During my little one's bedtime reading, it occurred to me that very clear parallels could be drawn from Alice in Wonderland to our Sunday morning get-togethers. In this scene, little Alice is alone, lost and looking for help in the form of information that will help her leave the frightening Wonderland woods (that threaten to be even more frightening as the darkness looms). She runs into Tweedledee and Tweedledum and pleads with them to help her. And what do they do? They ignore her plight. They chide her with a strangely smug form of false balance ("Contrary-wise,...") and then distract her with a song-and-dance that is all about deceptiveness and the mortal danger of trusting people who say they'll take care of you. When she asks again for assistance, they launch into a battle between themselves over some perceived slight that may or may not be true, leaving Alice to realize that they'll be absolutely no help to her finding her way home.
Clearly, Lewis Carroll lived far too long ago to have anticipated the media circus of today, but I see Tweedledee and Tweedledum as very apt symbols of our bobbleheads. The public is Alice, looking for information to help us make sense of our surroundings and getting nothing from the media but distractions, fear-mongering and bizarre logic and focus on the inane. We need only watch this week's schedule to know that they'll be no help to us again.
TweedleDavid Gregory will speak with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Contrary-wise, he'll also speak with GOP also-ran John McCain (the mock turtle, crying mock tears?) on Meet the Press. Meanwhile TweedleGeorge Stephanopoulos will talk to Geithner as well on This Week, but will save the economic debate for Paul Krugman and that "expert" George Will during the roundtable segment. Contrary-wise, TweedleJohn King will focus on the Middle East, with Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Holbrooke on State of the Union. It makes you wonder if we'll ever see the right side of that looking glass again...
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Geithner; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: David Ignatius, Kelly O'Donnell, Norah O'Donnell, Andrew Sullivan. Topics: Can Obama get what he wants on health care, energy and education? Does the president's new Afghanistan strategy get us in deeper? Meter Questions: Will Obama get the big money he needs for his health care and education plans? YES: 9 NO: 3; Does President Obama bear some responsibility for the sinking stock market? YES: 7 No: 5
CNN's "State of the Union" - Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command; Richard Holbrooke, U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan; Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Fareed talks to President Lula about his recent meeting with Obama, his surprisingly bullish expectations for Brazil's economy, the AIG bonus scandal, and improving U.S. relations with Cuba and Venezuela.
"Fox News Sunday" - Defense Secretary Robert Gates; Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation.