Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can We Have a BBC America for America?

Okay, I know that doesn't make sense. But I've been enjoying BBC America so much lately, it makes me wish some American TV were more like it.

Not that we don't have a lot to be proud of here in the US of A. The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Fringe, Lost, 30 Rock, The Simpsons... all are among the best TV has to offer. And we export programming, too, like the perfectly named Amazing Race. I vividly remember being a little homesick in Milan, and how great it was to come across The Daily Show: Global Edition while channel surfing.

I actually wish we got to see more of those exports here. In fact, the only thing that will ease my pain when Celebrity Apprentice ends will be my delight when The Apprentice UK starts airing on BBCA.

But we could import more, too. For example, I wish our TV news were more like
World News America. And with all the excitement about Susan Boyle, don't you wish someone here would run Britain's Got Talent? Hell, NBC could run it instead of the lesser America's Got Talent, for my money. No offense to The Hoff.

And my absolute favorite cooking show is Gordon Ramsay's The F Word. I'd love to see an American version... but only if they don't fox it up the way they did Kitchen Nightmares. (If you have only seen the horror-show American Kitchen Nightmares, you owe it to yourself to see the U.K. version, which is actually funny and heartwarming.)

If we can't import all of British TV, can we at least import Cat Deeley?

MSNBC's Conundrum

I've asked before how it's possible for MSNBC to permit Joe Scarborough and the other Morning Joe Know-Nothings to regularly recite GOP talking points that Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow have already proved false. I still think a news operation should only hold one set of truths. If something's a lie at night, it's a lie the next morning. End of story.

But there's another, increasingly troubling dilemma facing MSNBC. Olbermann and Maddow regularly call out crooks and liars on Fox and CNN for their Worst Personhood. But they never call out Scarborough for saying the same crap or worse.

I get it. There's clearly either an official gag order or a self-imposed truce. I get that it would be boring for the hosts to just keep lobbing charges at each other night and morning. That it's probably best to just say that "inside the MSNBC family" is off-limits.

But it is a little weird to criticize Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly for saying something while letting Scarborough off scot-free. And it creates a dangerous lack of balance.

When Fox News calls MSNBC a "far-left smear machine" etc. it always strikes me as odd. After all, MSNBC surrenders a huge amount of airtime to Scarborough and his cast of bobbleheads. (Actual Mika counterpoint the other day to a Scarborough rant: "I don't... I mean, isn't... I just...We need to get to... some... " Good one, Mika!) And Pat Buchanan is on camera throughout the day, every day. Who are Fox News' Scarborough and Buchanan?

In order for Fox to criticize MSNBC they must pretend Joe Scarborough doesn't exist. And Olbermann and Maddow are clearly pretending Scarborough doesn't exist. And while everyone on cable news is pretending Scarborough doesn't exist, he just keeps spewing his lies and spraying his bile, unchallenged.

What, him worry?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday Joe Scarborough Would Hate Monday Joe Scarborough

On Saturday, Joe Scarborough tweeted:

"Have a great weekend and try to have a long conversation with someone with whom you genuinely disagree. Show respect and learn something."

I was stunned, since this is the absolute antithesis of every molecule of Joe Scarborough's existence. His snide, sarcastic, loathsome existence.

So I broke my promise to myself and watched a few minutes of Morning Joe today... at least until my projectile vomiting started. For today Scarborough was back to his old self, sniffing and huffing that President Obama's shaking Hugo Chavez' offered hand, even in a non-ceremonial setting, was like a tongue-kiss to fascism and an invitation to invasion.

What a douche.