Monday, May 25, 2009

Howard Kurtz discusses partisanship, polarization and villainry in Punditry: Olbermann, Maddow and Hannity

VIDEO: Cable turns Caustic - CNN 'Reliable Sources' panel on "high decibel" punditry
State of the Union: Reliable Sources - May 24, 2009
KURTZ: Well, I have often argued that the important thing is to have -- no matter what your strong views are -- and it's fine if you're a host, if you're a commentator, to have strong views -- to have people, guests on who have opposing views. I think Keith Olbermann would be more interesting and I think Sean Hannity, now that he's lost Alan Colmes, would be more interest if he had, they had people who flatly disagree with them. On rare occasions they do.
The discussion turns to the therapeutic value of punditry
FREI: No, absolutely. But I think -- and here's the point -- you can actually turn it around. You say this is really good for democracy because it's therapeutic, it's cathartic.

So if you're really mad, you watch these guys who are even madder than you, and you think, you know what? I'm going to -- it's like my kids. When my kids bawl in public, they see another child crying, they stop crying and they watch...

ASHBURN: Hey, I think it completely riles everybody up, just like this. I mean, the more emotional you are, and the more passionate you are, the more you're crying, the more you're yelling, the more people...
This is reminiscent the argument Matt Taibbi laid out in his essay 'Keep on Hatin', a media cycle he describes as "Blame, Hate, Coalesce".
Don't APF hate. Perpetuate!? Matt Taibbi on the vicious circle of hate in punditry
It is amazing to me that people can walk into a bookstore, see a pair of books whose titles begin with "I Hate...," and still believe that the two books are different, simply because the politics of one are conservative and the politics of the other are liberal. Even though it is astoundingly obvious, I'm beginning to think that the vast majority of Americans will not realize until it is too late that this is the same shit.
Watch full video CNN's 'Reliable Sources' - May 2004, 2009
Host Howard Kurtz turns a critical eye on the media

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