Culture of Truth: Long Wars That Seem Without End



May 18, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays.


Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was a very busy day for the Sunday talk shows, unless you host Meet The Press. In that case you got the day off, while NBC just showed a bunch of clips from past episodes, back when televisions longest running new program was, you know, watchable.

ABC's This Week, however, covered more categories than Jeopardy.

First up was the mass shooting in California, where host Martha Raddatz wondered if police could have done more to prevent it. Pierre Thomas made the dubious claim that if the police had known he had “actually purchased weapons. That might have given them the predicate to do a search.” Not only is that doubtful, but it's unclear what a search of home would have accomplished, since the shooter's considerable stockpile of guns and ammunition were purchased and owned legally.


Next up was the Pope's trip to the Middle East, and Raddatz wondering whether the Pope's visit will create peace between Israel and Palestine, and then it was on to the VA scandal.


And that was touched on only briefly, before discussion turned to the Presidential election in Ukraine, won by a “chocolate king” who runs a “candy empire.” No word yet whether the new president will be guarded by Oompa Loompas.

Discussion then turned to an Obama administration indictment of Chinese military officials for alleged theft of US company trade secrets. Raddatz of course, sees this as bad for Obama, asking Jon Huntsman, “Is the Obama administration doing enough?”

When Hunstman actually discussed the issue seriously, Raddatz, clearly frustrated, said “Well, let me ask you again, are we doing enough? Will this do any good?”

Raddatz mentioned Edward Snowden's revelations about US spying, then asked, “how do the Chinese retaliate? Or will they retaliate? And when do we call this an act of war?” as a solution, Raddatz said, “So we get cyber mercenaries, Steve?”

Pivoting to allegations that NFL teams pumped their players with pain killers to get them back on the field, former NFL player Mark Schlereth denied there was a problem, saying “I've never been around a player that didn't put more pressure on himself to play injured than the team did.”

Raddatz then brought in her balanced roundtable, of Democratic strategist David Plouffe, Republican strategist Matthew Dowd, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, and Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson.

On the Veterans Administration, Raddatz asked quote, “Did the president handle this correctly?”

Dowd gave a nuanced answer, praising improvements to the VA the President has made, and mentioning historic mistreatment of veterans, including health care, unemployment and homelessness, and concluding, “If you look at this and take a broad perspective on this, you take a look at this first. The number one thing is, is we've got to quit fighting long wars that seem without end. That's what's driving a huge part of this problem that we have here.”

Raddatz wasn't interested, replying, “But let's talk about how the president has handled this. It took him almost four weeks to come out and say anything really about this. Why? And was that the wrong thing to do?”


Plouffe, of course defended the President, so Raddatz was forced to turn to Navarro, saying, “But shouldn't the president have come out here sooner?” and “Ana, should Shinseki resign?”


Navarro complied, but Soltis Anderson was no help, saying quote “you know, it's a favorite Washington game - something goes wrong, somebody's - you know, heads have to roll in order to make it all right,” and instead arguing there is “a structural problem within the VA”


Raddatz suggested privatizing the VA, but Matt Dowd pointed out that his brother really likes the service he gets at the VA, but he just has to wait too long to get it.


Raddatz then talked about actor Jon Voight and his daughter, actress Angelina Jolie.


Raddatz ended the program with a piece about a reunion of troops who 10 years ago were ambushed in an alley, pinned down and unprotected. Eight soldiers were killed and 60 were wounded. The doctor who treated them was a pediatrician who until that day had only ever treated children. By the end of their tour the Division had lost 169 soldiers. The division commander, Martin Dempsey, has been promoted twice and is now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You haven't heard about this incident because it's not Benghazi.


So: ABC assembles a panel of one Democrat and three Republicans, and prompts them with leading, inside baseball questions like “Did the president handle this correctly?” and “shouldn't the president have been out there sooner?” “ and "was that the wrong thing to do?” and still can't get the Republican guests to do what they're supposed to do, which is avoid substance and bash the President. Maybe ABC will have to become like NBC and just show clips from their glory days.


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