This is the beginning of a weekly liveblog diary summarizing the major network Sunday political talk shows: Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Fox News Sunday, and The Chris Matthews Show. I will open the diary every Sunday morning for fellow Kossacks to post real-time commentary and reviews of the interviews and discussions. I will also post links to each show's web site. My hope is that if you regard watching the Sunday talks as a spectator sport (which I certainly do), you will find a place to share your thoughts; and if you are unable to watch the shows, you will find useful information you otherwise might have missed. In addition, I'm hoping that the mainstream media will be aware that their political programming is under scrutiny by the Daily Kos community and will maintain (or raise, as the case may be) their standards for public discourse and political reporting.
Let us go then, you and I. . .
On any given Sunday at my house, you will hear, "Go, baby!"; "Wrong!"; "Bastard!"; "Yes, yes, YES!"; "Don't let him get by with that!"; "Steady, now!"; or "You nailed it! Good job!" This is not, however, the resident dude responding to a football game. It's me screaming back at the Sunday morning talk shows.
My father used to spend Sunday mornings planted in his chair, as fully engaged in the conversations on the three network political talk shows (remember "Issues and Answers"?) as if he were a panel member himself. And I used to watch him and think that some day, when I was all grown up, he would regret having spent that time yelling back at the TV like an audience member at the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" instead of playing with his only daughter.
Well, now I'm grown up, and my father is with Tim Russert, and I don't regret one minute of his fanaticism about the Sunday talks. He taught me the value of being a critical listener, of demanding the truth, and of personal involvement with political discussions.
I've noticed that many Kossacks write that they either don't have TVs or they don't get to watch the Sunday talks with any regularity and are hungry for a sense of what went on. And it's abundantly obvious that just as many Kossacks have interesting, insightful, and witty commentary about the political programs. So I thought, why not bring everybody together?
Before we begin, it would be good to set some ground rules so the blog runs smoothly:
- The blog should be useful to those who can't watch the Sunday talk shows, so those of us who do have access to a TV machine should make our responses informative, descriptive, and substantive. Include accurate quotes when possible.
- Feel free to post links to information that either supports (or disputes) your (or a talk show guest's) comment.
- As easy as the DKos community might find it to denigrate Fox News Sunday in particular, I hope we can set a standard for tolerance, accuracy, and excellence in our reporting--in other words, provide an example of what we would like to see out of all the networks.
- That said, we have a responsibility to refuse to allow anyone on any network to get by with any crap, such as softball questions, shameless shilling, skirting issues, evasiveness, or lies.
- We should strive to make ourselves relevant. Rather than contenting ourselves with exclusively reactionary comments, we should use this opportunity to demand answers, question assumptions, and carry conversations beyond the broadcast. We must make it clear that we hold hosts and guests alike accountable for their words beyond their television appearance.
- I'll give each show its own section in a block quote, like this:
Meet the Press
and the posts for each show can go below the title.
- In addition, each show will have a section called "Money Quote." This will be where we nominate our choice for the most noteworthy quote (from the sublime to the ridiculous) of the show. The header for that section will look like this:
Hulu (http://www.hulu.com/) posts clips from Meet the Press, which makes sense given that Hulu is an NBC-owned entity. However, the postings seem to lag by a few days, and there don't to be entire editions of MTP or the other Sunday talks posted as yet. Also, Hulu is currently available only in the U.S., which leaves a sizeable international audience out of luck for the time being. Perhaps not-so-distant future technological innovations will render this blog irrelevant, but as I've been thinking about starting it for a long time, I hope that day doesn't come too soon.
We'll test-drive this baby on the morning of Sunday, January 4 and see how it goes. Please feel free to suggest additional ground rules or teach me better formatting techniques if you see the need.
I hope you find this a productive idea, and I look forward to our shared effort. I've always admired Kossacks as the best writers in the blogosphere, and it'll be fun to come together on Sunday mornings as virtual armchair panelists.
See you next Sunday morning, and Happy New Year!