Media Debates on Network TV: The 500 Pound Gorilla in a “Room of Jackasses”


MSNBC, with its empire loving moderators, held the 2nd of two great ‘nights of comedy’ last evening. With an audience made up of nice folks, a majority of whom don’t have a clue as to how the Two Party/One Party scam affects them, it made great theater. Here’s what this writer observed of what went down:

  • For the one hour and forty five minutes that I stayed with it, the moderators made sure to once again, for the 2nd straight night, stay clear of the Neo Con militarism and vital foreign policy issues. Maybe they felt obligated to cover Iran in the last 15 minutes, but by then the die was already cast. The night before, it took Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, when asked the one of maybe two questions she received, to change the subject and bring up what she  and too few a number of Americans  felt was crucial. That being our obscene militarism and phony wars in the Middle East. Gabbard focused on our 17 year occupation of Afghanistan. Of course, the phony television/news talk hosts just passed on any real opening for debate on that ‘too hot to handle’ subject. After all, they knew that the Jackass party is ‘on point’ with the other party on increased militarism and military spending. Again, when Ms. Gabbard brought up the overkill spending and how it was going to bankrupt us… Silence from the lambs of empire.

Last night the aforementioned subject was not even brought up by the moderators or for that matter most of the Jackasses on stage. Perhaps ‘Feel the Bern’ may have inserted it into one of his responses, but it was NEVER made into a real and crucial talking point. Instead, they did what every previous Jackass party outline covered, important issues (yes, they all are) like healthcare, immigration, racial injustice and a woman’s right to choose. Agreed, they all are vital issues, but damn it, so is this Military Industrial Empire! How many in the audience even realized (well, the corporate mainstream media will never inform them of this) that more than HALF of their federal tax money goes for military related spending? How many knew (or even cared, sadly) that the cost of keeping a soldier in Afghanistan is over ONE Million Dollars a year? As my old street corner activist, the late, great Walt DeYoung would say ‘Nuff Said’.

  • On the subject of health care, especially the new ‘Flavor of the month’ Medicare for All, the female moderator in part one of last night’s Jackass debate actually attempted to pin Sanders down with the (oh my goodness) dirty word of Socialism. She asked others to weigh in on (God Forbid) the use of socialism for our country’s ails. I think she even, later on, referred to Sanders as inspiring a new Revolution for America. I kid you not! So, Sanders was being painted as some radical Commie attempting to stir the flames of revolution here in good old America. Disgraceful! Then, oh how ‘Feel the Bern’ needed to be taken to task because he dares to suggest that the private insurers should NOT be part of his plan. That is actually treasonous! Of course, the rest of the Jackasses, even the ones who label themselves as progressive, did not agree with forcing private insurers out completely. (Please note that  the problem Sanders creates with this rhetoric is this: In a fully government run Medicare for All, the private insurers  can still exist, just NOT part of the new plan. If anyone wishes to purchase insurance through private insurers, let them… just not as part of a 100% government run plan. He needed to make that clear to the minions who were watching).
  • To highlight the utter lack of sophistication of both the audience and the moderators (or was it intentional when it comes to the moderators?) Senator Gillibrand introduced something in one of her retorts that fell on totally deaf ears. She actually made one of the most vital points by saying that until we have public funding of all elections, without the current obscenity of private money allowed, we will never have a true democracy. The audience and the phony corporate ‘journalists’ just ignored that point, which should have been one of the first issues discussed in any debate. Well, they had to do that, and here is why: In the 2008 election, candidate McCain received over 7 million dollars from the health care industry. Candidate Obama received… over 21 million dollars! You think his (tongue in cheek) plea for a ‘Public Option’ for buying into Medicare had a chance? So, he gave us Obama Care, which recruited over 40 million new customers for the private insurers.

Nothing was really accomplished by those two evenings of  Jackass (so called) debates. The interesting point to be made here is that the other party, the Bloated Elephants, would have spent much of their two hours in any debate by saluting the flag they hijacked and climbing over each other to see who wants to spend more of your tax money on militarism and phony wars. Either way, the serfs will continue to get what they sadly deserve by their ignorance of what really matters.  The rest of us, the ones who see through this delusion, will be the ‘baby with the bathwater’.


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Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 300 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at [email protected].

Featured image is Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

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Articles by: Philip A Farruggio

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