Culture of Truth: Lifeblood of the Pundits

                                       Listen laugh, weep

                                       Listen laugh, weep

April 13, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

If it's Sunday, it's another day of substance-free gossip shows about politics, not policy.

On Obamacare, Meet the Press panelists Paul Gigot and Mike Murphy bashed the law, Rep. Donna Edwards defended it, and Kara Swisher, auditioning, she hinted, to take David Brook's place, used the word “debacle” twice, and “disaster” three times. Responding to Rep. Edwards, David Gregory got philosophical, saying quote:

“The problem, Congresswoman, is that there's a lot we still don't know. That's a reality. You can't anticipate all the consequences of ObamaCare.”

Gregory quoted Paul Gigot on the politics of the law, and then turned for a rebuttal, to Paul Gigot.

We then got an interview of Kathleen Sebelius by Andrea Mitchell. It was a typical Beltway interview, long on gossip and passive voice accusations, devoid of substance.

Questions Andrea Mitchell asked the former HHS Secretary:

- “Should you have delayed the rollout and tried to get it right the first time?”

- “One of the things that has been written is that there was so much attention being paid as to whether the insurance companies would offer enough choices, but not enough was paid to, just, the website”

- “Did the White House oversell it?”

- “Along the way, what was your low point?”

- “then there's all the sort of back sniping. This is Washington, after all. People are asking, 'Were you pushed or did you jump?'”

 

Back with the panel, Gregory, trying to avoid substance, said, about Kathleen Sebelius, “Alright, so the pure political question, is the resignation a sign of ObamaCare's success or failure? Republicans were quick to pounce on that this week up in New Hampshire. Ted Cruz, Scott Brown talking about it,” and after playing a quote from non-office holder Scott Brown, said:

“This is why people love politics. How long did it take to come up with that line? But Paul Gigot, this is the political question, right? This is not about actuarial science. It's who's going to win the fight over whether ObamaCare is a good thing or a bad thing, government run amuck or government helping people?”

Mike Murphy agreed, saying “The perception of it, which in politics is reality, is complete failure.”

On voting rights, Gigot asked, quote “If voter I.D. were about voter disenfranchisement, why was African American turnout so much greater in 2012?” While Gregory asked “How powerful is the issue?”

 

Swisher wanted to talk about voting by smartphone, since, “you get your groceries delivered, you get your, you know, Amazon is suddenly going to bring drones some day, and I think they probably will actually.”

 

There was a lengthy segment from Boston Harbor, where Gregory interviewed city officials, with an emphasis on the heroism of first responders, while Harry Smith tied the response to the bombings to Lexington and Concord.

 

The show also had a segment praising the Gettysburg Address, where Ken Burns helpfully noted that at his website you can hear Bill O'Reilly and David Gregory recite the Gettysburg Address.

The panel gravely wondered what would happen if Lincoln lived in an age of twitter and pundits, with Ken Burns speculating that the media would write "The president came to Gettysburg to distract attention from this disastrous military campaign out West."

But the most absurd moments came speculating about whether Jeb Bush would run for President, and just how wonderful he is.

On  ABC This Week Ana Navarro assured us that the Bush name won't be a liability, since quote “frankly, George W. Bush's numbers are better than Obama's,” to which Republican Matt Dowd replied quote “That's not actually true.”

Navarro continued, undaunted, saying, “whenever you see George W. Bush it's in three instances. He's either helping a kid with malaria in Africa; he's helping a wounded warrior... or you know, doing paint by numbers. He's become non-controversial.”

 

On Meet the Press, Gregory said “A lot of talk this week about Jeb Bush” and then he turned to Mike Murphy, a former advisor to Jeb Bush.

 

The former Jeb Bush employee frankly loves Jeb Bush, but Murphy is sad because “leadership has been replaced in American politics by marketing. We micro target, micro pander, let's focus group and figure out how to win, you know, this, win that.” unquote

 

But Jeb Bush is here to end cheap tactics, like focus groups, pandering, and winning. Murphy said “we've lost sight of politicians who tell you what they think is right, they make an argument for it, and then you figure it out. And that's who Jeb Bush is. He's not a typical weather-vane kind of guy.”

Murphy observed that it's still early, saying “You know, there is a speculation machine in D.C. It's incredible.”

Gregory replied: “Right, it's called our life blood.”

Kara Swisher jumped in, saying quote “That's all you do here, right?” unquote.

Yes it is, Kara, yes it is.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Even the Liberal ....

April 6, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

 

Today the Sunday shows opened up with breaking news – searchers, may or may not, have found possible evidence of the missing plane.

 

On Meet The Press, shifting to a discussion of the most recent mass shooting at Fort Hood, Admiral Mullen explained in the thirteenth year of war soldiers find dealing with personal and financial problems at home as difficult as combat.

 

David Gregory asked Mullen why military bases don't have better security, and if the answer to shootings on bases is more guns. Mullen disagreed; Gregory then asked if militant Islamists will take over Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

Gregory then had on Shaun McCutcheon, the prevailing plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court decision eliminating aggregate limits on campaign contributions, who explained the decision was a victory for free speech. When Gregory asked if such contributions do not lead to corruption and a potential quid pro quo with the donor and candidate, he insisted it's about “we the people.”

 

Later, Meet The Press reporter Kevin Tibbles visited a town of 50 people in Nebraska, and discovered that the Keystone Pipeline would revive the fortunes of the town, by bringing in new customers and allowing the local bar to buy a new air conditioner.

 

Michael Lewis came on to explain the solution the high speed trading on Wall Street, which will probably lead to another financial crisis, is not more regulation, no doubt to everyone's relief.

 

But it was the Meet The Press panel, as usual, that provided the most absurd moments. The “expert” panel consisted of conservative John Sununu, conservative Kathleen Parker, the founder of AOL, Steve Case, and pretend-liberal Harold Ford.

 

Addressing Obamacare reaching its goal of over 7 million signups, the Meet The Press panel of course declared it a total failure. Gregory played an ad by Americans for Prosperity, and Sununu announced that Obamacare had spent $2 trillion to reduce uninsured by 3%. Parker said it the law was a disaster, and even the liberal Harold Ford agreed, saying Obama should not be doing a victory lap, because frankly his friends John and Kathleen raised legitimate questions that need to be answered.

 

On the Supreme Court decision, Steve Case said social media now makes money in politics irrelevant, Sununu said each person gets one vote, so money in politics is unimportant, Kathleen Parker said people are free to ignore ads on television so money in politics doesn't matter, and even the liberal Harold Ford agreed, saying the court decision is “a positive thing” because it empowers candidates, shocking everyone by saying that on this particular issue, he disagrees with “his Democratic friends” .

 

On the Keystone Pipeline, David Gregory observed that once you leave the snobbish elite enclave of Washington DC, you learn that people don't care about environmental regulations. He then asked Post columnist Parker to tell us all about regular Americans. She said Barack Obama should adopt this town, approve the pipeline, and “watch that city blossom like a desert flower.”

 

Even the liberal Harold Ford agreed, practically calling the President a liar for not already approving the pipeline, insisting the pipeline would affect climate change, saying the economics in favor of approving “are clear,” as for safety, well there are thousands of miles of pipeline all across the country, so what's a few more.

 

So, today on the Meet the Press we learned Obamacare is still definitely a failure, and a disaster; more money in politics is empowering, but because of Twitter and Facebook, candidates don't need money anymore anyway; and middle America wants a pipeline to run right through it, and it will revive tiny towns all across the land... and we know all this must be true, because even the liberal Harold Ford agrees.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Sunday Madness

                                                Listen

                                                Listen

Mar 23, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak


Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

Click to read the full Bobblespeak

Click to read the full Bobblespeak

It's time for March madness, but on the Sunday shows, madness comes every month of the year.

On the missing Malaysian airlines flight, Bob Hager and Michael Chertoff said we need to “investigate the private lives of the cockpit crew” and “one of the key issues will be what do they find in the background of the pilots.”

Rich Lowry surprised even David Gregory by insisting Obamacare can be repealed in 2017, while the President of the NCAA came on talk about the great reforms the NCAA would love to implement if only they didn't oppose them.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said, if a young man or a young woman with all the expenses they have, legitimate expenses as a student athlete, including this so-called stipend, that extra amount of money, “I think that makes great sense and I think it'd be very valuable to the students”... on more education he said “provide them with a commitment for a lifelong education, at least to finish that Bachelor's degree, they want to come back and finish? Great. Let them come back and finish. I think that's terrific.”

And “Making sure that they have all the resources available to be successful so that they're set up for the rest of their life. That's what we want.”

All well and good, but the NCAA doesn't actually do any of those things.

On Ukraine, it's all about who's tougher, American or Vladimir Putin!

On This Week, Martha Raddatz spent several minutes reminiscing about the Cold War, while speaking over a clip of the movie "The Hunt for Red October," she said, “For decades and decades, it was the stuff of nightmares. Both imagined and real. East versus West. Good versus evil. Spy versus spy.”


On Meet the Press, Gregory asked Representative Mike Rogers, about Vladmir Putin, “Do you think President Obama has done enough to stop him?” Rogers didn't take the bait, but said quote “we have to take a tough stand with our European partners.”


Andrea Mitchell agreed, saying “the weak link here is Angela Merkel, the Germans, and the rest of the Europeans, who are reluctant to take tough steps. They've been remarkably weak.”  While, David Brooks helpfully observed “you don't go invading other countries”

Rogers wants to send noncombatant-military aid, while noted military affairs expert Rich Lowry wants to send Ukraine weapons, and quote “sanctions that really inflict severe pain.”

Gregory is worried about America's image, asking “What does it take for the U.S. to singularly use its influence today as opposed to in earlier years?”

Things got really strange when Gregory reduced the situation in Ukraine to a fight between the United States of American and Vladimir Putin, and turned to America's foremost expert in foreign and military issues, David Brooks.

He asked, “What does it take for the U.S. to regain the upper hand in this fight with Vladimir Putin, David Brooks?”

Brooks: “Fear. I think President Obama has been quite good, quite aggressive. He's been out front with sanctions. The sanctions are beginning to hurt. But there are two things the sanctions are never going to do."

“One is overcome the Russian mentality. They're thinking, "We handled Stalingrad. We had people starving in the streets and we still won. So we can endure a little economic suffering. Second, the psychology of fear. Who do you fear? I think the president has been very aggressive, predictable, especially given our alliances. But does Vladimir Putin fear Barack Obama?"

