I don't know if anyone else is as sick of the Tom Brokaw/Chris Matthews consecutive book tours that we've got going on at MSNBC along with a couple of other networks, but this bit from Tuesday's Morning Joe where Brokaw was pushing his book along with some Villager conventional wisdom about what needs to be done to cure our country's ails left me feeling even more disgusted than I was with him after his appearance on Meet the Press this past Sunday.
The amount of cognitive dissonance necessary for either Tom Brokaw to make these statements in the first place, or the viewers that he thinks should be buying into his clap-trap here is really quite astounding.
After being asked by Willie Geist about American's “incredible levels of cynicism in government” and our Congress' nine percent approval level rating, and how some faith is potentially restored in our government, Brokaw responds this way.
BROKAW: Well again, it really requires the citizenry from the ground up to get involved in reclaiming their government. I've used this almost everywhere I go as an example. However you feel about the tea party, they got angry. Then they got organized. Then they got to Washington and they stayed disciplined and they were having an affect, out of proportion to their numbers, frankly, in the Republican debate.
But that's a demonstration of organization and power. And the other things is that I think both parties have to look at the enormous impact of big money on politics. K Street and the lobbyists and they're in there all day, every day.
Brokaw is apparently either completely detached from the reality, or just doesn't mind lying to the viewers since he's willing to ignore the fact that the “tea party” AstroTurf movement has been organized and co-opted by... lobbyists. Dick Armey... lobbyist. Matt Kibbe... lobbyist. Tim Phillips... lobbyist. And there are a lot more there where I could go on and on with who's pumping money into this “tea party”, another of which is one we've covered here extensively, the Koch brothers.
If Tom Brokaw honestly thinks that lobbyists have too much influence on our government, then the last thing he should be doing is trying to paint the “tea party” as grass roots and a cure for getting the influence of money out of politics.
After poo-pooing agriculture subsidies as one of the problems we have with lobbying groups having too much influence, which I do not disagree with by the way, Brokaw went on to champion our government having more “public/private partnerships” and used examples such as privatizing our schools, roads and water districts.
So Brokaw thinks we need to get rid of the influence of lobbyists in our government, but doesn't seem to mind so much the commons and institutions that should belong to the taxpayers being sold off to private industry so they can make a profit off of them.
This was followed by him talking to billionaire Mort Zuckerman who was touting his usual lines about how Washington is broken and complaints that there's not enough upward mobility in the United States any more, of course ignoring the fact that trickle-down economics, a race to the bottom on wages and labor protections due to globalization, lack of regulation of the financial industry among a host of other issues are what brought us to where we are now.
Nothing like MSNBC getting the opinion of one of the “little guys” like Zuckerman to let everyone know what the opinion of the one percent is so they can have a “fair and balanced” discussion on Morning Joe. So much for that "liberal" MSNBC. A lot of MSNBC's programming is really horrid but if there was ever one show anyone could consider pre-packaged for Fox and ready to move directly over there, Morning Joe definitely qualifies.