired of this country being run by incompetent people that don't know what they're doing on trade deals, where our jobs are being ripped out of our country, Chuck. They're being ripped out. On ISIS, where we can't even beat ISIS with our military. Our military's not being taken care of, we can't even beat ISIS.  On our vets, who are being treated horribly. Frankly, they're being treated worse than illegal immigrants. The people are angry at that. They're not angry about something I'm saying. I'm just a messenger. The people are angry about the fact that for 12 years, the workers in this country haven't had a pay increase, Chuck. In 12 years, they haven't had an effective pay increase. 

Kasich huffed to Chuck Todd,  "I mean, I just listen to the last minute of this interview. Everything is negative. Everything is, 'America's losing, and we're terrible'."

Kasich would rather pretend everything is a-okay and give the voter a bedtime story.

You may or may not agree with the issues Trump listed -- agree that they are real concerns -- but he wasn't really saying, "We're terrible."

Except maybe in Kasich's delicate mind.

Kasich whined about how he wasn't asked questions (enough questions) in one debate, "I didn't get any attention.  When we had debates, there were people in the hall shouting my name to have me asked a question."

Okay but when he had two programs bringing him on live as a guest, he had nothing to offer.

In Ohio, he . . .

Well good for you and maybe that shows leadership but all fifty states are not Ohio and what works in one may not work in another.

And, this is really sad, that thought never seemed to occur to the governor.

Of all the guests on the two programs, our favorite was Ted Cruz.

Ted's clearly ready for college level arithmetic -- developmental math, not algebra.

The US Senator form Texas, explained the problem keeping him from being the front runner.  If Kasich and Senator Marco Rubio would drop out, Ted insisted, "we would be beating Donald Trump right now in both Florida and Ohio."

Yes, he would.

Very good, Ted, one plus one does equal two.

And if Donald Trump would also drop out, the field might be completely cleared for Ted.

That's Ted's apparent campaign strategy, to sit in front of a TV camera and whine how he could win this thing if only everyone else would drop out.

We wondered if, to implement that strategy, he intended to resort to blackmail, prayer or vodoo?

This being Ted Cruz, we decided he'd opt for all three and, somewhere in the mix, toss in a few loaded guns.

Both shows offered panels.

The FOX panel was less offensive.

Somehow, it's just not possible to take Doris Kearns Goodwin talking about ethics -- that would be serial plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin talking about ethics.

She felt Donald Trumps had a shot at looking presidential and he blew it.

That's what she said anyway.

Or what someone said that she went on to repeat -- without attribution.

The two shows focused on little that mattered.

Violence at Trump rallies?

No one's been carried out on a stretcher.

The obsession with this topic at the expense of actual violence in the world . . .

Both shows were worthless.

They offered nothing but empty chatter and faux concern and faux outrage.

Chuck Todd was more interested in coining a phrase ("Separation Tuesday") than in the world around him.

At least, Chris Wallace briefly touched on the real world.

WALLACE:  You also said this about the war on ISIS --


TRUMP:  We have to knock out ISIS.  We have to knock the hell out of ‘em.  I would listen to the generals, but I would -- I’m hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000.  


WALLACE:  Which generals have told you, sir, that we need 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria?  

TRUMP:  Well, that's where I heard the number.  That doesn't mean I do that, by the way.  But that's what I heard the number is in order to eradicate.  And it could be quick.  
You know, maybe we should do something quickly because this cancer is staying with us forever.  I mean, we've been fighting in the Middle East now for 15 years and longer --

WALLACE:  But all the generals we've talked to say that’s --

TRUMP:  -- and we’ve been spending money at a rate -- and, Chris, in the meantime, our infrastructure in our country is going to hell, our country is in trouble.  And all we do is spend money in the Middle East.  I mean, either eradicate ‘em or get out.  
I mean, what we're doing is crazy.  We don’t have any capability.  It's ridiculous.  


WALLACE:  But all the generals that I’ve spoken to say 20,000 to 30,000 -- I mean, yes, we may need more troops, we may need forward observers, we may need people, special forces to help, Iraqi ground troops.  But putting 20,000 to 30,000 American troops back in Iraq and Syria, they have grave doubts about that, sir.  

TRUMP:  I’m not saying do, it I’m saying that's a number I heard you would need.  And I never said, do it, I said that's the number you may need.  
But, look, let me tell you something, I whether you like it or not, I was against the war in Iraq, OK?  I’m one that said, don't go in.  You're going to destabilize the Middle East.  I was totally right about that.  So, I’m not like this big war hawk.  

But now, you have people chopping off heads, you have people drowning 40 and 50 people in steel cages at a time, Chris, and now, we have to do something.  And the reason we have to do it is because of the power of weaponry.  They're looking to get weapons, and they're looking to acquire weapons that are going to be very, very horrible for our country if they ever do it.  

That's more reality than Todd and crew were willing to explore.

In fact, they gas was completely out of the bags at one point when they decided to stroll down revisionary lane.

Well, then what you learn from that is you learn this is where young people are feeling, this is their sense of rendezvous with destiny. You have to get that younger generation to support what you're doing. You've got to move in that direction. You know what's fun about watching this though, it just reminds you, politics used to be fun.

I know.

You know, when they did dirty tricks on each other, they were fun tricks, dressing up a whole bunch of nuns looking like, they held Nixon signs saying, "He's the one," and they're looking--

Or inviting. They're basically sending too many pizzas to ta fundraiser.


I know. 

Oh, yes, back when "politics used to be fun," Doris.  During the age of Nixon.

Remember those Watergate hijinks, Doris?

If only we could return to those days.

Again, public affairs programming?  An utter waste of time.

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