“And to create that climate of fear, you have to do something really aggressive. Something that will put Putin back on his heels. And frankly, I think if this thing continues to escalate, I can give you an idea of arming Ukraine, giving them some actual weapons to have a good, deterrent effect, is someplace to get ahead.”


So in a situation involving national, ethnic and tribal identity, self-determination, international law, trade, control of resources, corruption in government, use of force, and sovereignty, the best minds of the Sunday talk shows believe the the answer lies in being tough, inflicting hurt, severe pain, suffering, and fear, and for the nation and the President to use the psychology of fear and to be really aggressive to create a climate of fear.


And that's the most ridiculous thing that's happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Fruitless Sundays

Listen beginning midnight

Listen beginning midnight

Mar 16, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

sThere was a lot to cover on the Sunday shows, with a Malaysian airlines Boeing 777 still missing, Russian incursions into Ukraine, and David Gregory's need to devote part of his show to criticizing President Obama.

We learned the missing plane either landed or crashed over South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle east, Australia, the Pacific Ocean or the Indian Ocean.


On This Week, addressing the missing plane, Representative Peter King said “there's been no terrorist connections whatsoever, there's been no terrorist chatter,” and “The fact is, nothing has come out indicating a terrorist connection,” but also “I still have questions about the two Iranians who were on the plane. But again, that could be a side issue.”

 

When George Stephanopoulos asked, “What's your biggest question about the Iranians?” King replied, “Just the fact that they were there and written off so quickly as having any threat,” and “it just creates a terrorist atmosphere,” but then followed up quote “Having said that, there's nothing showing it. I just wouldn't rule it out now is all.”

King also said “I wish the FBI were over there,” and said “Malaysia, for whatever reason, has been resisting” FBI involvement.

On Ukraine, Senator Chris Murphy would not commit to sending weapons but in lieu of guns did suggest sending Ukraine meals ready to eat.

On Meet The Press, David Gregory confronted Senator Jeff Flake with this tough question: “the president two years ago, said Assad's days were numbered. How did he misjudge it?”

Flake responded: “I think we could have done a better job with our policy in Syria.”

Gregory was not satisfied, replying: “But this is the ultimate thing with Russia, as well. Conservative Charles Krauthammer calling it Obama's fruitless accommodationism. Does it invite Russia's Putin to take the action he's taken, or Assad to feel like he's got more staying power, when the president doesn’t follow through with Syria?”

Dick Durbin pointed out Russia invaded Georgia under President Bush and Republicans refused to give the President the authority to use force in Syria. Even Jeff Flake said “I don't think anything the president did or said lended itself to what Putin did here.”

Gregory changed the subject.

Meet The Press sent a reporter to Iowa to observe real Americans in their natural habitat, who reported back, his findings, “They want less bickering and more problem-solving.”The reporter also broke the news that “groups like Americans For Prosperity are already slamming Democrat Bruce Braylee for supporting Obamacare,” and then played a clip from the Americans for Prosperity Ad.

But it was the panel that was truly ridiculous. Gregory's guests were former White House Press Secretary Bob Gibbs, Carolyn Ryan from the New York Times; Israel Ortega from the Heritage Foundation, and Jon Ralston, a political reporter from Nevada.

Gregory opened the panel by announcing the country is “overall in a kind of malaise” and asked “what is driving such disappointment with both parties right now?” What he really meant was Democrats, clarifying quote “the disappointment, Robert. The disappointment that Democrats have in this president, about ObamaCare.”

Gibbs was mostly concern trolling, saying quote “There's no doubt that the rollout for healthcare is still providing a huge hangover and “There's real, real danger that the Democrats could suffer big losses” and speculating this if the President doesn't help Democrats raise money, that would be bad.

But he did point out the public does also not want to completely repeal Obamacare.

Gregory wouldn't have it, responding “Do they want to hear the particulars that Robert' is talking about on healthcare? Or are they kind of thinking, wow, this thing just is kind of a disaster?”

Ralston agreed, saying: “Maybe people don't want it repealed, but they're still upset with healthcare.gov,” and “They may have friends or members of their family who have had problems with healthcare.gov.” He also called the Nevada exchange “an absolute disaster.”

Ralston also observed “voters are going to respond to healthcare.gov, Obamacare” his proof? “That’s why Scott Brown announced by saying 'Obamacare Democrats'.”

Gregory confronted Ortega with tough questions such as “You see motivated Republicans, Israel?” and “Republicans are going to be seen as the wrong side of the those economic issues. Is there something you worry about?”

Ortega assured Gregory Republicans going to be just fine.

After a Harry Smith interview with Bill Maher, Gregory followed up with this observation, “Bill Maher is talking about comparing Republicans and Democrats. We posed this question a little bit earlier on Facebook. Will President Obama be an asset or a liability for Democrats in November? It ties this conversation together. What do you think, Israel?”

Ortega replied “I think it's going to be a liability” while Ryan, from the liberal New York Times, assured us that Democrats are saying that Obama doesn’t care about helping other Democrats, that quote “people have lost trust in President Obama,” and that “Obama has become poison.”

So, to demonstrate what average Americans are thinking, Meet The Press shows an ad by Americans for Prosperity; asks a guy from the Heritage Foundation to if Republicans are motivated, and if Obama is a liability; a Nevada reporter to assure us people are still mad about the health care website and that Scott Brown's campaign announcement shows what the American people are thinking; a reporter from liberal the New York Times to tells us Obama is poison, and even though a Republican Senator won't blame the President for Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine, David Gregory quotes, without factual support, Charles Krauthammer's assertion that Putin and Assad are encouraged by the President's 'fruitless accommodationism.'

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: He's Not Listening

Listen

Listen

Mar 9, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak


Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

Meet The Press has entered the 21st century, with a brand new website, an app with exclusive content sponsored by Shell, and with the host and guests live tweeting during the show, thus giving a long-sought answer to an age-old question: just what are people thinking when they are talking to David Gregory?

Click

Click

Of course, CPAC was this week, so conservatives were in the news and on the Sunday shows. Ted Cruz told Jonathan Karl that he believes he can get President Obama to repeal his signature health care reform law, a signature proposition even Karl called bizarre.

Cruz then announced that Obama's foreign policy is to quote “coddle and appease our enemies” and “you better believe Putin sees in Benghazi four Americans are murdered and nothing happens. There is no retribution.”

 

On Ukraine, When Karl asked “What would you do? Military action?” Cruz replied, “No. No, look, not at all.”

 

Apparently Cruz believes in the power of magic incantations, saying the President should be more like Ronald Reagan, “when he stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and said, 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.' Those words changed the course of history.”

 

On Meet The Press, Peter King compared Rand Paul to isolationist Charles Lindbergh, and commented on the missing plane from Malaysia, “Malaysia has been a hub for Al Qaeda activity. Prior to the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole, there was a meeting in Malaysia. So many of the 9/11 hijackers went through Malaysia.”

Martha Raddatz and david Gregory are pretty sure terrorism must be involved, because of the stolen passports, something even their hawkish guests are not so sure about.

In the panel discussion, Andrea Mitchell talked up Rand Paul and Jeb Bush as leaders of the GOP, while Ron Fournier revealed that he and Ralph Reed like to get together and talk about how to rescue the Republican party.  Fournier said millenials “really have a problem with Barack Obama on the N.S.A. stuff,” while Reed said that generation is more anti-abortion than Boomers and seniors.

David Gregory volunteered that the GOP can take a lesson from Pope Francis and try to be less judgmental.

Gregory interviewed Cardinal Dolan, and brought with him a list of grievances from the Republican party.

He told the Cardinal “conservatives in America, some of the headlines, conservative U.S. Catholics, feel left out by the Pope's embrace” and asked “There are conservatives in America who say, "No, no, there's not an income and equality problem. There's an opportunity and equality problem here." Commentator Rush Limbaugh even calling the Pope a Marxist. How does he respond to that?”

 

Gregory also asked about civil unions, which Dolan opposes because society would suffer, about recent legislation in Arizona allowing discrimination, and about Michael Sam, a college football star who recently said he was gay.

But the most bizarre moments came during the discussion of Ukraine, a situation that seems to have driven David Gregory around the bend. He simply cannot understand why other world leaders do not whatever the President tells them to do.

He asked the Deputy National Security Advisor:

Since this started, the president and his top officials have issued it seems like line after line, and Putin seems to have crossed them all. Why does this president, and the United States generally, have so little influence over him?” and “my question is we've said, "Don't do this or else," and President Putin keeps doing it, and more. So why doesn't the President have a greater ability to influence what Putin does before he does it?” and “He's not listening, and I think people watching this want to know why it is that the administration can't exert greater pressure on him to stop him before he does something.”

 

Gregory also observed Putin is “doing what he wants to do because he perceives weakness from the west, particularly from President Obama. So are all options on the table? Are you saying to President Putin, "Go no further or else military options are on the table"?

Finally he quoted Ralph Reed livetweeting that Putin is laughing at the U.S. and asked Andrea Mitchell “how do you make Putin stop? Do you think the administration has figured out the answer to that yet?”

So Ukraine must be independent, but other countries must bend to the American will. It is a peculiar notion, not to mention an insulting one, of international politics that imagines the entire world as populated by recalcitrant children needing only firm instruction from the President of the United States. Curiously, many people around the world, from very small countries to the largest on earth, not only do not eagerly enjoy be told what to do by the U.S., some actually seem to resent it. Given how the nation's military might, and proud Americans are, this may be disappointing, but when you consider how much Americans value their own independence, it should not be so baffling.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.


Culture of Truth: Be Afraid

March 2, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

I bet you thought the Sunday talk shows couldn't get any stupider. But this is America, and these are professionals. On ABC's This Week, Rich Lowry vigorously defended the Arizona anti-gay bill, saying if you refuse to serve coffee to a gay person, “you're not going to have a defense under this law, because serving someone coffee is not a burden on your religion.” Rather, he said, “You're dealing with the occasional baker or florist who has a genuine conscientious objection.” So, making and serving coffee is not a burden, but bread is. What if a gay person orders coffee and toast? This sadly went answered.

Click

Click

On Meet The Press, California Governor Jerry Brown address legalized marijuana, saying “how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”

But of course the real topic of the day was if America's President is manly enough to stop Vladimir Putin from putting troops in Crimea. Also America's pundits are kind of bored, and wouldn't mind another war to shake things up a little bit.

