Ex-Representative and deadbeat dad Joe Walsh likes to troll on Twitter for attention, and sometimes that trolling lands him a space on cable television, which is always good for his career even when he's being a jerk.
Today was one of those days. Yesterday Walsh started a Twitter war with CNN commentator Angela Rye by complaining that President Obama was held to a lower standard than Trump has been because he was our first Black president.
Yeah, it's stupid and it's a troll, but it got lots of attention, so Brooke Baldwin had both of them on to discuss it.
For ten full minutes, they went at it. We have only clipped the ending here, because ten minutes was about 9 minutes, 59 seconds too long.
Walsh's lame defense of his remarks went like this.
"When Angela was making her case, she said that Barack Obama somehow had to live up to this perfect Jesus Christ standard that no other president had to live up to," he said. "I find that laughable. And it's got nothing, again, to do with race."
Sure it doesn't.
He went on. "Never in our country's history have we had a president so coddled and pampered and protected by the media like Barack Obama. You talk -- that's not a high standard, Brooke. He was held to a very low standard, because the media so loved him."
Rye had her response ready. "That is what makes you a bigot, Joe."
And off they went, with Walsh claiming white liberals were soft on Obama because of some bizarro-land white guilt and pride in electing a Black guy.
Again, Rye repeated her statement that Walsh is a bigot.
After he went on about how Obama had no experience when he landed in the White House, Rye disabused him of that, too. She reminded him that he was a constitutional professor, a state senator for 10 years, and a United States Senator for 4 years before being elected to the presidency.
When Walsh kicked up a fuss about that, Rye just reminded him that Barack Obama served as a United States Senator longer than Walsh did a U.S. Representative.
Finally, Brooke Baldwin cut off the melee with some sad words about civility and respect.
Here's the thing. When Jon Lovett called out CNN's format to have the "pro-con" points of view on in order to televise and glorify conflict, he was 100 percent right. There was absolutely nothing to be gained by taking a Twitter battle onto the air, especially when one of those involved is a has-been deadbeat dad ex-Congressman who is a sorry excuse for a right-wing radio host now.
For Walsh, it was a win. He just got ten minutes online to fire up the bigots who listen to his show and whine to his Twitter followers.
For Rye, it was an opportunity to call him what he is. It's not name-calling to point out a bigot and name his words for what they are.
But in the end, viewers were not informed about much of anything, because what was there actually to be informed about? There will be viewers (like me) who know Walsh is a bigot. And there will be viewers like Walsh who suck up that kind of talk like candy. In the end, it does nothing to advance the national conversation.
CNN, you can do better than this. Angela Rye is a gifted and articulate commentator on any number of issues. Use her talents more wisely and drop Joe Walsh from your guest list altogether.