Anderson Cooper and the Angry James Factory
I know I tend to rail on announcers and pundits on this here Blog, so I'll go quick and easy on Anderson. Last night I watched CNN's coverage of the DNC. I could've chosen C-SPAN, but I went the HD route because they just added CNNHD to our cable service. I'm kind of an HD 'homer'. This was a poor choice by me. I'm already falling deep into a pit of cynicism when it comes to politics, and watching CNN only makes my fall seem longer, slower and that there will be sharp spikes at the bottom. Anderson Cooper sharpens those spikes. At the conclusion of Barack Obama's speech, of course the CNN crew offers their feedback on live TV. Paul Begala, former 'Crossfire' co-host offered his assessment, which was glowing. Anderson Cooper's response was the following line, in deadpan Cooper tone:
"Obviously Paul is drinking the Kool-Aid."
Anderson Copper dropped a morbid cult reference at the conclusion of a Presidential candidates speech. I know 'drinking the Kool-Aid' has become an acceptable term over the last few years, but it should be used in a more casual, less professional setting. Not on live TV in regards to a speech that a major political party leader just gave. Sure, it's an innocent line, and very few people will even bat an eye at it. Except for me of course. The use of language, the meaning behind it, the inflection, can have a huge impact on the viewers at home whether they realize it or not. To draw a parallel from my Matt Leinart 'bust' blog, 'drinking the Kool-Aid' is going to get used by people out there, in regards to Democrats and their passion for Obama. That's not good, people! Talking points, and canned, vapid insults all help slowly, and subtly dumb the country down. What bothers me more about this particular incident, is that Cooper knows it. He knows that what he says has influence. After all, CNN has anointed him the savior of network news anchors. I don't think I'd ever hear Brokaw, Jennings, or Rather say 'drinking the Kool-Aid' during 'serious' political coverage.
As for Barack Obama's speech, it was beautiful and inspiring and a 'Home Run!' But I really only say that as it pertains to critiquing a speech. Part of my distaste for how politics work is that these speeches, and soon the 'debates' will offer nothing that makes me really 'believe' in any one candidate. Barack says he will institute a plan to end our dependence on foreign oil within '10 years.' That's all fine and dandy, but how will it be done? Show me step by step how this is possible. Will the Senate and House go along with the plan? What will it cost? How will it be paid for? And how do we make health care more affordable? How? How? How? No-one ever answers those questions. I don't mean to pick on Barack here, if the RNC had happened first, I'd be saying(and let's face it, will be saying) the same thing about Little Wooden-Man(McCain).
I remember when Ross Perot spent his own money to get national TV time, and came out with charts and graphs and facts and specifics about how he would try to improve our economy. He was laughed out of the race while the other candidates relied on rhetoric to move on with their campaigns(and win). That confuses, and angers me.