The Sunday morning network news/interview programs used to have a certain cachet. Led by Meet The Press—the oldest such entity having debuted scant months after your favorite blogger emerged from the womb—these shows often presented newsmakers actually making news. That is, many politicians would drop by offering their ideas and opinions. Lo and behold, many of these ideas and opinions were thoughtful, logical, and offered valuable insight into how our nation was being run or could be run if these ideas were implemented.

The press, for its part, knew not to take these ideas and opinions at face value and were capable of…even more importantly…desirous of asking probing questions and challenging the interview subjects to expose hidden agendas and self-serving interests.

Those of us at home tuned in, probably on a VHF TV channel brought into the home via rabbit ears or a roof antenna requiring frequent adjustment to receive the proper frequency.

Not that these shows necessarily provided a fully sating seven course gourmet dinner of politics and policy. But they did treat us to a healthy appetizer that many Americans used as incentive to surfeit their own intellectual curiosity by..and this is the funny part…searching on their own for the ingredients needed to complete the meal and possibly even add a scrumptious dessert by voting for candidates for office based on issues not images.

Okay, perhaps my notions and memories are more romance than reality. We have always had craven politicians willing to say or do pretty much anything to advance their careers and political visions, visions that could turn into nightmares for their constituencies. And there were members of the press (now the all-inclusive media) who, if not acceding to these politicians’ visions, at least did little to impede them. You can explore on your own the history of the usual suspect known as Exhibit A, Tailgunner Joe McCarthy.

Today these Sunday morning not so much news shows are akin to a Sunday much more than you can healthily stomach breakfast brunch buffet. Instead of being greeted by friendly, efficient, underpaid servers in tidy aprons catering to your needs, these shows are hosted by obsequious interchangeable overpaid hosts who cater to the delusions of their guests rather than to an audience hungering for genuine political analysis and a cogent and valid interpretation of verifiable facts that may affect their lives. Indeed the facts served are anything but, the equivalent of the near tasty pastrami on rye that is, in truth, nothing but an artificially formed collection of ground turkey parts including the gobble.

Watching these shows on the cable outlet of your local government’s choice today leads one to recognize they have descended into an agglomeration of unpalatable sound bites consisting of rehashed talking points and red meat lies seasoned with the crusty overlay of a virtual packet of Shake and Bake adding no intellectual nutritional value but which merely disguises a paucity of real ideas.

Of late the focus has been on the venerable Meet The Press and its devolution of emcees from the (inexplicably) revered Tim Russert to the nearly universally condemned David Gregory (known as “Stretch” to George W. Bush—whether for his lanky height or his elastic credulity is unknown) to the…no not King of Kings…but Tool of Tools Chuck Todd.

Todd, who made his NBC bones as network White House Correspondent and MSNBC morning commentator, is facile to the extreme. Since he took over MTP he has drawn fire for being a Republican lackey. Oh, who the hell cares?

True nourishment for your political health is as rare on network and cable TV news shows…Sunday or any other day…as nourishment for your corporeal survival is in a steady diet of nothing but bacon and M&M’s.

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  • Devildog  On October 25, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    FEAR not!

  • Little_Minx  On October 25, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Calvin Trillin has aptly referred to these shows and their panelists as the “Sabbath Gasbags.”

  • toadsly  On October 25, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    I prefer the written word.

    • Devildog  On October 25, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      The Bible?

      • Little_Minx  On October 27, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        “COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey.”

  • MiniMe  On October 28, 2014 at 5:07 AM

    Bacon and M&Ms have three essential food groups – saturated fats, chocolate and refined white sugar. How could this ever be bad? But a diet of constant bullshit is certain to ruin your health (intellectual or otherwise).

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