 

George Stephanopoulos asked John Kerry “Sir, are there any military options on the table? During the crisis with Georgia, President Bush moved military warships to the region, sent humanitarian aid on a military aircraft. Is the U.S. prepared to do that now? Anything more?”

 

David Gregory summed up the situation in Ukraine, saying, “for the past ten days, administration officials and the president himself has basically said to Russia, "Don't do this, or else" and he likewise asked KerryIs there a military option?” Following that up with, “Is there a military option that has to be contemplated here?”

 

He followed that up with this non sequitur: “You say it's not about the U.S. and Russia. But the reality is that just <span>Wednesday</span>, you told my colleague Andrea Mitchell that Vladimir Putin said he would respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” He also asked Kerry

"I wonder as you hear some criticism from conservatives who say, "The issue here is that Vladimir Putin is not afraid. That he saw a red line by this administration in Syria and then no follow-up, no action. That he thinks that he can provoke the U.S. and the West and that President Obama won't do anything in response."

 

John Kerry wisely pointed out “you just don't invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests.”

 

David Gregory has tough questions for Republicans, too though, asking Marco Rubio:

Do you agree with some of your colleagues who say it's the weakness of President Obama and the United States right now that has emboldened President Putin of Russia?” and “What does it say to you that Vladimir Putin has ignored the United States for ten days?”

 

Of course he asked quote “Do you think there is a military option here for the United States”? Even Rubio rejected that, saying quote “I don't think anyone is advocating for that.”

 

What we need is talk tough, on Ukraine and also Venezuela, “We need to say very clearly, "The United States and its people and its government are firmly on the side of the ambitions and the desires, the rightful desires of the people in the street”

The pundits are tired of Obama not being as manly as Putin.

Gregory quoted the Washington Post writing: “It took Vladimir Putin less than a day to trample on President Obama's warning against a Russian military intervention in Ukraine. The U.S. now faces a naked act of armed aggression in the center of Europe by a Russian regime that is signaling its intent to steamroller this U.S. president and his allies. Mr. Obama must demonstrate that can't be done."

 

Chuck Todd is very angry, saying,“Putin acts, Obama warns. Putin acts, Obama warns. This is a pattern that he can't afford to stay in here and just continue to warn.”

and quote “I think that they know that he's got to act, no more just issuing very harshly-worded statement.

 

Tina Brown pushed back at the manly rhetoric, saying “no need to just go off on this bellicose.” but then said quote “It's almost as if Putin is brilliant, really. I mean, he's sort of outfoxing Obama all the time.”

 

Kathleen Parker is even more frustrated, saying: “Obama has drawn the red line, he's moved back from that. Putin knows that and everybody else sees that. So he's really weakening our position I think where he says there are going to be costs.”

When the Mayor of Baltimore observed that maybe the American people don't want another war, Parker responded “I don't think that's even an option. But you have to be strong in what you say up front.”

So when the President proposed using force in Syria, Republicans vigorously opposed it, but now complain failure to bomb Syria led Vladimir Putin to put troops in Crimea, where Russia has a Naval base. It's time for more than harsh words, but action, but no one is advocating for force; this is a test of Obama's leadership and whether bad actors take him seriously; but there's no need to be bellicose, Obama is weakening our position where he says there are going to be costs; Ukraine isn't worth fighting for; you have but you have to be strong in what you say up front, Obama must demonstrate what Russia is not allowed to do, but force is not an option.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Those Meddling People

                    Listen

                    Listen

Feb 23, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

 

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

If America were at a cocktail party, it would say “enough about you – let's talk about me.”

Mexican police caught a drug trafficker This Week host Martha Raddatz called “Mexico's Osama bin Laden” Her chief concern – would the Mexicans please cooperate and send him here.

While Representative Mike McCaul conceded Mexico is a sovereign nation, this is a special case, because he once escaped from a Mexican prison, so really he should be in a U.S. SuperMax, which can hold someone described as this clever and innovative, though not, of course, accused terrorists, who can easily slip out of a SuperMax.

 

Raddatz is still worried, and McCaul agreed, saying its up to the administration to pressure Mexico to hand him over to the U.S. for trial, somehow spinning the capture of a major international drug dealer as a loss for Obama.

On Ukraine, Raddatz turned to two esteemed foreign policy experts, Tom Friedman and Bill Kristol. Because, like Mexican drug cartels, Ukraine is really about the U.S., Raddatz asked “is this a new version of a kind of Cold War here?”

Friedman said, no, it isn't, and in fact, it's a good thing the U.S. is not directly involved in Ukraine right now.

Kristol got petulant, whining that President Obama said Ukraine is not part of a Cold War chessboard. “I don't know why he says that with some disdain. That was not an ignoble thing for us to play on that chessboard for 45 years. We ended up winning that Cold War.”

 

Kristol also thinks the U.S. needs to be involved in Ukraine, as we should have been in Syria, which was “a peaceful revolution, a pro-Western revolution to an amazing degree.”

Incredibly Raddatz then asked Bill Kristol, a man famous for his attachments to Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, and being always wrong about everything, to judge all of Obama's foreign policy. He said, of course, Obama doesn't do enough for all the people in the world who want America to liberate them.

To David Gregory too, the U.S. should decide what happens in Ukraine.

He asked Susan Rice, of the President of Ukraine: “Does he have to go, in the President's mind?” and “The president spoke with President Putin. Was his message pointedly, "Back off here, let Ukraine follow its own course?" and “do you think the United States has a big financial role to play in helping Ukraine?”

On the outcome of the protests: “does President Obama view this as a positive sign?”

 

On Russia he asked “Why shouldn't Americans look at Vladimir Putin and Russia today as an enemy?”

 

When Rice tried to insist that Russia not an enemy, Gregory got visibly frustrated. His voice rising, he asked: “Don't you understand that perspective of Americans who may not be in the foreign policy establishment who say, "When is enough enough? I mean when do you confront Putin at some point and call him on all this stuff?"

 

The Ukraine is really about the U.S. So is Syria. Gregory asked “Is the U.S. prepared to escalate on the ground to achieve a different result on the battlefield?”

Gregory then turned to his crack panel of Judy Woodruff, Helene Cooper, David Brooks and Chris Matthews.

On Ukraine, Chris Matthews has it nailed: “It's so familiar, because I grew up rooting for the captive nations of Eastern Europe. Catholic school, a lot of Ukrainians in Philadelphia went to school with us. They were the smart kids, the hardworking kids.”

and “What I found interesting over the weekend was not in the Olympics, but in Ukraine, they're wearing ski masks,” and “Why would you wear ski masks after you've overthrown the guy?

For Gregory, Ukraine “is ultimately about the United States and Russia.” Brooks agreed, saying “so that is a potential epic conflict between us and them.”

Gregory said “some believe this harkens back to the Cold War,” and “I heard the president say, "Look, we don't want to look at this like the Cold War." But isn't that how Vladimir Putin views all of this? Doesn't he look at this sphere of influence very much in a Cold War context?”

Gregory even inadvertently mocked himself, quoting Josh Marshall “where he took on the idea that this is a cold war again. He basically said, "Stop it.”

But everything that happens in the world is really about America, and whether we are weak or strong. He asked “What is the President's voice? Is it a foreign policy that's defined by its limitations or by its potential?” and “I want to talk about Obama. Because I do think that this becomes the leadership challenge.” and “Do you think the President's been clear enough about what America stands for?”

 

But the most telling moments came in the regret all the panelists had that, due to the upcoming elections, the parties have given up on chained CPI and immigration reform.

 

Brooks said quote “in the old days in Washington, you'd cobble together a bipartisan coalition and get rid of the fringes.” Matthews emphatically agreed, saying “it used to be that the parties would help each other” unquote and “both parties have gone to their base.” Woodruff agreed, saying “both parties have gone into the bunker.”

 

If there's one thing all pundits agree on, it is nostalgia for a long-lost Washington, where deals were made over cocktails, and passionate citizens could be ignored. Whether it's the U.S. or Ukraine, or Syria, politics would be so easy if weren't for those meddling people. And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Olympian Denial

Listen

Listen

Feb 16, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

This Sunday, it was all about snow, which most of the US has too much of, and the Winter Oympics, which doesn't have enough.

In covering the Olympics for Meet the Press, Richard Engel interviewed the President of Chechnya, who has been showered with riches by Vladimir Putin, including a private zoo, a personal gym, and a toy radio controlled helicopter, suggesting if nothing else that buying a country is cheaper than waging war on it.

In his Olympic story, David Gregory of course interviewed Mitt Romney, who said “go USA. I’m very excited to watch these hockey games.” While Gregory spoke this never-before-uttered sentence “My son was so excited about Arne Duncan.”

Romney, who is famous for running an Olympics in America, now says the games are a big waste of money. Romney attacked Vladimir Putin for his Olympic spending, saying “all that extra money could be used to do some very important things in terms of fighting poverty and fighting disease all around the world,”  – of course notable concerns of Mitt Romney.

Gregory then dutifully asked about Bill Clinton as a sexual predator, as Rand Paul manipulated him to, while Romney complained that unemployment is supposed to be below 5%.

Ridiculously, Gregory pointed out that when Romney was asked if he would run for President again “I can’t count all the nos.” then asked “is there something, Governor, that might make you change your mind?”

Romney reiterated his opposition to marriage equality, because “I think the ideal setting for raising a child is the setting where there's a father and a mother.”

Asked about whether gay marriage is destroying America, he said “I think it's going to take a long, long time to determine whether having gay marriage will make it less likely for kids to be raised in settings where there is a mom and a dad.”

Nicole Wallace said the Republican party needs to be open to all, those who support equal rights and those who don't.

She also said Obama wrecked America's credibility by not bombing Syria, even though, as Chuck Todd pointed out, when it looked like Obama might launch missiles, the Republicans had a fit.

On ABC's This Week, George Stephanopolous pointed out that millions have signed up for Obamacare, which Peggy Noonan shot down by calling those numbers lies.

But of course the big story this week was the crazy weather, from the snowstorms of the East to the drought out West, which to their credit, ABC pointed out is part of one large weather system.

Stephanopoulos observed that climate change will mean more extreme weather, and the group discussed solutions such changing out stop intersections and making them roundabouts, and Gucci going green.

