How useless was the Larry King show with Penn Jillette, Ben Stein & James Carville talking about health care? Or, more precisely talking about talking about Health Care, and then talking about how bitchy Hilary Clinton was and what a genius film director John Hughes was. I don’t normally watch any of those TV news shows, but decided that I would make an exception for Penn Jillette, who is usually erudite, well-spoken and an all-around good representation for libertarianism. The show was a bunch of rot. Because no good points were advanced (other than Jillette’s salient bit about “society” being distinct from “government”) and Carville made the goofball mistake of claiming that Napoleon came back after Waterloo. Then Ben Stein told Carville to read a history book and in the process slammed all Democrats–before making a stupid mistake himself and saying that Hillary Clinton had a lot of “insoluable” problems on her hands right now. Good to know that none of the Secretary of State’s problems can be dissolved in liquid or fat. But still a startlingly ironic gaffe from a usually well-spoken man who had just slammed someone else for a lapse in knowledge.
There was little actual knowledge to be had on the program, which was referreed by Wolf Blitzer in Larry King’s absence. Blitzer seemed to be fixated on whether or not the health care debate was going to be the ruination of President Obama. I’ve privately thought for about 10 months now that four years of presidency were going to be the ruination of Obama–he’s sold too many flights of fancy for his supporters to not be disappointed and his detractors to not be glibly satisfied. Carville tried to slide out of answering by offering up some folksy charm, yet Blitzer kept asking in between cutaways to various ‘raucous’ town meetings.
It bothers me that the talking heads are trying to make the town meetings the story, or President Obama’s career the story. This is a huge deal with long-lasting ramifications for the welfare of our country and so many of these shows are quite literally rearranging the deck chairs on the Lusitania.