Easter On The Sunday Talk Shows (Don’t Read This If You Are Allergic To Profanity)

I am pissed. Still. Thanks to ABC’s “This Week” and NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

this weekOn Easter Sunday, the producers of “This Week” decided to take  a “closer look at the political power of evangelicals,” who represent only “15 percent of the adult population, yet in 2012 accounted for nearly a quarter of all voters.” Okay, fine. I get it. People need to know that a lot of what is going on in the reactionary Republican Party is due to the ridiculously outsized influence of conservative Christians. You tell ’em, ABC!

But the segment (“Are Evangelicals Out of Touch With Mainstream Views?”) began with a setup piece by ABC News correspondent Dan Harris, who essentially told us that evangelicals were sort of mellowing out, not being so quick to offer their political opinions on divisive social issues like, say, gay marriage. Young folks in the evangelical churches are beginning to see the light. Okay, fine again. The right-wing Christians may be starting to adjust to the reality that they are losing the Culture War. I get that, too. That could be good news for the country. Go ahead and preach it, ABC!

Then a strange thing happened. After the setup piece, host Martha Raddatz introduced the evangelical guests. And guess who they were? The same old white- and right-wing reactionaries-evangelicals: Franklin Graham, Billy’s son; Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, whatever the hell that is; and the sleazy Ralph Reed, the corrupt former leader of the old Christian Coalition, who was involved in one of Jack Abramoff’s scandals but now leads another Christian group that is damaging the country.ralph reed book

Conveniently for Ralph Reed, ABC News showed a picture of his new book for sale, after having previously promoted it on George Stephanopoulos’ blog. The book, “Awakening,” is subtitled, “How America Can Turn From Economic And Moral Destruction Back To Greatness,” and Chapter 1 begins ominously: “Are we watching our nation commit suicide?” If that isn’t puke-worthy enough, Reed writes:

…there is no denying that the United States, like Rome, is experiencing the downward spiral of the spiritual cycle today. As Americans have sought pleasure and comfort, they have rejected God and His law and substituted the twin idols of self-gratification and government.

Yep. Gubmint is the problem. So much for youthful moderation and the mellowing out of evangelicals.

But forgetting the unseemly Ralph Reed and his government-hating book, what really galled me about “This Week” was the following conversation between the host and the Reverend Franklin Graham:

RADDATZ: You heard Dan’s piece there and certainly the issue of gay marriage has been a big one. Reverend Graham, I want to ask you about this: just a few months after taking office, Pope Francis spoke out on the issue of homosexuality, saying if they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized, the tendency to homosexuality is not the problem. They’re our brothers. You recently said that Congress could learn something from President Vladimir Putin on the issue of homosexuals and adoption. Let’s take a look at what you said:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: Gays and lesbians cannot have children. Biologically it’s impossible.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: OK. It’s not but —

GRAHAM: Yes, they can recruit. I think — I agreed with Putin; I think protecting his nation’s children, I think, was probably a pretty smart thing to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RADDATZ: I suspect you still support that, what you said. You still support Putin?

GRAHAM: No, I think — I think Putin is going to do what’s right for Russia. And not what’s right for America, but for Russia. We used to have a president in this country that did what’s right for this country. But we don’t seem to have that right now.

Dammit! I just can’t take that crap anymore. Why does any respectable news outlet put such trash on television, especially without challenging it? What bleeping president was Graham referring to when he ungrammatically said, “We used to have a president in this country that did what’s right for this country”? Nixon? Was it the disgraced Richard Nixon, the man with whom Franklin Graham’s father essentially had phone sex and with whom he agreed that “Jews” had a “stranglehold” on the American news media? Why didn’t Martha Raddatz mention that to Franklin Graham, after he said such a stupid thing about President Obama?

Or why didn’t she mention that Billy Graham privately heaped praise on the racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic Nixon, by saying, “Congratulations on everything,” and “I believe the Lord is with you, I really do”? 

Why didn’t Raddatz say to the Obama-loathing Franklin Graham, “You say Obama isn’t doing what’s right for the country. By that do you mean that he should sit in the Oval Office and spout racist and homophobic and anti-Semitic nonsense because the ‘Lord’ is with him? What Lord might that be? The Lord of the Flies? GOP Jesus?”

Or why didn’t Raddatz mention that a young Franklin Graham, by his father’s own account, said that Nixon was “the greatest president that we’ve ever had in the history of America”? Huh? That’s the same racist president who called blacks “little Negro bastards” and said they “live like a bunch of dogs” and needed to be “inbred” in order to “strengthen our country” in “500 years.” 

Of course Raddatz didn’t ask him a bleeping thing about any of that stuff. I guess evangelical preachers get a stupidity pass on Easter. Or maybe Martha was feeling all Jesussy in the company of such godly men.

Dammit, I’m still seething.

Now on to NBC’s “Meet the Press” and a comment that touches on Graham’s claim as to whether President Obama is in the business of “doing what’s right for this country” or whether he is sitting in the White’s House worrying about whether everyone thinks he is George S. Patton with balls the size of Dick Cheney’s Wyoming.meet the press

Host David Gregory was leading a discussion on the Russian thug Vladimir Putin and his takeover of Crimea and his threatening to take over eastern Ukraine, when all of a sudden out comes the following from one of the program’s conservative commentators:

DAVID BROOKS: And, let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a—I’ll say it crudely—but a manhood problem in the Middle East: Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair. But certainly in the Middle East, there’s an assumption he’s not tough enough.

