Friday, November 12, 2010

Rand Paul, Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow

I believe the world would change (or would have already changed) if Rachel Maddow gave Rand Paul an interview that looked (and especially felt) like the one she gave with Jon Stewart. The important thing here is what she let him say and how it did not destroy the mood. It suggests the following utopian vision:

Rand Paul is president. Jon Stewart is the host of the Late Show (that IS going to happen, right?)*. And Rachel Maddow anchors the evening news.

*Update: if you want to feel that this "IS" going to happen watch this clip.


JTWilliams said...

I don't know if you're a Rand fan, but that interview with Rand Paul and MSNBC's Maddow is crucial to understanding why the American people are so divided, and at eachother's throats. Rand had announced his candidacy on the Maddow Show, and came back on after he beat the establishment Republican Grayson in the primary. As a grassroots Constitutionalist, and libertarian, Rand Paul (I believe) was truly hoping to talk about the issues that we can agree on. One would think that an independent candidate, who defeated the Republican machine, would be preferable to the true believer/ bleeding heart liberals. Rand Paul doesn't represent the exclusivity of social conservatives, he certainly doesn't support the status-quo of the military-industrial complex. Yet Maddow (as an operative would) chose to harp on the Civil Rights Act issues, philosophical issues that had no relation to Rand's platform, and he had no desire to change the provisions. I think he mentioned the CRA as a case in point example of why we have such a huge government today. Following Maddow's demagoguery, Paul- who had never received or sought the support of the neocon talkers- was forced to retreat back into "friendly territory" to explain his message and his position without the gotcha moment.
Whoever Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, and the rest of MSNBC cast are (I believe they are admitted socialists, but that's just hearsay) I find it hard to believe that these people are simply political commentators. Like Stephanopolis, who interviewed Rand the following weekend, these operatives had their talking points in hand! They pushed their interviews into the direction of the gotcha moment! And to destroy a legitimate grassroots candidate? You would think the leftists would prefer a Rand Paul to a Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich or the like. But they attacked Rand more ruthlessly than any establishment Republican I've ever seen! In conclusion, I fear that there are all kinds of firewalls built in-between liberal Americans, and conservative Americans coming together. For God's sake we all live in the same communities! Our ultimate goals can't be that different! And if we can't have a civilized debate, this country's fate will be decided by the special interests that are sucking us dry.

Thomas said...

Yes, I think "fan" is the right word. Since I'm not an American, and something of a leftists, I can't really be a "supporter". But I very much agree with your description of his treatment in the mainstream, national media. I guess I'm a leftist who would prefer Paul to Cheney—actually I'm a leftist who prefers Paul to Obama. The policy issues that Paul and I disagree on are really "decorative" compared to my objections to the Obama administration. I'm with Norman Mailer, a "Left conservative", "running to the left and to the right of every man in the race".

A Paul administration would simply be more interesting than what we have today. The world you describe, in any case, is the world that would have changed if Maddow gave Paul the same interview she just gave Stewart. You would agree with that, right?

She would have stopped being the liberal "operative" she appears to be today. (I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but I think the sense in which Hannity and O'Reilly "operate" for one side and Maddow and Olbermann "operate" for the other is pretty clear. Likewise, Glenn Beck is the right's Jon Stuart. Conservatives don't enjoy satire like liberals do. They get their catharsis from something more earnest.)

And I do believe that Paul's grassroots support will eventually win him the respect he needs, even in the media. The question, of course, is whether he will get co-opted (corrupted) in the process.