Picture if you will: We have arrived at Crossfire, run the gauntlet of security and "will call" nonsense. Put our butts in some decent seats. Starting to percolate about how cool this whole little dog-and-pony show is gonna be. And then tabloid disaster strikes: Monitors, tuned to CNN of course, start predicting an imminent verdict in the Laci Peterson case, which is indeed handed down moments before Crossfire is to begin.
So what happens? The entire plan for the show--Arafat, the Middle East, Black flags in Falluja--is scrapped within 8 minutes of going live to discuss how people feel about the Peterson guilty verdict. A more bummed woman you have never met. The entire show I am sitting there, a totally Bitter Betty, that we are even discussing such a ludicrous topic.
Yes, it's tragic. Yes, it's sad. But no, it is NOT national news worthy of pushing Falluja and Arafat's power vacuum off the front burner. I was p*ssed. Totally p*ssed. They handed out blue notecards for people to write their "thoughts and feelings" about the verdict, from which they would select a group to share their thoughts on air. I wrote the following:
"While this is a tragic and sad situation, it is not national news. Why is it receiving such a high level of attention? Isn't it just a full-employment program for legal analysts? Having said that, I am glad he was found guilty, although the issue of the unborn child is a more complicated issue, legally and ethically."
Was I picked? Nah. Didn't expect to be. The ones that were? And I quote, "I really think that justice was done here for Laci and her child." "Boy, the jury reached that verdict kind of quickly, huh?" Really? And you are a members of which Bar?
It was excruciating. For everyone. Poor Donna Brazile shows up to talk progressive turkey and gets lumped with Jeffrey Feiger (of Kevorkian trial fame) and another attorney who looked like Nicole Brown Simpson's sister, ironically. Tucker was his usual Faux Self-Deprecating Charming self, chatting with the audience in a way that confirms "yeah, he really DOES say that to all the girls..."
Short Story Long: #1: John Stewart was right. Crossfire is not a political discussion; it is infotainment in the worst sense of the word (and I say that with full adoration for you, my beloved JCarville). #2: Lemme break it down for you to give you a full picture without writing a thousand words~ Tucker Carlson is the Carson Daly of politics. Nuff said?