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Daily Howler: Sunday's guest lists favored Dems--except at a rube-running web site
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HOW TO DUMB LIBERALS DOWN! Sunday’s guest lists favored Dems—except at a rube-running web site: // link // print // previous // next //

We’re glad he’s finally happy: Dionne and Herbert keep slobbering along, behaving like two puppies in love. Reading Herbert’s column today, we’re glad that he’s finally happy:

HERBERT (2/17/09): Mr. Obama’s tone and demeanor during the nearly hourlong interview was a duplicate of his nationally televised press conference last week.

He was relaxed and had complete command of a range of complex issues, including the troubled banking sector, health care reform and the need to do more in terms of innovative education initiatives.

But beyond his specific policies (and whether one supports them or not), Mr. Obama is emerging as the very model of the type of person one would want in high public office. He is intelligent, mature, thoughtful, calm in the face of crises and, if the nation is lucky, maybe even wise.

Could the Times please help this guy rent a room? To Herbert, his new interest is “intelligent, mature, thoughtful, calm in the face of crises...maybe even wise.” He’s relaxed, with complete command—the very model of what you would want.

We’re glad to see Herbert find true love at last. After all, the last time he got fixed up an impressive Dem, he decided that the troubling fellow was condescending, supercilious, contemptuous and disdainful—smug and boorish besides! He even called Eddie Haskell to mind—and Herbert said so, loudly, in print, three weeks before an election. By way of contrast, George W. Bush was doing his best, Herbert swore that day. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/10/09.

We’re glad to see Herbert happy at last. In the past, he’s been a fussy dater. For results, please observe the whole world.

By the rules of the game, of course, people like Herbert don’t have to explain the weird dates they’ve staged in the past.

Love hurts: Somewhat typically, Herbert says Obama has “complete command of a range of complex issues”—three paragraphs after quoting Obama as he seems to misstate a basic issue. (“Over a trillion-dollars’ worth of debt?” Puppy-love can be like that.) By the way: With Herbert and with Dionne’s Monday column, we kept waiting to hear why Obama promised that Geithner would give “very clear and specific plans” for the banks when Geithner so clearly didn’t do so.

Neither scribe gave the answer, of course. Just a guess: They forgot to ask. We had to wait for this news report in this morning’s Post to get the start of an answer. Understandable! When pundits stare slack-jawed at their amours, they forget to pop questions like that.

HOW TO DUMB LIBERALS DOWN: The guest lists on Sunday’s five major shows favored Dems and Dem-leaning experts this week. This tilt began to show up on Saturday. The AP’s preliminary listing of guests suggested the week’s pro-Dem tilt:

ABC's This Week—Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Peter King, R-N.Y.
CBS' Face the Nation—White House spokesman Robert Gibbs; Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
NBC's Meet the Press—David Axelrod, senior White House adviser.
CNN's State of the Union—Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Gibbs.
Fox News Sunday—Axelrod; Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google; Mark Zandi, Moody's

Again, that was a preliminary listing of guests—but the listings favored Dems and Dem-leaners. These listings featured seven Democratic pols and spokesmen, versus only four Republicans. Beyond that, Fox was listing two expert guests (Schmidt and Zandi). Each was an outspoken proponent of the Dem stimulus plan.

To our eye, those guests lists tilted 9-4 in our favor. As it turned out, Axelrod and Gibbs got solo segments on all four shows on which they appeared; McCain was the only listed Rep to get a solo segment. These listings were inaccurate in one minor way; CNN added the Republican congressman from Elkhart, Indiana to its line-up; he got a solo shot too. (Obama had just visited Elkhart.) But when these initial listings appeared, they showed Dems with a substantial edge in the guest lists. Unless you’re part of the world which is now devoted to dumbing us liberal rubes down.

How do our “intellectual leaders” make us liberals get dumber? This post appeared on Duncan Black’s web site this Sunday morning, beneath a “Sunday Bobbleheads” headline. The headline would have made better sense had it said, Hey you dumb f*cking rubes:

So many Republicans.

ABC's "This Week"—Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Peter King, R-N.Y.
CBS' "Face the Nation"—White House spokesman Robert Gibbs; Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
NBC's "Meet the Press"—David Axelrod, senior White House adviser.
CNN's "State of the Union"—Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Gibbs.
"Fox News Sunday"—Axelrod; Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google; Mark Zandi, Moody's

“So many Republicans,” Black oddly said, posting a list which featured nine Dem pols and Dem-leaners versus only four Republicans. But so it goes as we become the people whom we once claimed to despise.

“So many Republicans,” the professor exclaimed—and soon, his readers began posting angry complaints about the way the networks were forcing those Republicans guests right down our throats. This was the first comment posted:

COMMENTER 1: Why is anyone now interested in the braying of the Republican jackasses about the stimulus? But that's what we'll get on Sunday.

That would be funny, if it weren’t sad. The second commenter followed suit—while announcing that he doesn’t watch the shows on which he was commenting:

COMMENTER 2: These shows will soon be as irrelevant as their Rethug bobblehead guests. (I don't watch any of them).

But so it goes when we liberals get treated like fools by our “leaders.” Just as conservative rubes have been played, for so many years, by Hannity and all the rest.

Black listed nine Dems or Dem-leaners, as opposed to four Republicans—and he seemed to tell readers that the Reps had been favored! Heroically, his third commenter noticed the scam. He typed a well-chosen word: “Huh?”