Meet The Press had a slightly different approach to the climate change discussion, deciding to host a debate with Bill Nye The Science Guy and Representative Marsha Blackburn. It was not a fair fight. While a stupefied Bill Nye tried to recite facts and figures, Blackburn called Nye not a scientist but an actor, and repeatedly said there is no consensus on climate change, causing even Gregory to interrupt and try to come to her rescue, focusing instead on the costs of dealing with it. While an exasperated Bill Nye was reduced to saying “I encourage the congresswoman to really look at the facts,” and to waving around a picture of the melting Antarctic. Blackburn confidently asserted “when you look at the social cost of carbon, and there is a lot of ambiguity around that, what you also need to be doing is looking at the benefits of carbon.”

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

 

Culture of Truth: Patriotism Through Work

Feb 9, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

              Click through to read the full transcript

              Click through to read the full transcript

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

The Olympics are on and if they they gave out medals for Kabuki theater, the Sunday talk shows would win gold, silver and bronze.

On ABC's This Week, Martha Raddatz is very serious and extremely concerned about terrorism.

Christine Brennan told her in fact security in Sochi was not that obtrusive, and in six days she has not seen a single gun, unlike American sporting events.

Brian Ross admitted an attempted hijacking turned out to be nothing, but asked “what if it had?” and warned “terrorists may have found a way to assemble a small bomb on board an aircraft using explosives packed into toothpaste tubes” and of “tiny detonators obtained from Islamist fighters in Syria.”

Raddatz asked Congressman Rogers “What should we be concerned about right now?” and of the so-called Black Widow suicide bombers “How big a threat is that now to those Games or outside those Games?” She warned of a quote “substantial potential for a terrorist attack outside the venue at the Olympics."

Three times she asked Rogers and her two other guests if “the United States is prepared to evacuate the athletes?” because “Clearly, that's important.”

Bringing on her next guest, she announced “We're thrilled to have Ray Kelly” and asked “Ray Kelly, I want to talk to you about letting our guard down,” “How do you make sure they don't take for granted that things are going well?”

Kelly agreed. warning the attacks at the Munich Olympics, didn't happen until nine days in Raddatz agreed, saying “And that's when the terrorists would strike.” She also asked Kelly if “what scares you now most is an attack outside of the venue?”

Pierre Thomas assured Raddatz that Sochi has 100,000 security personnel, and a security zone of 1,500 miles barbed wire, surveillance cameras, surveillance drones and gunboats in the black sea. Thomas said quote “the concern is Islamic fundamentalists trying to get into the Olympic venues.

Raddatz military experts share her fear that Russians won't share intelligence with the U.S. And we won't be able to evacuate every US athlete, because quote “We don't speak Russian”

In domestic politics, even Jon Karl asked Rep. Tom Cole on Republicans saying they won't pass immigration reform because they can't trust the President quote “can we acknowledge that that was a pretty lame excuse?”

Like Martha Raddatz, David Gregory is worried that Russia is not sharing enough information with America, because the US quote “would somehow try to make them look bad.”

With an opportunity to interview the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, he asked “Do you know everything you need to know to keep our athletes and others safe there?”

Perhaps forgetting the Cold War, Gregory said relations with Russia seem to be at a real low point, citing Edward Snowden and a flap over Ukraine. When the Ambassador cited other areas of cooperation, Gregory had a rejoinder. He cited Edward Snowden and the flap over Ukraine.

Other insightful questions include is Russia quote “a friend or a foe?” and “I've talked to friends and family. They say, "Well, so what's the deal with Russia?”

To wrap up, he asked the Ambassador another question about Snowden and how many gold medals America would win.

Most of the rest of the show was devoted to what Gregory called “the darker part of the world of the Clintons”

The whole conversation made little sense, with guests hinting that Bill Clinton will travel the country settling old scores before Hillary runs in 2016, a charge that "Hillary Clinton harbors a trait called a 'bias for action'” in foreign affairs that Republicans will attack her for, and that Rand Paul recently called the former President a sexual predator.

After all sustained criticism of Bill Clinton, one expert then said quote “If Bill Clinton can be the Bill Clinton that he was for Barack Obama in 2012, she's got it made.” And “she can take it to the bank,” to which Gregory bizarrely said “But how do you forget the Bill Clinton who thought there was something of a fraud about President Obama at the time?”

The young director of Heritage Action for America said Bill Clinton will be a liability because he used to be a centrist Democrat but he now supports Bill DeBlasio, who wants to regulate horses in central park.

But the strangest moment came when E.J. Dionne pointed out the CBO found Obamacare will give many people the freedom to leave the workforce to take of their children, an example of family values.

David Brooks, objected, saying, “Yeah, well, even if they do leave voluntarily, there are going to be a lot fewer people in the labor force. If you have two million people who have a stronger incentive to get out of the labor force, and then they try to get in, the marginal tax rates go up super high as they go up in the income scale.”

So you have fewer people working. I agree with E.J., we want people to be at home to help with the kids. We also want people in the labor force to be a growing country. And this is not good for them.”

So, Obamacare gives people freedom, and liberty, and choice, and allow parents to be with their children, but none of that is good, or good enough, because we need Americans to get into the labor force, whether they need the job or not, so America can be a growing country, for the good of the Fatherland.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Galactic Ridiculousness

                                 Listen

                                 Listen

Jan 26, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth -

I can think I can say without fear of contradiction I am something of a connoisseur of Meet The Press, and must confess this was perhaps the most insipid episode I have ever seen, from the idiotic questions to the hosts' habit of grinning fatuously during the entire show, including when he seemingly happily announced Sochi is a hard target for terrorists.

Read today's Bobblespeak Translation

Read today's Bobblespeak Translation

Gregory has two obsessions – Edward Snowden and the 2016 Presidential election. He asked Ed Snowden's legal advisor about Ed Snowden. He asked Dick Durbin about Ed Snowden. He asked Rand Paul about Ed Snowden. He asked Michael Chertoff about Ed Snowden.

VS_banner_meetthepress_DG.png

It was unclear why he asked Chertoff about Snowden, or talked to Chertoff at all.  Is Snowden a Russian spy or was he acting alone? Chertoff, a private citizen, has no idea. Is Russia cooperating enough, or at all, with the US regarding Olympic security? Chertoff has no clue, and seemed annoyed by Gregory's questions, as if the host had ambushed him at the salad bar of the NBC commissary and the former homeland security chief simply wished to return to his croutons and be left alone.

 

On This Week, Peter King said he is sure Russia is not cooperating enough, but said said the US cannot share its technology for jamming roadside bombs because the Russians could use it against America someday. Also American athletes are advised not to wear American clothes at the games, suggesting that the US has a special enemy in Russia, and the terrorists who hate Russia.

 

King also observed that this will be the “first mass transit Super Bowl” and “so many people will be coming by subway, for instance. And also the cold weather, it'll be easier for people to conceal things under their clothing.”

 

Also on that show, Jon Karl insisted that the upcoming State of the Union is Obama's make or break moment; three times asked Jay Carney is Obamacare will be worth it if Democrats lose the Senate, and brought up the poverty rate in 2009, then said Carney was blaming the poverty rate on George Bush. Also on This Week, Rick Santorum said President Obama was “vindictive” and in the same sentence, said “This is the president's economy.” and “he can't get anything done”

 

Cokie Roberts actually said Americans just fed up and quote “throw the bums out” while Jon Karl could not contain his excitement that we are on the verge of a Republican wave, like quote “1994 or 2010.”

 

Back on Meet The Press, Gregory led an insipid panel discussion about Hillary Clinton, in which the host and guests giggled uncontrollably, with Chuck Todd worrying the Clintons are too polarizing for America, a New York Times editor calling the Clintons a “dysfunctional dynastic family,” Republican Michael Powell calling the Clintons “an intergalactic force of nature”, and Mike Murphy speculated about Bill Clinton's sex life.

 

Powell them said America will want Chris Christie because he's “dirty”. Then the panel engaged in 5 minute love fest of Mitt Romney, which seemed to make even Chuck Todd uncomfortable.

 

But their weirdest moment came when Gregory chatted up Rand Paul, and asked if “Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky should complicate his return to the White House,” if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. Paul agreed, and said “in my state, you know, people tend to sort of frown upon that.”

 

He did not mention whether people in his state also frown upon racist newsletters, although he did say of Ron Paul, “my dad was extraordinary in Washington in being genuine, being really liked by people on both sides,” and as “very close to the Congressional Black Caucus”

 

So it's January 2014, and with national political challenges including unemployment, trade agreements, wars, refugee crises, political corruption, poisoned drinking water, climate change, polar vortexes, the most important thing to talk about is... Monica Lewsinsky.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Targets of Suspicion

Jan 19, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

David Gregory must be very jealous of ABC, because they got to interview Rudy Giuiliani last week, but don't worry, this week he got his turn to talk to Chris Christie's BFF.

Read the full translation

Read the full translation

But first, he opened the show with an all-star panel of Newt Gingrich, Harold Ford, Andrea Mitchell, and Nia Malika Henderson. Gingrich explained his position on NSA reforms saying, “Well, first of all, if we look at the IRS scandal, we have plenty of opportunity of abuse with paper. I mean, the power of the government is enormous. And that's why, as a conservative, I like smaller government.”

VS_banner_meetthepress_DG.png

He also expressed fear that metadata can be abused, saying “None of them can migrate over to the criminal justice system. And then, you should make it a felony. This is why Snowden has to be tried.”

 

The funniest part came when Harold Ford expressing a fear that the pro-surveillance argument will be insufficiently represented in Congress, saying “I hope when Congress has this debate, that someone will play the devil's advocate and make it clear we kill more terrorists using drones.”

 

New Jersey Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski came on to discuss Bridgegate.

 

Gregory is worried whether investigating is unfair to Chris Christie, asking if quote “there's a rush to judgment here.” And saying “You've issued very broad subpoenas” and “Isn't this kind of stacked against him here?” and “are you seeking to criminalize the rough and tumble of New Jersey politics?”

 

Gregory then turned for objective analysis to Christie friend Rudy Giuliani, who announced the investigation has “no sense of credibility and it was clearly was a partisan witch hunt. And Clearly, this is a very, very well-orchestrated democratic kind of organizational effort to hurt Governor Christie. Who was the only Republican who was beating Hillary Clinton in any poll at any time.”

 

But he also said the actions by Christie aides were “beyond stupid” and "crazy.”

 

Of course cited Benghazi, and said he believed President Obama was innocent in the IRS scandal, just like Christie must be as well.

 

Giuliani ended the interview by saying the scandal helps Christie in running for President, saying “I can see this working out to Chris' favor” and “He's given a textbook case in how to handle it. Stand up, answer the questions, hold people accountable, make sure it doesn't happen again.”

