Can S.E. Cupp Lie with Fools and Not Get Up a Fool?
I suspect that many conservatives sent up a cheer when they heard that smart, feisty conservative commentator S.E. Cupp would be co-hosting MSNBC's new show, The Cycle. Cupp flies in the face of the contrived, stodgy image of a conservative -- call her Breitbart in a very appealing dress -- far more capable of taking fight to foe than your average Republican. And yet, Cupp seems far too concerned with being liked by her friends at MSNBC to deserve comparisons to the great Breitbart. It's one thing to enter the lion's den (loony bin, as the case may be); it's quite another to believe that you can reason with the guy who already has one hand around the knife in your back.
The Cycle will, without doubt, make for some interesting sound bites, assuming you have the stomach. In Cupp's own words, "I think it's incredibly important to go into quote-unquote unfriendly territory sometimes so that you can have meaningful conversations...if you just walk into a room full of friends, I don't know that you really accomplish anything." Cupp's bravado is admirable, but MSNBC? Is that a bed any self-respecting conservative wants to climb into, let alone look for partnership in the middle? Ick. Like Sarah Palin hosting Saturday Night Live, Michele Bachmann on the set of Jimmy Fallon, or John Boehner on the golf course with Obama. No matter how nice progressives pretend to play, and conservatives want to believe they will, the playing field (narrative) by design favors only one team, and it is decidedly not conservatives.
The Cycle features three other co-hosts: Salon's Steve Kornacki, one-time Democrat congressional candidate turned political strategist Krystal Ball, and author and NYC television personality Touré (his full name). To put this simply, Cupp is sitting down for reasoned discussion with a writer who believes that Republicans questioning Eric Holder over Fast and Furious are racist, a henchman in the #StopRush campaign, and a 9/11 truther -- all on a network whose greatest prowess appears to be in unscrupulous tape-editing. When this is the company one keeps, is reason even possible?
To prove just how civil the three professed progressives of The Cycle's panel promise to be, Touré opened the June 25 inaugural episode with this message, including a requisite disclaimer on the panel's diversity:
We're going to have sparks because we are four very different parts of a puzzle: two men and two women, three whites and one brother; three of us are progressive and S.E. is a conservative; three of us are from Massachusetts and Krystal is from Virginia; I like women the three of them like men; three of us are writers, Krystal is an activist; three of us are in our 30's, one is in their very, very early 40's; two of us are married parents, two of us are single; two of us can see -- there's lots of ways to slice the pie, but no matter where you place the knife, we're friends who believe in America and want to see it succeed, even though we may disagree about how to get there and what success even means. A lot of people have focused on why'd you put a conservative on the show. I don't want to watch her. But if we exclude the views of the other side then we're no better than them. And I think that in wanting to be post-partisan and find solutions and get beyond obstructionism we are better than them. Obstructionism is anti-American because it values paralysis and politics over progress. It stems from a refusal to respect each other and a refusal to listen to each other, and a preference for winning an election over improving our future. And we're not that sort of party. We're better than that. Plus, as Kyrstal said last week, if your worldview is so fragile you can't even hear different points of view than you should reassess your worldview.
Touré immediately followed his passive-aggressive slam of conservatives by proclaiming himself a "committed progressive" who can appreciate hosting with Cupp because "steel sharpens steel, and I like to know what the enemy is thinking." I think I know where Touré might "place the knife" -- in Cupp's back. Because for Touré and other progressives, what really puzzles is why anyone would obstruct abject progressivism, let alone the left winning elections. Progressives might feign openness to different points of view, but their compromise ends there, long ago evidenced by Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and the left's media, including every on-air MSNBC personality. "We're better than that," in Touré's worldview, when Cupp and other conservatives concede once and for all to the left. Alex Trebek, I'll take "progressive misnomers" for $1,000 -- and the answer is, what is compromise?
But there is a larger point here not to be missed. Can we -- and this includes FOX News -- finally cease with kowtowing to (perceived) balanced fairness, a leftist notion at best? I'll be the first to admit that Juan Williams; Bob Beckel; the wise Latino, Geraldo Rivera; and the increasing myriad of progressives FNC feels compelled to employ will never change my thinking. It might make for some entertaining exchanges, but S.E. Cupp will never ingratiate viewers who get their "news" from Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, and King RINO Joe Scarborough to conservatism. There is simply no compromise to be found between communists and those who embrace personal liberty, as it should be. The free market will sort out the winners and losers in this debate, and it will not be the new media that suffers.
Wouldn't we rather the greatest modern enemy to truth and liberty -- the left's media -- sink under its own weight of dishonesty, omission, ineptitude, bias, and progressive narrative than watch any respected conservative aid and abet its viewership, let alone any narrative? That Mr. Touré would ever accept any compromise other than full capitulation to his worldview is laughable. Why should Cupp assist in the illusion that portrays him otherwise?
our fight is progressivism, not other conservatives, so it is not in my nature to criticize a very capable warrior such as Cupp. But there is simply no reason to believe that playing on the left's field, by the left's rules, with leftists, is any place for conservatives to change hearts and minds. Cupp is too smart to sacrifice herself in this charade, unless her career goal is co-hosting The View or she enjoys losing IQ points sitting across from Krystal Ball. Despite its desperate outreach to one conservative in the midst of ratings hell, MSNBC will never consider veering right before leaning forward over the progressive cliff. This we know.
There's simply no better solution than to put MSNBC, and any other old media, out of business. Period. Fortunately, MSNBC is doing that quite well under the weight of its own unbridled idiocy and dishonesty, as its dismal ratings prove. All the better, then, that S.E. Cupp not lend one iota of credibility, let alone ratings boost, to MSNBC's narrative. Cupp's talent can better serve where it might reach reasoned minds.