Culture of Truth: The Sunday Show Manhood Problem

April 20, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and 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 and links.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was a special day for the Sunday shows, not just because it was Easter, but because one show was so ridiculous, even those who don't normally watch such things took note.


To celebrate the holiday, ABC's This Week invited Franklin Graham, who, having praised Vladimir Putin's anti-gay laws, addressed all his gay fans who tuned in, saying “Maybe gays that are watching want to know, ‘Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?’ Absolutely.” How? Quote “You’ll have to repent”


Ralph Reed was on hand to critique gay marriage, single parents and all households without the perfect mom and dad, saying “This isn't about Vladimir Putin. This is about what's best for children here in the United States.”


Reed said quote “the social science on this is clear,” and “the social science is irrefutable.” Challenged by Cokie Roberts, he responded “I think the social science is just simply not yet in on same-sex couples.”


ABC then broke for it's all star panel of Bill Kristol, Donna Brazile; Jeff Zeleny; and S.E. Cupp.


On Meet The Press, David Gregory addressed pressing issues in the 2016 Presidential race, asking about Hillary Clinton: “Does the fact that she's going to become a grandmother, on top of all the other considerations, factor into this question?”


Addressing Obamacare, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz mistakenly began to describe the benefits of the law, forgetting that on Meet The Press, only pure politics is discussed, and any issues of substance are banned. Gregory objected, saying “But you're making an argument on the merits,” and again, “You're arguing the merits, Chairman!”


The show then went to Kentucky for an extended piece on a proposed Noah's Ark Theme park. On the $150 million park about the destruction of humanity, noted intellectual David Brooks said “I'm for anything that can introduce some of the moral reminders of the moral currents in life.”


But it was on the topic of Ukraine where the show devolved into the truly absurd.


David Gregory practically begged the Prime Minister to accept “advanced lethal weaponry to stop the Russians?”


While Bob Corker spent most his time complaining about Obama's weakness, saying “our foreign policy is always a day late and a dollar short because we're reacting” and the U.S., “helped in many ways to create the problems that are existing there.”


Corker fears “we're going to lose eastern Ukraine” and helpfully observed, “I hate to say such a crass thing on Easter Sunday morning: the wisest thing that Assad did really was to kill 1,200 people with chemical weapons.”


But David Gregory is even more upset, saying “the reality is that, as I talk to business leaders around the country, as I talk to former diplomats, you have to worry day by day the lessons that Putin is drawing from this.”


He complained Putin has not paid a penalty, and asked, “So how then do you have a strong, clear message that says to him, "Okay, we're done here. You can't go any further"? and later even more upset, asking of Putin, “how do you send that message that enough is enough?”


As always on the Sunday talk shows, the problem is sending a message, toughness and manhood. It took the paragon of masculinity, David Brooks, to point out what everyone was thinking, bravely saying:


“Let's face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a (I'll say it crudely) a manhood problem in the Middle East: Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair. But certainly in the Middle East, there's an assumption he's not tough.”


Chuck Todd has a form of facial hair, so he chimed in as well:

“You know, it's not just Bob Corker saying it, okay, questioning whether the president is being alpha male. That's essentially what he's saying: He's not alpha dog enough. His rhetoric isn't tough enough. They agree with the policy decisions that they're making. Nobody is saying – but it is sort of the rhetoric.”


So, David Gregory has talked to business leaders, and is worried that America is not properly adhering to the well-known “enough is enough” school of international politics. Obama is making all the correct policy decisions, but his “rhetoric isn't tough enough” and he's “not alpha dog enough.” Instead of addressing the multiple overlapping complexities involved in Syria and Ukraine, the experts sum it all up “crudely” as “Obama has a manhood problem.” 


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