 

On the NSA, Diane Feinstein said “I think a lot of the privacy people perhaps don't understand that we still occupy the role of the great Satan. New bombs are being devised. New terrorists are emerging, new groups. Actually, a new level of viciousness.”

 

Gregory quoted Ed Snowden saying "Dianne Feinstein elected me when she asked softball questions in committee hearings.”

 

Mike Rogers responded, “That's like having the janitor at a bank who figured out how to steal some money deciding matters of high finance.”

 

Rogers then strongly hinted Snowden has been a Russian spy all along, as proof stating, “some of the things he did were beyond his technical capabilities. Raises more questions. How he arranged travel before he left. How he was ready to go, he had a go bag, if you will.”

 

Gregory then spoke with the young founder of Reddit, who expressed opinion that “I think it is absolutely possible for the N.S.A. to do their job without the bulk collection of America's phone records.”

 

Gregory then engaged in lengthy comparison of Christie and Hillary Clinton, and Bridgegate and Benghazi, with Gregory arguing “Republicans are going to want a definitive accounting” of Benghazi, and Gingrich saying of Hillary Clinton, “she's a lot like Nixon in her capacity to survive forever.”

 

VS_banner_Stephanopoulos.png

Meanwhile, on This Week, George Stephanopoulos got an interview with Valdimir Putin, who promised the Olympics games with have the tightest security in the history of the world, and guaranteed snow, even though, as George pointed out, Sochi has a sub-tropical climate.

 

Rep. Mike McCaul is in Sochi, and said of Snowden “I personally believe that he was cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did.”

 

On the panel, Peggy Noonan is disappointed that Obama repealed some, but not all, of Bush's surveillance programs. Mary Matalin said Obama is just like Dick Cheney, which David Remnick called absurd.

 

Tavis Smiley said he was disappointed in Obama, and predicted that someday Ed Snowden will be on a postage stamp.

 

But the most absurd moment came when Mary Matalin tried to defend to surveillance and attack Obama at the same time, saying such policies are necessary for our security, but “the nation has a problem trusting this government with personal data on account of the IRS tracking opponents of the president, health care roll-out incompetence or just in general, identity theft over Christmas.”

 

So the producers of the Sunday talk shows honestly believe the few Americans who even care about unfolding domestic scandals or surveillance controversies, are eager to hear from Newt Gingrich, Harold Ford, Rudy Giuliani, Peggy Noonan and Mary Matalin, who says the government must collect citizens information in bulk, but we can't trust Barack Obama because over Christmas, Target, a private corporation, had a massive security breach.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Manning Up

                         Listen

                         Listen

Jan 12, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows —  Meet the Press. He creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here. Follow @Bobblespeak

 

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth

The great dream of the national political media is to support a moderate Republican. As recently as this November, they thought they had found a new hero in the unrestrained Governor of New Jersey, Christopher James Christie. Unfortunately, with the recent revelation that his top aides conspired to use their power over a state agency to hurt the children of supporters of his Democratic opponent for Governor, they are torn from jumping into rehabilitation mode and covering a juicy scandal. This led to some pretty bizarre coverage.

On ABC's This Week, after a segment describing the unfolding scandal, host Martha Raddatz said “Now the former mayor of New York and a friend of Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani is here.”

VS_banner_Stephanopoulos.png

When Raddatz said Giuliani would obviously have handled the Fort Lee traffic issue much better than Christie, Giuliani responded quote “How did President Obama not know about the IRS targeting right wing groups?” When Raddatz observed that's a ridiculous analogy, Giuliani replied “frankly, you know, he was in campaign-mode at the time, during campaign-mode you miss a lot of things. You're not paying as much attention. We see that with Benghazi.”

When she asked about the culture of the office, and asked “What does that say about Chris Christie that they could do something like that?” he responded “The people in the IRS thought President Obama wanted them to do this.”

 

Giuliani concluded by saying “The other thing that's very impressive to me was, I think when this first came up, I don't think he wouldn't have made a joke had he had any knowledge of it.” Jonathan Karl said Christie had a quote “pretty masterful performance at this press conference” but conceded that this is the first time he'd seen a scandal where there has been the use of state power to intentionally make people miserable.

 

PR expert Judy Smith also praised Christie's handling of the situation, and commented on quote “his reputation is based on that of a straight shooter” and observed that quote “he does have a reputation of integrity and honesty.”

 

Matthew Dowd spoke of Christie in near religious terms, saying Christie was “the pre-season favorite that could bridge the divide, that could work between the two opposing parts of the Republican Party, that could attract moderates” and “Chris Christie was the lighthouse that everybody could go to a safe harbor to. And now that's a question mark in people's minds.”

 

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said the revelation of reprehensible abuse of power in his office will help Christie, saying “whether IRS, whether it's Benghazi, whether it's you can keep your health insurance if you want it. But nobody has been fired over that. And what we're seeing is a big difference. So I think if he comes out of this untarnished personally, this actually may really set him up for 2016.”

VS_banner_MtP.png

On Meet The Press, David Gregory's first guest was Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal said quote “this is not Watergate. This is not even the I.R.S. targeting of last year. In fact if you think about it as a raw display of political power, it's not even this White House using the sequester and the shutdown to inconvenience millions of Americans, as they did, too, to make a political point.” His second guest, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Mayor of Baltimore, said quote “I’m going to start by saying I'm loathe to criticize Governor Christie, who was so helpful to our President after Sandy, in the election. I'm loathe to criticize him”

 

Chuck Todd blamed the entire state, saying "Well, that's Jersey. That's the culture of Jersey. Jersey politics is run very-- there are a lot of fiefdoms. It's always been this way” and “Honestly, it's going to offend some people in New Jersey in politics. But there has been a past, a culture of this, of, you know, you rule with an iron fist -- is just the way he ran things, too. And it's what everybody does in Jersey. “

 

Strassel said Republicans are worried Christie may be as bad as Obama, “We're talking about the I.R.S. thing, the N.S.A. flap that's been going on, the Justice Department looking at journalists, people abusing their power and authority.”

 

Rick Santorum said “Chris Christie went up, manned up, and took it on and was decisive.”  It took early Christie defender Mark Halperin to observe that “I have been stunned in my calls this week to Republicans and conservatives” that quote “no one is taking him at his word.”

 

Further insight came from Republican chair Reince Priebus, who said Christie is just guilty of loving too much. “He admitted the mistakes happened. He admitted he trusted people that lied to him.”


He added “He stood there for 111 minutes, in open dialogue with the press. Now only if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would give us 111 seconds of that would we find out some things we want to find out about Obamacare, Benghazi, the I.R.S.”

 

Gregory pointed out that Priebus said the President Obama had set a tone that allowed the IRS scandal to happen, and asked if that was true of Chris Christie as well.

 

Priebus replied “He admitted that he trusted people that lied to him” Gregory: “Did he set the tone? Because that's what you said the president did.” Priebus said “No, no, no. He trusted people that lied to him, and he fired those people. The president doubles down on Eric Holder. He doubles down on Hillary Clinton and Lois Lerner and Susan Rice.”

 

When Gregory again pointed out Priebus claimed Obama created a culture in his administration that encouraged the targeting of conservatives, and asked why isn't it true of Governor Christie setting the tone? Priebus responded quote “Because you can judge a person. You can judge a person's character.”

 

Asked about 2016, he immediately threw Christie under the bus.

 

But the strangest moment when Chris Matthews expressed his deep disappointment in Christie, saying “I've always liked Christie's style, because I'm an east coast guy, and I like the south Jersey, "None of your business," kind of thing. I do like that. But I do think that his reputation was that of a troubleshooter. He got the hurricane situation, Sandy, right on top of it. He was moving fast. He was there with his fleece, getting to work.” and In the case of the bridge closings, quote “where was the troubleshooter then?”

 

While on Fox Brit Hume said Christie being attacked because we live in a feminized atmosphere and Christie is quote “an old-fashioned masculine, muscular guy”

 

This scandal has revealed that in their never ending search for an assertive Republican male politician – pundits like Chris Matthews have equated blunt and obnoxious behavior with straight talk and honesty, and intolerance and impatience with effective governing and getting things done – assuming that because was pushy, and wore a fleece, Christie was prepared for the hurricane, and that because he is rude, he must have a reputation for integrity,” until he is caught, not for the first lying and he has to claim, as he has before, that his top advisors lied to him and he didn't know anything that was going on in own office.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Highly Serious People

                                     Listen

                                     Listen

Jan 6, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

 

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It's 2014 and David Gregory wants you to get off his lawn, although even his conservative guests seem think he's turning into an old fogey.

On unemployment benefits, he asked Jim Cramer, quote “is this bad for the economy, Jim Cramer, to extend this?” and if Rand Paul was correct that benefits hurt the people you are trying to help. To both questions Cramer said “No.”

               Click to read the full translation

               Click to read the full translation

Gregory also asked “The president also wants to raise the minimum wage. Is that a fight he should win, Jim?” Cramer said yes, while Chuck Todd and conservative Steve Schmidt both agreed that the Administration would quote “like to be talking about anything other than health care.”

When Gene Sperling tried to talk about the benefits of Obamacare, Gregory immediately interrupted him, accusing him of using “selling points” and saying “I’m not going to let you” before breaking away.

VS_banner_meetthepress_DG.png

On Iraq, Gregory is worried that “Critics already questioning whether some of our battles there and – and the loss of life on the U.S. side – whether that was in vain” and asked “does the U.S. have any responsibility for what happens in Iraq, particularly if it’s part of a growing problem in the region?”

Even Steve Schmidt informed Gregory “We have no ability to go and affect an outcome in any of these countries in the middle of this civil war”

Gregory brought on experts from the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics, leading him to ask “Does Medicare have to covers less, do you have to give fewer benefits?”

One doctor said marijuana has medical benefits, which must have scared Gregory, who repeatedly said as a parent with young kids he worries about legalization, and noted that he was “talking to an FBI friend of mine who was saying, you know-- there still is a deterrent by making marijuana legal” and “I don’t know all the science behind it, but then it’s a lot more potent now. I mean, this-- I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like as a parent it’s something that should be just sort of…”

It again took Steven Schmidt to point out the war on marijuana has proved to be pointless, expensive, and racist, but Judy Woodruff jumped in to assure us Colorado has already gone to hell, saying quote the new law is quote “wreaking a little havoc,” and “the police are having to learn how to detect when drivers have been using marijuana,” and “the ski resorts in the state, which are a huge draw, are going to have to figure out what do they do about this,” and reminding viewers “Marijuana can be dangerous.”