COMMENTER 3: Huh? This is the first line-up in recent memory with more Democrats than Republicans...

In fact, this commenter’s recent memory was faulty; for one example, guest lists from the previous week’s Sunday shows (February 8) had tilted toward Democrats too. But to his credit, this commenter had looked at his master’s list—and he’d noticed the oddness of Massa’s critique. Which didn’t help Commenter 4, of course (or many others who followed). Having taken the bait from Ole Massa, Commenter 4 “explained” the imbalance—the imbalance which didn’t exist:

COMMENTER 4: ya ever seen the commercials during them shows?
for a rich old audience, ergo repugnicants
teevee is a money game, you know that, catered to the audience

That is the liberal brain on Black. Or, as Black (or Hannity) might have said: Hey, you dumb f*cking rubes!

How troubling was “repugnicant” hegemony in the guest lists of Sunday’s programs? By the time these programs had actually aired, they had featured seven Democratic pols or spokesmen, four of whom got solo shots. Five Republican pols had appeared, getting two solo shots. Counting expert guests Schmidt and Zandi, nine Dems or Dem supporters had been featured as guests, versus five Republicans. We’d say that Dems or Dem-leaners got about 70 percent of the air time at stake here.

Despite that, angry liberals made fools of themselves in the comments to Ole Massa’s post. As usual, Black had spent fifteen seconds on his post—and he’d dumbed liberal readers way down

The Zandi man can’t: Black has had an especially hard time coming to terms with Zandi, a politically nonaligned registered Democrat who favored the stimulus plan. About an hour after Sunday’s post, he devoted fifteen more seconds to this odd post about Zandi’s piece in that day’s Philadelphia Inquirer—a piece which praised the stimulus package. (Calling Zandi a “McCainiac,” Black kept dumbing his readers way down.) Of course, Zandi had been an advocate of the package all along—but Black just seemed to be noticing.

Example of earlier Zandi-man problems: Two weeks ago, Zandi was booked on Meet the Press, paired with Steve Forbes, who opposed the plan. One guest was pro—and one guest was con. And a certain liberal professor seemed to be off in the weeds:

Is This A Joke?

Meet the Press tomorrow:

NBC Meet the Press—The stimulus package; financial bailout; the economy: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas); Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.); Erin Burnett ("Street Signs," "Squawk on the Street"); Steve Forbes, Forbes magazine; Mark Zandi, Moodys. Moderator: David Gregory.

Mark Zandi, former McCain adviser. Steve Forbes, former Republican candidate for president and basic conservative crazy person. Erin Burnett, of unknown political affiliation (to me) but was last seen fluffing Rush Limbaugh and generally expresses such viewpoints. John Kerry, Democrat. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican.

“Is this a joke?” the professor wondered, apparently thinking that his side was getting cheated again. In fact, Meet the Press had paired Dem and Rep senators in its first segment; in its second segment, it had paired a supporter of the stimulus plan with someone who opposed it. Indeed, Zandi was soon telling David Gregory this about the package:

ZANDI (2/1/09): It's a nice mix of spending, which will help the economy in 2010 and 2011 when we really need it—this economy isn't going to come roaring back—and the tax cuts are also very efficacious, particularly because they get into the economy more quickly.

Now, if I were king for the day, I would design a different package, but given that I'm not, I think this a reasonably good package, but, most importantly of all, it has to be passed quickly.

“Most importantly of all, it has to be passed quickly,” Zandi said, cheating our side once again. Two days later, the Washington Post published this full-length profile of Zandi, a politically-nonaligned registered Dem who has now advised the McCain campaign and congressional Dems alike. But even this Sunday, Black seemed surprised by the McCainiac’s op-ed column. Of course, it’s hard to nail down what Black really thinks; he seldom bothers to say.

For decades, we’ve seen conservatives played for fools by sneering fellows like Hannity. On Sunday, we saw the practice continue to spread into our own preserves. Duncan Black set aside fifteen seconds to post the listings for Sunday’s programs. His listings strongly favored Dems—but soon, he had rubes running hard.

For ourselves, we’ve seen this movie before. Can anyone tell us why we race to adopt the techniques of a guy like Sean Hannnity? Why we should think it’s a good idea to treat liberal readers like fools?

Duh: Duh! Here are the first exchanges with Zandi and Schmidt on Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE (2/15/09): Mr. Zandi, you are already saying that the $787 billion economic stimulus package likely is not enough, not big enough, and that the president is going to have to come back to Congress and ask for even more money down the line. Explain.

ZANDI: Yeah, that's right. I think it will—it will make a difference. It's a good plan, and I think it will help the economy. By my estimate, it will add 2 to 2.5 million jobs, more than would be the case without stimulus, by the end of 2010. That translates into a lower unemployment rate of about a point to a point and a half. So it is meaningful, but I don't think it's enough.

Moments later:

WALLACE: Mr. Schmidt, are you—do you have the same view as Mr. Zandi, that this is a good package but not big enough to actually do the job?

SCHMIDT: I do. And I think it's much better if we simply get this thing done, get it passed, get it flowing, and check and see if it actually works or not.

Duh! All three guests on Fox News Sunday expressed the Dem (or left-of-Dem) perspective this week. No problem! Black rolled over and spent fifteen seconds reinventing the shape of the world. The listings he posted split nine to four. He was soon running liberal rubes hard.

This is how we make liberals dumb. It’s how we pay tribute to Hannity.