Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 18, 2002
POLITICS: Same Old Phil

If you want a perfect picture of where the Left is today, look at Phil Donahue. Donahue's the same Donahue he was as a media and ratings darling in the 70s and early 80s. His opinions haven't changed, his hectoring style hasn't changed, even his hair hasn't changed. The difference is, his act has worn out, nobody's watching anymore, and the plug is about to be pulled. Yes, it's true that the evening time slot wasn't friendly to Phil, whose core late-morning audience was stay-at-home moms who wished they worked outside the home (hint: twenty years later, they do). But Donahue was supposed to compete with two-fisted Bill O'Reilly as the Next Great Left-Wing Talk Show Hope. Instead, his philosophical rigidity, condescension and old-Left ideas couldn't compete with O'Reilly's populism. The Right today has the Left surrounded on four sides: new ideas, intellectual honesty, optimism, and the ability to identify with normal human beings. All that's left to sell is didactic, inflexible academic theory and bile. That may sell in book form (see Moore, Michael), but who wants to sit down to an hour of it every night, or listen to three hours on the radio in the afternoon?

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:37 PM | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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