Culture of Truth: Lifeblood of the Pundits

                                       Listen laugh, weep

                                       Listen laugh, weep

April 13, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

If it's Sunday, it's another day of substance-free gossip shows about politics, not policy.

On Obamacare, Meet the Press panelists Paul Gigot and Mike Murphy bashed the law, Rep. Donna Edwards defended it, and Kara Swisher, auditioning, she hinted, to take David Brook's place, used the word “debacle” twice, and “disaster” three times. Responding to Rep. Edwards, David Gregory got philosophical, saying quote:

“The problem, Congresswoman, is that there's a lot we still don't know. That's a reality. You can't anticipate all the consequences of ObamaCare.”

Gregory quoted Paul Gigot on the politics of the law, and then turned for a rebuttal, to Paul Gigot.

We then got an interview of Kathleen Sebelius by Andrea Mitchell. It was a typical Beltway interview, long on gossip and passive voice accusations, devoid of substance.

Questions Andrea Mitchell asked the former HHS Secretary:

- “Should you have delayed the rollout and tried to get it right the first time?”

- “One of the things that has been written is that there was so much attention being paid as to whether the insurance companies would offer enough choices, but not enough was paid to, just, the website”

- “Did the White House oversell it?”

- “Along the way, what was your low point?”

- “then there's all the sort of back sniping. This is Washington, after all. People are asking, 'Were you pushed or did you jump?'”


Back with the panel, Gregory, trying to avoid substance, said, about Kathleen Sebelius, “Alright, so the pure political question, is the resignation a sign of ObamaCare's success or failure? Republicans were quick to pounce on that this week up in New Hampshire. Ted Cruz, Scott Brown talking about it,” and after playing a quote from non-office holder Scott Brown, said:

“This is why people love politics. How long did it take to come up with that line? But Paul Gigot, this is the political question, right? This is not about actuarial science. It's who's going to win the fight over whether ObamaCare is a good thing or a bad thing, government run amuck or government helping people?”

Mike Murphy agreed, saying “The perception of it, which in politics is reality, is complete failure.”

On voting rights, Gigot asked, quote “If voter I.D. were about voter disenfranchisement, why was African American turnout so much greater in 2012?” While Gregory asked “How powerful is the issue?”


Swisher wanted to talk about voting by smartphone, since, “you get your groceries delivered, you get your, you know, Amazon is suddenly going to bring drones some day, and I think they probably will actually.”


There was a lengthy segment from Boston Harbor, where Gregory interviewed city officials, with an emphasis on the heroism of first responders, while Harry Smith tied the response to the bombings to Lexington and Concord.


The show also had a segment praising the Gettysburg Address, where Ken Burns helpfully noted that at his website you can hear Bill O'Reilly and David Gregory recite the Gettysburg Address.

The panel gravely wondered what would happen if Lincoln lived in an age of twitter and pundits, with Ken Burns speculating that the media would write "The president came to Gettysburg to distract attention from this disastrous military campaign out West."

But the most absurd moments came speculating about whether Jeb Bush would run for President, and just how wonderful he is.

On  ABC This Week Ana Navarro assured us that the Bush name won't be a liability, since quote “frankly, George W. Bush's numbers are better than Obama's,” to which Republican Matt Dowd replied quote “That's not actually true.”

Navarro continued, undaunted, saying, “whenever you see George W. Bush it's in three instances. He's either helping a kid with malaria in Africa; he's helping a wounded warrior... or you know, doing paint by numbers. He's become non-controversial.”


On Meet the Press, Gregory said “A lot of talk this week about Jeb Bush” and then he turned to Mike Murphy, a former advisor to Jeb Bush.


The former Jeb Bush employee frankly loves Jeb Bush, but Murphy is sad because “leadership has been replaced in American politics by marketing. We micro target, micro pander, let's focus group and figure out how to win, you know, this, win that.” unquote


But Jeb Bush is here to end cheap tactics, like focus groups, pandering, and winning. Murphy said “we've lost sight of politicians who tell you what they think is right, they make an argument for it, and then you figure it out. And that's who Jeb Bush is. He's not a typical weather-vane kind of guy.”

Murphy observed that it's still early, saying “You know, there is a speculation machine in D.C. It's incredible.”

Gregory replied: “Right, it's called our life blood.”

Kara Swisher jumped in, saying quote “That's all you do here, right?” unquote.

Yes it is, Kara, yes it is.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.