The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

All-GOP panel finds ethics problems in Democratic party

Whoever came up with the idea for this "round-table discussion" is either a stooge or a moron.

On the October 2 broadcast of CBS' Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer convened a panel of three Republican congressmen to discuss, in his words, "all of these problems that have suddenly beset the Republican party." Schieffer stated that he did not invite any Democrats to be on the panel because the discussion focused on "a Republican problem," and he "wanted to give [Republicans] a chance to talk about it." While Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz in an online chat the next day said that in light of the discussion topic, the makeup of the Face the Nation panel was "not unreasonable," Schieffer's failure to provide balance or critical questioning allowed the Republican guests to make unchallenged claims about the motivations of the prosecutor in the conspiracy charges against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), attack congressional Democrats, and provide partisan analysis in areas unrelated to recent GOP ethics problems, such as President Bush's tax cuts.

Wow. Talk about the party of ideas. Or more appropriately, the party of squelching ideas.

This story also reminds me of growing up with a father who watched all the Sunday political shows. As a child, I marvelled at what sort of complex, grown-up must be under debate by these powerful and influential men. When I became a politically active adult, I realized that it wasn't any different from playground scuffles-- it just came with a suit and tie. That's why I don't watch the steaming sacks of dog poopie. Maybe they were once forums for genuine debate, but now they're a farce.

On the other hand, I do remember being in awe of John Chancellor's evening commentaries as a lad. As in a first-grader. Not that I had much of an idea of what he was talking about. The guy just made a lasting impression on me.