Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Live" Blogging Tommy Boy on Meet the Press

Note: Not surprisingly, I couldn't bring myself to sit down and watch MTP this morning. But I just watched. OK, not the whole thing so if you're interested in my take on what Robert Menendez and John Cronyn had to say about Rand Paul (and why wouldn't you be?), I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. But I watched the roundtable with Tommy Boy, Paul Gigot, Bob Woodward, Andrea Mitchell, and host David Gregory. If you'd like to get the full live-blogging effect, you can watch here while reading my searing commentary below. 

9:35 AM:*

Tommy Boy gets the first question. It's about Rand Paul. Even though my cat knew there would be Rand Paul questions, Tommy seems unprepared. In fact, it's not clear he even knew who Rand Paul was before he heard Menedez, Cronyn and Gregory talk about him in the first segment. That doesn't stop Tommy from zinging Rand, though; says being against Civil Rights Act is not a "growth" position. Harsh. He might as well have called Rand's mom a whore.

Tommy quickly moves away from Rand and onto more comfortable ground: stuff he's written about in the past few weeks. "It's easy to be against government, but what specifically are you going to cut."


Gigot points out to Tommy that Rand is actually one of the few people that does spell out what he's going to cut: Medicare, for example. (Did Tommy do anything to prepare except reread his own columns?) Cut to Tommy who is nodding enthusiastically and suddenly looks really intrigued. (Maybe it's just occurred to him that the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act applies to Muslims, too).


Why I don't watch shows like this in a nutshell: Paul Gigot - "President Obama has governed so far to the left that I think he's driven Republicans to the right." When did pulling stuff out of your ass that you know isn't true, but you think will be effective for your side, become analysis? No one will challenge him on this crap, either.


Gregory asks Tommy a question he's better prepared for because he's written about it recently: What's happened to the center? Tommy - I'm very worried about the center. It's falling apart for a number of reasons, including "digital lynch mobs on the Internet" (Was that Tommy giving Fire Tom Friedman a shoutout?) . That's why I'd like to be China for a day (Chapter 16 of Hot, Flat and Crowded.) "If we were China for a day, we could get some shit done." Tommy the provocateur is in the house! But not for long. "I don't want to be China for a second." Now I'm confused. Is a day longer than a second? I thought I knew, but now I'm not sure.


Gregory asks Tommy about what the government should be doing to address the oil spill. Tommy does what he does with every question: tread water for thirty seconds than change the subject to a recent column. The treading is painful -- "We've got an oil spill, it's, it's about a mile below the surface, it's about 60 to 70 miles offshore, so it's hard to see, OK?" -- but he picks up steam when he starts reciting, practically verbatim, his column from last Tuesday.


Bob Woodward just suggested that BP call in Google to clean up the oil spill. Seriously. Because when you're old and you don't understand new things, you tend to ascribe to them all sorts of magical powers. Tommy should give Woodward a big sloppy kiss right now for saying something decidedly stupider than the crap he's been peddling, but he's not that self-aware.


Having never watched Tommy in this format, it was amazing how uncomfortable he was when he actually had to talk about a topic that someone else chose rather then just unleashing a steady stream of Friedman diarrhea. I really wish there was footage of Tommy in the green room before hand; I guarantee he was reading his own columns and books. He certainly didn't read anything else to prepare. How can you go on a national television news commentary show without knowing a thing about Rand Paul or the specifics of the oil spill?

*All times are made up, of course. It's 12 hours later as I write this.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious insightful commentary. Thanks Fire Tom Friedman!