Are you bleeping kidding me? Was I hallucinating this stuff? A “manhood problem”? A bleeping manhood problem, Mr. Brooks? And you think “a lot of the rap is unfair”? How much is a lot? A fifth? A third? A half? Were you suggesting that there was some way the President should demonstrate to people in the Middle East how tough he is by talking like a badass to the thugs causing all the trouble?

You mean maybe he should talk like a Chicago street thug, huh? Maybe he should say to Putin, “Hey, you mofo, if you don’t quit fucking around in Ukraine then, then, then, then, I’m going to send a lot of American boys and girls over there to die!”

Or he could say to Assad, “You bastard son of a bitch, if you don’t get the hell out of Damascus I’m going to, to, to, to, send a lot of American kids over there to get their arms and legs blown off!”

Or, “If any of you Russian or Middle East shitheads mess with me, I’ll drop World War III on your sorry asses.”

Yeah, that’ll show everyone how tough Obama is. That’s the way the President of the United States can properly project American strength in this world. And if the thugs don’t believe him, if he fails to convince them that he is a truly a tough guy, then, by God, Obama can send someone’s kids to die for his Cheney-approved machismo. Then maybe John McCain and Lindsey Graham and all those in the Middle East who think Obama is a pussy will be happy. Americans will die, but, dammit, presidential and American face will be saved!

Apparently that’s what we need right now. Someone who will do what is right for the country by talking us into another war.

Assholes.

13 Comments

  1. King Beauregard

     /  April 21, 2014

    There’s one bright spot in this, in one of their lies:

    “Young folks in the evangelical churches are beginning to see the light.”

    Young folks in the evangelical churches are rejecting their elders, and leaving in droves. The Religious Right is dying because they can’t appeal to the young. I’m not even saying they “don’t know how”, I mean they simply can’t.

    Like

    • Related to what you say, I read an article this morning that confirms it, but also confirms that the reactionaries are digging in:

      Like

  2. Troy

     /  April 21, 2014

    Ain’t that the truth!

    Like

  3. Bbob

     /  April 21, 2014

    Amen, brother.

    Like

  4. Yesterday’s Sunday screeds were the worst yet. I couldn’t stand to watch but my brother did. There is now a tide that will not subside.The misinformation and outright lies have done the job.

    Like

    • I expect the politicians to come on those shows and attempt to spin things. But I also expect the journalists to be prepared for such spin and, like Tim Russert did so well at times, pin them down until they give up and tell the truth or get pissed. That is what is missing in so many of these shows.

      Like

  5. Anytime belief is substituted for reasoning, as in evangelical circles, life gets worse for the practitioners. They have to wear stupid clothes, and/or eat stupid things, and/or say stupid things, and/or behave in stupid ways.

    I don’t understand why people willingly subject themselves to such strictures. Oh, right! They don’t reason.

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    • If you read some of those strictures in Leviticus, you wonder how people would, as you say, willingly submit to such nonsense. One is tempted to say that, well, that was in ancient times and people were ignorant. Yet, we know the Greeks of Ionia were trying to escape such nonsense, by way of a non-supernatural explanation of the world. So it wasn’t just the times that explains it. Added to that is the fact that all over the world there are people wearing oppressive clothing and eating certain foods and chanting silly things, here in the 21st century. I’m afraid I don’t understand it either, my friend.

      Like

  6. The problem is tribalism. Herb VanFleet had a good column on that in this morning’s Joplin Globe, saying essentially that despite advances of science and technology, human beings are still primarily motivated by multi-layered tribalism. In the species homo-sapiens, tribalism trumps reason. Tribes include families, combat units, congregations, religions, and political parties. And, oh yes, perhaps the strangest of all, athletic fandom, something that sometimes leads people to riot about contests between people they don’t even personally know. The term also include nations, but that affiliation is only strong when there is an external threat, and that is what the hawks are appealing to when they speak of “showing his manhood”.

    By disparaging the president’s manhood for preferring the leverage of the global economy, something new in the history of nations, to violence, Franklin Graham, David Brooks, and others are reverting to raw tribalism. It is cowardly and hypocritical because they can’t really lose. It’s not their party holding the Executive branch. If the president succumbs to their taunts and turns to violence, it is he whom history will hold accountable.

    Like

    • That is so right, Jim. Because they are out of the White House, Republicans can say all kinds of things that are primarily designed to undermine the president, who has to make real-world decisions that affect real people. Life and death is in his hands, not theirs. And they know that, which is why they say such irresponsible things.

      Like

  7. ninjanurse

     /  April 23, 2014

    A lot of the religious right propaganda the past few years redefines good things as bad through some crazy mystical reversal. For instance, why would a government that makes life better for most people not be doing its job? Why would wanting to be happy in this life be a sin? And how on earth can Franklin Graham say that the president who resigned in disgrace was greater than that Republican, Abraham Lincoln? They should have call-in questions on these shows.

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    • I couldn’t agree more. It’s a crazy mystical reversal, for sure. Take Medicaid expansion, which would make millions of people better off, at no cost to the states. Yet, making people better off is trumped by a visceral dislike for this president and his determination to help folks who need help. Republicans won’t budge in some very red states and even here in Missouri. And I would bet that every one of them are in some form or another a “Christian,” at least in name.

      Like

  1. Easter On The Sunday Talk Shows (Don’t Read This If You Are Allergic To Profanity) | KANSAS MEDIOCRITY
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