Gregory is also worried Obama has sent too many gay Americans to the Olympics, asking Janet Napolitano, “politicizing the games in this way, is this-- is-- does this take away from the attention on the athletes that you said is so important? By making-- even if it’s a subtle statement, everybody gets it?”

On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Rand Paul came on to say unemployment insurance makes people lazy, and that “I think it's wrong to borrow money from China or simply to print up money for it.”

He then urged more tax cuts, which apparently do not have to be paid for.

Stephanopoulos then giddily asked Paul “Is it true that you've actually had trouble signing up for ObamaCare and that you're not even sure your family is covered?”

 

Paul said that state did not believe his son existed and “I keep getting an error code every time I go in” and declared the ACA “an unfolding disaster.”

 

But the strangest moment came during the discussion of foreign affairs, when Brian Schweitzer asked quote “why are we still in Afghanistan?” Cokie Roberts replied “Because first of all, we went there and we promised we would stay there.” Roberts then said the U.S. has a moral obligation to improve the lives of the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

 

When Bill Kristol tried to argue al-qeada is getting stronger in Iraq, Schweitzer, who has lived in Iraq and Libya, pointed out al-qeada was never there until after the invasion Kristol championed. Kristol haughtily insisted quote “My solution is to be serious about being engaged in the Middle East” and “being serious about our responsibilities as a world power. And yes, being willing to fight when we have to fight. Are you against that? Are you against that?”

 

So unemployment benefits have to be paid for, and they hurt the people we are trying to help, but this logic does not apply to tax cuts, Obamacare is a failure because Rand Paul can't figure out how to sign up for it, Colorado is in chaos because some snowboarders might smoke pot, and a true expert in the Middle East is being lectured to on foreign affairs and war by Bill Kristol, who supported sending other people to invade Iraq for what turned out to be no reason, in one of the greatest foreign policy and military blunders in the history of the nation.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.








 

 






 










 

 









 










 

 





 

Culture of Truth: Year in Review

Listen

Listen

Dec 29, 2013 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows —  Meet the Press. He creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here. Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth

This week on Meet The Press David Gregory had on Darrell Issa to claim that he never really cared whether Al-Qaeda was behind Benghazi, but that the administration is still covering something up, while Andrea Mitchell said the debate was about pure terrorism, or the other kind. Franklin Graham said he was doing gays a favor by telling them how much God is going to punish them someday, Gregory and Elliot Abrams agreed Obama is weak and defensive because he didn't bomb Syria, and Gregory compared himself to Winston Churchill warning about a rearming Germany after World War One.

Read

Read

A very unscientific review of Meet The Press this year shows NBC correspondents Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell appeared the most times, with 12 and 11 shows. Politicians appearing most frequently this year were Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and Mike Rogers – with 5 appearances each. Among pundits, with 4 episodes were Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, and Joe Scarborough. Coming in at 5 were E.J. Dionne, Kathleen Parker, Ana Navarro and Harold Ford Jr. Katty Kay and newcomer Bob Gibbs made strong showings with 6 each, while stalwart Mike Murphy edged them out with 7 episodes. Lapping the field, the pundit with most appearances was our man David Brooks, who with 11 eleven guests spots in 2013 is only one behind record holder Chuck Todd, who actually works for the network.

VS_banner_meetthepress_DG.png

Going back to the beginning, we seen an early focus on debt reduction (Gregory's first guests in January of 2013 were Simpson and Bowles, ) cutting Medicare, and Benghazi.

 

Confronting White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough, he said “here's the reality about Medicare,” quote “These are facts that I think a lotta people don't know about. You paid in $122,000 in Medicare taxes. But you're drawing almost $400,000 in benefits received.” and quote “This is why Medicare is going broke. and quote “The retirement age should be raised.” unquote

 

On January 20, on guns, Gregory said quote “the president did not challenge any people in his liberal base. He talked about all these measures. He did not talk about video games. He didn’t talk about violence in Hollywood where he gets a great deal of his campaign funds. He didn’t do anything to make his own folks uncomfortable.”

 

Because that's what's important.

 

But the strangest moment of the year came when guest Wayne LaPierre came on to insist that the NRA supports background checks, but then said they don't work, and opposes them for private sales. He said they want the existing system on retailers to work, but said if there were background checks quote “You and me, our names are going to be in the system. There is going to be a list created; that list will be abused,” while at same time bemoaning privacy laws like HIPAA and lack of access to medical records and a failure to create of list of all the people in America deemed dangerous.

 

While attacking the concept behind background checks, he also wants people severely prosecuted for failing a check, and of course long prison sentences for gun possession for his favorite targets, drug dealers and gang members. Finally, in the interests of small government, he wants to make it easier for local police to take someone off the street and hold them, under civil confinement laws, for alleged mental problems, presumably as long as they don't start with him, and asserted that 90% of school administrators want armed guards in schools.

 

And for all that, Wayne LaPierre is the most ridiculous person on Sunday this year.

Culture of Truth: The Big Hard Stuff

Listen

Listen

Dec 15, 2013 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows —  This Week on ABC and Meet the Press — then creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth -

It was an interesting day on the Sunday talk shows. Beltway pundits value harmonious cocktail parties above all else, and it looks like they, like John Boehner, are finally tired of the tea party's destructive tendencies.

Read  

Read
 

Senator Paul Ryan and Patty Murray went into a room, hammered out a compromise budget deal, and came out smiling, and in the Capitol city there was much rejoicing.

This of course pleased Cokie Roberts, but even Ana Navarro and Newt Gingrich praised the deal, although Newt is pleased because now we can focus on the 5 million people he says will show up in an emergency rooms only to find out they have no health insurance because of Obamacare. Bill Richardson said the “grownups in the Republican Party have basically prevailed” while Conservative writer Kathleen Parker said Boehner's critique of tea party members is quote “something he's needed to do for a very long time.”

On Meet The Press, Governor Scott Walker said he took federal insurance subsidies because “I wasn't going to let my citizens suffer”, and, addressing the tea party, said “austerity is not the answer.”

David Gregory spoke with General Michael Hayden, who insisted there have been absolutely no abuses or unlawfulness about any NSA surveillance techniques.

Gregory asked him “To be the United States of America, to protect democracy, do we have to be less safe in order to preserve our freedoms?” to which Hayden replied “Yes. Obviously.”

Bill Richardson called for Ed Snowden to be prosecuted and tried to switch the conversation to the FBI agent missing in Iran.

NPR's Steven Inskeep said of Gregory's proposal that the phone company keep phone records, “That's a fascinating idea” but questioned whether we can quote “trust a phone company with all of this data. This is a problem.”  Gregory then pointed out quote “But the phone companies always kept it”

Kathleen Parker likes Ed Snowden because his disclosures had “an unexpected effect which is to alienate the millennials from the President. And they're less enchanted with him now, primarily because of this surveillance issue” – then she praised George W. Bush for having the courage to do unpopular things like the sign the Patriot Act

Gregory took this opportunity to bash Obamacare and cite the President's quote “dismal” popularity. When Nancy Gibbs pointed out that Congress is even more unpopular, Gregory said that's bad for Obama too, because quote “he's swept up in this,” and quote “if you're out there and you don't think anything of Congress, you don't think Washington works, there's no good government” and ...“it's hard for Obama to assert a legacy that's very positive.”

The aforementioed Patty Murray and Paul Ryan took a bipartisan victory lap on the Meet The Press, where in David Gregory they may have met the one beltway insider who is doesn't like their budget deal.

Ryan defended the deal, saying “This results in net deficit reduction.” Gregory replied “But not much.”

Ryan took on the tea party, rejecting government shutdowns and saying “government has to function.”

Gregory challenged the two of them to make a deal right there, saying “So, surprise me. Meet in the middle on something really hard. Maybe it's Medicare, which you've worked hard on, or tax reform. Where could you two reach common ground on something that you would at least mark as a starting point. And “Is there something that would surprise me? Is there something on tax reform that you could agree with the Chairman on?”

David Gregory and Rand Paul are upset about the budget deal, according to David Gregory. He said “Now, let's talk about the big, hard stuff. Because, as your other colleague Rand Paul said, This doesn't solve the debt problem, over $17 trillion. This doesn't even deal with the debt ceiling. It certainly doesn't deal with our entitlements that are drivers of the debt. So, you haven't taken on the hard stuff here, Senator.”

So Cokie Roberts, Ana Navarro, Newt Gingrich, Kathleen Parker, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and John Boehner have all had it with the Tea Party, but throwing the discredited group a lifeline is David Gregory, who is unhappy because the budget deal – with $85 billion is spending cuts – because it doesn't “solve” a 17 trillion dollar debt, doesn't deal with “the big hard stuff” and doesn't slash entitlements, which he claims are the drivers of the debt.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Ducking Civics Class

Listen

Listen

Dec 22, 2013 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows —  This Week on ABC and Meet the Press — then creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.

Open

Open

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

The Sunday Talk shows covered all the issues to important Americans today – a letter Ed Snowden wrote the government of Brazil, if Christine Lagarde will run for President of France, and of course, Duck Dynasty.

On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Mike Rogers declined to join the Ed Snowden Fan Club, declaring that “He has traded something of value for his own personal gain that jeopardizes the national security of the United States. We call that treason.”

Bill Kristol said he thought NSA surveillance is just fine, while his fellow conservative Greta Van Susteren responded, “I'm shaking my head because I think, Bill, you're dead wrong.” She got very upset, declaring “it's just that the Constitution is so plain on this. If you just read the plain language of the Fourth Amendment. There's just no way you can get around it.”

But also said she thought Smith v Maryland, a 30 year-old case, was wrongly decided, like Plessy v. Ferguson.

 

Matthew Dowd announced he is exceedingly disappointed in Obama on this issue. You may remember Matthew Dowd from the 2004 campaign to reelect George W. Bush, who at the time was wiretapping phone calls without a warrant.

 

George Stephanopoulos then fulfilled his obligation under the Beltway pundit code to play a clip of a reporter asking the President if this was the worst year of his Presidency and talk about it with his panel.

 

Matthew Dowd declared it was his worst and confidently predicted “He cannot recover from it. No president has ever recovered from it at this point in their presidency.”

And he worked for Bush so he ought to know.

