Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Political Discourse

William F. Buckley hosted Firing Line from 1966-1999. In this clip from 1969, he discusses "terror" and military action with noted intellectual Noam Chomsky.

The McLaughlin Group has aired on public television since 1982. 
This episode is from March 18, 2013.

This clip, from Hannity, was posted by Johnny
last week, but in the context of Chapter 9, and the 
two videos above, it deserves another look.

What I am most interested in these clips is how they differ.


  1. Addressing the Hannity clip, the first thing I would like to say to those guys is: excuse the president for trying to get you to like him. For all of the crap that circulates about him, it's obvious that you and all of us definitely don't criticize him or make things up, so he definitely has no need to try to get on our good side. I find it amazing that if Obama takes just a little of his time to talk to the press or make a good impression he gets criticized. I agree in the sense that I don't think it should be necessary, but our culture is so very image oriented that it definitely is. I find their criticism very hypocritical.

    Also, I find it incredibly annoying that they speak over each other for the majority of the program. I think it says something about our culture, that we're very eager to make ourselves heard. This certainly applies to each of the specific speakers, but also to the program as a whole. I feel like it distributes opinions with the bare minimum of information, as if those more important. I believe, to many of us, they are. I guess the main point I'm trying to make is that I feel the public image orientation that the tv commercial, and society in general, has created is making us more selfish and detail oriented, and it shows in our media.

  2. In reference to the two clips that have a modern twist on politics and TV, it sorely reminds me of reality shows where the camera is playing ninja slyly catching the facial expressions of others in the room or in reaction to what someone else is doing for the sole purpose of giving the viewers a weighted interpretation. It's all about who knows what happens next in TV shows. In applying it to politics, it's not treated much different. In the McLaughlin clip we see this debate break out where the host is asking leading questions, they are having a fairly agreeable discussion however, the camera is playing mischief by wondering around giving us false sense of future events or what the cast is thinking. It's not about what they are saying as it is how they are reacting to each other making the verbal debate virtually meaningless. Why not just throw fists in a sock/em match? On top of that, the first clip is still an incredible annoying way to present political discourse. We have two people who are much more versed in politics however, the way they debate is completely nonbeneficial to the audience. We don't get anything out of it! It's too busy trying to making it cool it loses the purpose of being televised or even viewed.