Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lighting Their Farts

Watching the clip of Mark Halperin call President Obama a “dick” reminded me of being a camp counselor and watching kids sit around the campfire trying to light their farts. It was obviously a set-up: Mr. Halperin’s little smirk gives it away as if he just couldn’t wait to say it, and Joe Scarborough (who is like the kid who goads the other kids into mischief and then runs away when the grown-ups show up) tossed him his cue. Much hilarity ensues, but it’s juvenile to point of “Sheesh” on crack.

So Mr. Halperin apologizes, MSNBC suspends him indefinitely, the Villagers go nuts, and everyone now concentrates on this outbreak of acne-riddled behavior instead of what caused it. Steve Benen gets it.

I couldn’t care less which four-letter word Halperin uses. I do care that Halperin is presented to news consumers as a neutral observer when he clearly is not. But I really care that he and others in the media establishment look at the debt-ceiling fight and think Obama’s the one who’s a big jerk. And why do they think that? Because the president offered some relatively mild criticism of truly insane tactics.

Let me say this as plainly as I know how: Republicans are threatening to deliberately cause a global recession. The president is willing to strike a deal that leans heavily in the GOP’s direction, and Republicans are refusing. Who, in this scenario, is being dickish?

Exactly. Now, go to your room.