David Gregory knows about the Beltway Pundit Code, so he opened up his show playing the clip, and asking EJ Dionne, , “was this the worst year of his presidency, 2013? E.J.?”

Ana Navarro then had a hilarious joke where she said Obama would do his press conference at the end of next year, “holding a bottle of whiskey on one hand and a box of Kleenex in the other.”

 

Switching to health care, David Gregory read from the Wall Street Journal that “the law is failing,” and confronted Tom Coburn with the tough question of whether Republicans will continue to bash Obama care even when the calendar changes.

 

On the budget, Gregory insisted “They didn’t take on the hard stuff,” while Coburn announced “We’re going to have 80 billion dollars a year in fraud in Obamacare”

 

Wrapping up, Gregory said “Senator Schumer and Coburn, happy holidays to you both.” and “Thank you for your time this morning,” to which Coburn loudly replied “Merry Christmas!” even though Schumer and Gregory are both Jewish.

 

Interviewing Christine Lagarde of the IMF, Gregory said “a lot of people are worried about what the Fed’s been doing, buying all of those debt to create a bubble, in effect.” and “even though our stock market is performing at record levels, “Unemployment is still high in the United States and “We don’t have those animal spirits that have been unleashed”

 

He then twice asked her if she would run for President of France.

 

On health care reform, David Brooks said “the American people do not like mandates any more. We’re a much more individualistic culture,” while Gregory got intellectual, observing “homage to David Brooks here – Edmund Burke, he believed in smaller government, because he didn’t have tremendous confidence in government’s ability to deliver something like this.”

 

E.J. Dionne observed “I think there is something crazy when people say where government can’t deliver health care. Ever heard of Medicare? Ever heard of Medicaid?”

 

On surveillance, Gregory read from a confusing passage from a letter Ed Snowden wrote to government of Brazil, causing Peter King to practically have a fit, citing attacks on the Twin Towers, and saying “If the NSA had had this metadata in 2001, that attack probably wouldn’t have happened,” and “Let’s not unilaterally surrender.”

 

Brooks weighed in, saying “I’m a pretty serious national security guy, but I think if Dwight Eisenhower were here, he’d be worried about the concentration of power in the intelligence community. I do think we got to ratchet it a little back, not all the way, but just a little bit.”

 

When Gregory suggested Congress address executive power, Ana Navarro replied “Surely you’ve been drinking this morning, David.”

 

Gregory is deeply concerned about the Duck Dynasty guy, noting “politicians, conservatives, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, others saying that the reason he was suspended was political correctness run amok, and an abridgement of his free speech. What is the real debate here?” un, and asking EJ Dionne “Is there a double standard, though, E.J.?”

 

Brooks said the Duck Dynasty guy was “un-Christian,” while Ana Navarro said while she loves Duck Dynasty and watches it constantly, there is no right appear on television and embarrass a network, to which Gregory agreed.

 

The show ended with Gregory declaring it one his best ever, saying “We mentioned Burke, the founding fathers, my wife, my sister-in-law – and the French health care system.”

 

Two which EJ Dionne cheekily replied “I’m smarter already.” and Robert Gibbs said dryly “It’s like a civics class.”

 

Because nothing says civics class like Bill Kristol on national security, Matthew Dowd on privacy, Tom Coburn on fictional fraud, David Gregory on economic animal spirits, Peter King on civil liberties, Edmund Burke on Obamacare, David Brooks on Christianity, Ted Cruz on political correctness, and Bobby Jindal on Duck Dynasty.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Whitewashing History

Listen

Listen

Dec 8, 2013 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows — in this case, This Week on ABC and Meet the Press — then creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.

Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

This week the Sunday talk shows remembered Nelson Mandela, the man who helped America defeat apartheid.

On ABC's This Week, Bill Keller started off the segment by telling us that Mandela was more like Bill Clinton than Barack Obama, because they both enjoyed “the schmoozing, the deal making, the stage craft, the theater,” unquote while, “Obama is more cerebral and doesn't seem to enjoy going up and shaking hands and doing favors.”

 

George Bush's Ambassador to South Africa conceded that Mandela had been a harsh critics of Bush, but said “just as fierce as he was a critic of the war in Iraq, was as supportive of the war in Afghanistan” and “President Mandela actually was able to reach across the aisle” later and reconcile with Bush.

 

George Stephanopoulos observed “for a man who became known for the power of forgiveness and reconciliation, as a politician he also had something of a ruthless streak,” while Keller noted that Mandela was quote “the most disciplined politician I've ever seen.”

 

On the budget, Rob Portman came on to say that the most important thing is to cut spending and not raise taxes, and arguing against raising the minimum wage, said “I went to a burger place this past week, George. And there was a digital display to be able to buy a hamburger. And there was nobody behind the counter except the cashier. And you go into these fast food places now, often there's a drink dispenser, so you have one fewer person.”

 

On Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw praised Mandela's “user-friendly personality” which was like JFK and Ronald Reagan who also both had “special qualities” and “strong visions.”

 

Richard Stengel pointed out that Madela was “tempestuous” when he went to prison but came out “mature.” Stengel also said that Mandela was bitter, but knew that South Africa “could not survive” without the “white business center” and sought reconciliation.

 

Brokaw chimed in, saying “everyone here agrees that prison did help shape him and mature him” and pointed out that everyone thought Mandela was “militant” but then he came out of prison elegant and put everyone at ease and Brokaw hoped more world leaders could be like that. Brokaw also said that “the big issue going forward now” unquote – is will President Zuma and other leaders in Africa really get the lessons from Mandela's life, or will they be like Robert Mugabe.

Things got even stranger when the topic turned to the politics of apartheid.

Gregory pointed out that Ronald Reagan opposed sanctions, prompting Al Sharpton to argue the US at that time choose the wrong side and denigrated Africans, while Tom Brokaw admitted Reagan was not a fan of Mandela but pointed out we didn't know what would happen if Mandela were released. In any case, Brokaw observed, the Cold War was going on and later events moved at "warp speed."

Katty Kay said there was a real fear that Mozambique would become a proxy state of the USSR and that quote “all we knew about him before he went into prison” unquote was that he was quote “the leader of the violent struggle against the apartheid regime” unquote and quote “had joined the Communist Party at one point” unquote and that Mandela's real genius was that after spending time in prison he realized that all his old ideas were bad.

 

Gregory turned to Paul Gigot, who on Friday, wrote that “The bulk of his adult life, Nelson Mandela was a failed Marxist revolutionary and leftist icon” unquote but then Mandela chose reconciliation and became respectable, and, ignoring Reagan's veto of sanctions, and his calling sanctions “immoral” and “repugnant,” said that “everyone agreed apartheid was odious” and argued that by appointing a black American Ambassador, Ronald Reagan “may, in fact, have had significant influence in releasing him”.

So. Nelson Mandela was violent, militant, and Marxist, so he had to stay in prison, and Zimbabwe and Mozambique might have gone communist, so we had to support a violent racist government, but it all worked out, because Mandela came out of prison mature and dignified and respectable, and the real credit for getting Mandela out of prison goes to a Republican President who left office after 8 years with Mandela still in prison, and who put Mandela on the terrorist watch list, where he would remain until 2008.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Dysfunction by Majority

Listen

Listen

Nov 24, 2013 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows — in this case, This Week on ABC — then creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

If you ever wondered why people ridicule the Sunday talk shows as useless kabuki theaters of tired cliches and misinformation, you would need look no further than today's This Week with George Stephanopolous.

VS_banner_Bobblespeak.png

George had on John Kerry to talk about the deal with Iran, confronting him with the damning evidence that “Marco Rubio says it will not freeze the Iranian nuclear program, and makes a nuclear Iran more, not less likely.”

Kerry pointed out that back in 2003 when Republicans were in charge, Iran made an offer to the Bush administration when they only had 164 centrifuges, and the US rejected the offer and pursued sanctions and now they have 19,000 centrifuges. Kerry said “You cannot sit there and pretend that you're just going to get the thing you want,” which could describe the GOP approach to policy in general.

VS_banner_Stephanopoulos.png

Saxby Chambliss came on to object to the Iran deal, saying “it's moving us away from the direction of prevention of them developing a weapon,” and “We've got all of the leverage in the negotiation. And we've let them out of the trap.”

 

Chabmliss is worried the deal might also ease Iranian suffering, which is the reason to have the sanctions in the first place. He said “Right now, the sanctions are working. They're doing exactly what they're designed to do. The economy of Iran is heading south. Unemployment is skyrocketing. And what we're going to do is we're going to allow the easing of sanctions, particularly on areas where the Iranian people are going to feel some benefit” and “And instead of easing them, now is the time to tighten those sanctions.”

 

Christiane Amanpour pointed out the sanctions have caused problems in Iran but if the point of sanctions is to get Iran to capitulate and give up their nuclear program, they haven't worked.

 

Noted foreign policy genius Bill Kristol called it a terrible deal, and “Our allies are very unhappy.” Kristol also said Israel might attack Iran in the next six months, and called the idea that Iran might get sanctions relief “really unbelievable”

 

Then there was an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, the 29 year-old CEO of Facebook, who with a straight face, said the administration blew it on violating privacy.

 

Predictably things really got stupid when discussion turned to approving Presidential nominees in Senate by majority vote.

 

George quoted Senator McCain who argued that we should not have majority rule because “it's going to change the way the Senate works.”

 

Donna Brazile said the Democrats had to act because the Senate was unable to function.

This drove Cokie Roberts right off the deep end. She yelled quote:

“The Senate can't function. The Senate's not functioning. I mean, and I thought it was quite remarkable for Harry Reid to say "the Senate is not functioning." He's the majority leader. Doesn't he have some responsibility for the Senate not functioning?”

 

Stephanoplous replied “Well, he doesn't have the votes.”

 

Roberts wasn't having it, saying “All it's going to do is make everybody madder and make it worse, rather than easier.”

 

After Roberts attacked the Democrats, Conservative Bill Kristol said the panel was “being too nice” unquote to the Democrats, that it's all the Democrats' fault because Harry Reid broke his word just because quote “Republicans were not confirming every appellate court judge as quickly as the administration liked.”

 

Conservative Matthew Dowd sagely observed “this is a symptom of the problem. The problem is obviously complete dysfunction in Washington, D.C. And there's a virus going around in Washington, D.C. and it's a virus of hypocrisy.”

 

The man who was the chief strategist of the Bush – Cheney 2004 campaign continued on his tirade against people disagreeing on stuff, saying quote “the Founding Fathers warned against day in and day out, including President Washington, about the power of political parties and the power of parties to tear apart the government and create this dysfunction.”

