Meet the Deaf
At the risk of stating the obvious, David Gregory is just not doing a good job preserving the pretense that Meet the Press is an austere and objective news program. We all know that Fox News Sunday skews Republican a bit, but Gregory seems to relish the opportunity to take apart any conservative guest to the extent that it's become a little disturbing to witness. I do not recall any such impression with the late Tim Russert.
Gregory had Santorum on today (video here), and proceeded to ask him about a speech in which Santorum, somewhat satirically, referred to Obama as a "snob" for his proclamation that all students should go to college. Santorum calmly explained to Gregory that he was indeed in favor of "everyone having the opportunity to go to college," but that many would simply prefer a technical college, or another track to a vocational position. Santorum repeated that everyone should have the opportunity to go to college. Gregory followed up by asking, "So, your vision for America is that, uh, you shouldn't have that opportunity [to go to college]?"
This is where a non-politician might have asked, "Are you deaf?" But, Santorum, employing an admirable, Romneyesque, degree of self-control, simply restated his position in a measured tone. Gregory has a way of almost bouncing up and down in his chair when he thinks he has caught a conservative in some type of gotcha scenario, be it a supposed hypocrisy, or what he considers to be an otherwise damaging line of inquiry. He gets very excited indeed, as though he were on the verge of an epileptic fit.
Later in the show, another guest, Kathleen Parker, columnist for the Washington Post, went on to proffer her opinion that Romney is a "dork." She presumed that the panel could "unanimously conclude" this, all the while smiling coyly as though she had been particularly witty here. Of course, it's easy for any of these panels to unanimously agree on anything, when they're all sitting on the same side of the fence. That's what makes them so boring to watch.
I could think of a word or two other than "dork" with which to refer to Mrs. Parker, rather offensive epithets at that. But instead, let me ask, Mrs. Parker, is being a straight-laced, hard working over-achiever somehow not "cool" enough? Not multicultural enough? We don't need politicians pathetically attempting to show they are "with-it" when it comes to pop-culture, a la Obama or Bill Clinton. Rather, we need a good role model for our youth. In this sense, it is about time to redefine the standards of what type of personalities are valued by our culture. Romney's sober presentation offers a new aesthetic which could serve as a vanguard for this new standard.
Malcolm Unwell is that rare bird, a conservative educator. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.