I think it has a lot to do with the loss of Tim Russert and the silence of George Will.
You know how when you lose somebody - it kinda leaves a hole in the world for awhile. The untimely passing of Tim Russert left a giant hole in the political world that has yet to be filled.
I catch a lotta flak for my Sunday morning habits. I have to watch "Meet The Press" and "Face the Nation". I've been doing this since I was about seven years old. I used to get my "cup of coffee", with its cup of milk and six tablespoons of sugar, and sit next to my granddad, absolutely in awe of all those really smart people talking about stuff that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or General Eisenhower would have talked about.
I don't think that the wikileaks "happening" would have its present significance nor would the Fox enabled Tea Party been able to have gained the legs that it did if Tim were around. Tim Russert was the connection to the intelligent, civil, political discourse that had manifested itself in this country for over half a century.
When I say stuff like this I get a bunch of abuse from my
lefty compatriots. And, they are
right about just about every complaint they have with my "naïve",
"propagandized" observations - except for one. There are some things that just really can't be explained - they just are. And the
significance of the loss of Tim Russert is one of those things.
After Tim died, I felt lost on Sunday mornings (I probably would have moved to Big Sur already if it wasn't for Bob Schieffer). Months later, I found myself, one Sunday morning, hanging on every word that George Will said. Fortunately, there was a mirror close by and I caught a glimpse of myself - oh, the shame and humiliation! Why in the hell was I doing that? I needed a touchstone. I needed Sunday morning grounding.
As time went by I would find myself slipping back to "This Week" to listen to what George Will had to say. As Fox became more prevalent on my radar, I would wait to see if George would say anything about the disgusting journalistic circus going on over there - these folks are wearing his jersey. If he commented on the mess over there, I never heard it. Then I discovered that not only was he not speaking out about the destruction of his profession - he was writing op-eds for the Fox website.
If Fox News were a baseball team, George would be indignant, appalled and very, very vocal. The journalistic world has become unhinged and unmoored. If there really ever was any real popular trust in the talking heads - it's gone now. The current wikileaks extravaganza, unfortunately, is going to be how large portions of this country are made to feel empowered and safe. There are some things that "just are" and some things that shouldn't be.