 

Dowd continued saying we need to get beyond vitriol, saying quote “We are at a point now where the political parties and people line up in these tribes and it's very difficult.” Cokie Roberts agreed, saying “the Senate's just reflecting what's going on in the country.”

 

Kristol objected, saying “The Republicans aren't responsible for gridlock in this situation.”

 

Cokie Roberts replied “Both sides are responsible for gridlock.”

 

Stephanopoulos then went on a rant about how unpopular and untrustworthy President Obama is, Matthew Dowd said this proves Obama will never be popular again, Cokie Roberts said Obama and the Republicans are equally unpopular, and Bill Kristol said not many people know this, but Republicans are actually secretly quite popular.

To top of the ridiculousness, Stephanopoulos asked Bill Kristol “Was John F. Kennedy basically a conservative or a liberal?” to which Kristol said JFK would be more comfortable with the Republican Party of today than with the Democratic Party, prompting laughter from the other members of the panel.

So we can't have a deal with Iran, but should increase sanctions because unemployment is skyrocketing and if we ease sanctions the Iranian people might feel some benefit, the man who won on Swift Boating says we need get past vitriol, Republicans refusal to confirm any Obama appointees proves Republicans are not responsible for gridlock, and pundits say the Senate Majority Leader is responsible for Senate dysfunction, and want him to do something about it, but are furious if the Senate resorts to Majority Rule.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: The 80-Year Experiment

Listen

Listen

Nov 17, 2013 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows — in this case, Meet the Press and This Week on ABC — then creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.

Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

This was the week for the media to completely freak out over Obamacare. On ABC's This Week, host Martha Raddatz and Jon Karl separately compared Obamacare to Hurricane Katrina, while Raddatz asked seven different questions based whether people no long trust the President – there are all quotes:

- “what do you see as far as Obama regaining the trust of the American people?”

- “David and Matthew, what do you see as far as Obama regaining the trust of the American people?

- “Jon, you first, whether he can regain the trust of the American people.”

- “Can President Obama regain the trust of the American people?”

- “We're talking about leadership here and trust”

- “Which brings you back to the issue of trust”

- “And that becomes an issue of trust”

To Senator Gillibrand, she asked: “Did you feel misled by Obama?” and “So, were you misled?”

Read the post

Read the post

Raddatz probably won't be taking over the host job full-time, with questions like this, : “What does this all say about President Obama's leadership these past few weeks? He fell on his sword, but he's missed that sword a couple of times.”

Of course she also asked Gillibrand if she was running for President in 2016.

On the panel, Howard Dean argued in favor of a public option, while Representative Kinzinger said the Obamacare rollout problems prove that the Democrats have been planning a single-payer system from the “very beginning.”

But Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal was the true voice of reason, saying Obamacare is “going to be the greatest political gift for Republicans in maybe decades” and “we have had a year of fumbles by the administration over Syria, with the IRS issues, the question of the NSA, what happened to Ed Snowden, wiretapping the chancellor of Germany.”

On Meet The Press, David Gregory says the entire country feels a crisis of confidence, and is concerned that Nancy Pelosi is not concerned, asking her “Why aren't you concerned at this point that this is in grave danger of not being done right?”

He also courageously went against the Beltway grain, observing “people will say this is like Katrina; I think it's more like Iraq.”

When Gregory asked Kelly Ayotte what the Republican plan is to insure 40 million Americans she said, “We would like to get to some bipartisan solutions. Let's allow a greater competition,” and “there are many ideas I think that Republicans are willing to work on a bipartisan basis on,” and “Let's get together and figure out what the best models are from the state law” and “let's get to the table on a bipartisan basis”

When Tom Brokaw pointed out the Republicans have no plan, Mike Murphy responded “That's totally right. But we've got the opportunity now

This week we learned something interesting – what David Gregory does during the rest of the week. He calls up conservative columnists and they chat about how awful Barack Obama is.

To Dan Henninger, with the Wall Street Journal, he said, “You know, Dan, you and I had an exchange this week and you made the point that this President has gone way too far in his quests to use government to do good. That it's become coercive. That the idea of the mandate is the centerpiece of Obamacare. Is that kind of what's the big test of all of this?”

Henninger of course, agreed, saying “the young people, the healthy people who of course are running around using iPhones and applications successfully to redesign their own lives, they're the ones who are going to fall off Obamacare and lose faith in it. And I think to some great extent, their faith in the government's ability to deliver an entitlement like this is also being put at risk.”

But it's not just young people who will turn away from government – oh no – at long last because of Obamacare, America's 80 year experiment with government will come to an end, and the last vestiges of the New Deal can finally be swept away.

Henninger: “the theory behind progressive or liberal politics, at least going back to F.D.R., was that they could come up with ideas to do good, like Social Security or Medicare and Medicaid. And that although it might be inefficient, that they could just make it work. The administrative state, the bureaucracies could make it work. That's been the theory.”

“We are seeing a test case now with Obamacare whether this grand entitlement can be made to work by the administrative bureaucracies. And, if it continues to have the sorts of problems it is, I think a lot of voters for whom government is on the bubble right now, make no mistake about it, are going to start pulling back support for this basic idea that liberals and progressives have pushed for the last 80 years.”


So, the health care reform law is Obama's Katrina, or Obama's Iraq, or possibly the worst crisis in decades, including 9/11, Iran-Contra, Watergate, and the series finale of “Lost.”

It also proves Obama should have bombed Syria, not let Edward Snowden take documents from the NSA, or wiretapped Angela Merkel back in 2002.

More than that, it will turn an entire smartphone-using generation away from government, because of a glitch-ridden website; and best of all, will demonstrate that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were all mistakes, and, prove once and for all, after 80 years of experimenting with this theory that government can do good, this basic idea being tested, that government is just a bad idea.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

 

Culture of Truth: Sunday Mythologies

Listen

Listen

Nov 10, 2013 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows — in this case, Meet the Press and This Week on ABC — then creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

This week, media darling Chris Christie was all over the Sunday talk shows. On ABC's This Week, we learned that Chris Christie is a teller of hard truths, like 'broken things should be fixed', he's a pragmatist and a get-it-done type of guy, and he's a hero for not screaming at the Romney aide who told him he wasn't going to be Vice President. From George Stephanopoulos, we learned that the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei is trading insults with the French on Twitter.

 

Meet The Press also addressed the Iran nuclear talks. Although John Kerry did not make a deal in Geneva, David Gregory is very worried that Kerry and Obama are weak Democrats who are going to give away the store to Iran.

Gregory said of Iran, quote “They double play. They play for time while they keep producing. They try to win the confidence of the West. And they can play games. Is there fear around the table that they're doing that now?” unquote and quote “what's the rush? Why not increase that economic pressure so you get – not just a halt – but actually a dismantlement of the architecture”? unquote

 

Kerry pointed out the goal of the sanctions is to bring Iran to the negotiating table, but Gregory wasn't having it, asking quote “are you being skeptical enough about a man who has been called a wolf in sheep's clothing?” and quote “Are you being skeptical enough?” unquote. Kerry replied quote “I don't think we're stupid.”

Finally Gregory just called Obama and Kerry a bunch of America-hating cowards complicit in murder, saying quote: “There's a feeling that the U.S. has abandoned critical friends in that region in part because you're moving toward a deal with Iran which could provide them tremendous economic relief, when, at the same time, critics would say their major client, Syria, has gotten a pass to murder their own people as long as they don't use chemical weapons. So then, all of this is amounting to this reluctance to really exercise U.S. power.” unquote

Kerry reminded Gregory that it was Obama who wanted to use force in Syria, and Republicans who balked, quote “as you know better than anybody” unquote and also that Obama used military force in Libya and got bin Laden, and told him to drop the – quote – “mythology of politics” unquote

Bob Corker came on to worry quote “about an administration that seems really ready, always, to jump into the arms of folks and potentially deal away some of the leverage we have.” unquote

Gregory was then ready for his hard-hitting infomercial with Chris Christie, opening by saying quote “Lots of speculation this week, and a lot of excitement throughout the country with your reelection in terms of what it means,” unquote, and asking quote “can impact the Republican Party with this reelection?” and telling the ever-modest Governor quote “whether you like it or not, you've been thrust into a position where you're sort of the face of the established wing of the party,” and quote “Mitt Romney told me here last week that you could save the Republican Party. Does it need saving? And are you the guy to save it?” unquote

Christie called the President a liar, announced that he was a bold truth teller, and brushed off his poor economic record, saying that if his state was doing well, he wouldn't needed to have run for reelection, now would he?

Like those on ABC, the panel was in love with Chris Christie.

Mark Halperin said quote “Chris Christie is someone who is magical in the way politicians can be magical, like our last three presidents. People like having them on T.V.. He's a good talker. He won.”

Doris Goodwin compared Christie to Teddy Roosevelt, saying like Christie – quote – “He was a fighter. He was blunt. He had energy. He had a sense of knowing how to address complex issues and make them very simple, speak softly and carry a big stick, you know, special interests, square deal.” unquote

Gregory wanted to talk about Joe Scarborough's new book and discuss how the Republican party can win more elections, saying quote “I'm thrilled to be able to do the first preview on this, Joe, because the book is compelling,” unquote and quote “you had a big idea in this book. And it is a path to winning that's based on pragmatism over ideology.” unquote

But the silliest moment came when Gregory switched from Christie worship to bashing Obama. Scarborough announced Republicans can tell you he is not partisan but Obama  won't work with Republicans, while Gregory asked quote “What happens if the website does not, you know, get operational at some point?” unquote and the ridiculous Mark Halperin said quote:

“I try not to be hyperbolic, and try not to judge things after 30 days. I think the President's second term is in the balance here” unquote and quote “I think the credibility of his entire presidency's on the line, and the ability to work with Republicans. It seems to me the President's going to be dealing with the Republican House for the balance of his term. And if he cannot lower the temperature on health care, if he cannot find a way to work together with the other party in places on health care” unquote

So Chris Christie is a magical reincarnation of TR, because John Kerry did not make a deal with Iran, it proves he is too trusting, Obama use of Seal Teams, drones, bombs in Libya and threats to strike Syria, showhe is reluctant to exercise military power, and if, in the next few weeks, Republicans do not suddenly change their minds and love Obamacare and start to work with the President for the first time, it will wreck the President's credibility and his entire second term. And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.