Watching the debates (for lack of a better term) rage on in the US, has really been something hasn't it? From 'Birthers' to Health Care, there has been no shortage of crazy talk. From Sarah Palin's comment about Obama's 'Death' panels, to Orly Taitz speaking about Obama not being a US citizen, it's bizarre that these things get coverage, but here we are.
I thought of that earlier as I caught some of Fareed Zakaria's show. He was interviewing Hillary Clinton.
Let me begin by saying, we would do well to have a political show in this country hosted by someone with his breadth of knowledge. At one point, he was discussing Bill Clinton's trip to North Korea. He referenced John Bolton's comments last week about the trip, well actually, I think he only got the words "John Bolton said..." out, when Hillary just burst out laughing. Perfect! I thought, perfect!
What a perfect response to the extreme right and their followers. In a second, that laughter destroyed any credibility Bolton's comments may have had. Poof...dismissed!
It's what we should do here more often. It's how progressive political leaders should respond to the lunacy often put out by the right.
All to often though, we become indignant, or angry, because the attempt to reduce substantial issues to dumbed down 30 second sound bites is just so bloody insulting. That anger though is then picked up in the media and it legitimizes that there actually is a debate on a non existent point.
Think of the whole phony 'coup' issue in the fall based on the coalition. The media certainly didn't try to diffuse the situation with facts. Instead, it was as if someone had screamed food fight! and they covertly lobbed a few dozen eggs themselves, just to keep it going. It should be said that we haven't quite fallen to the lunacy we see south of the border, but we've had our moments.
Now, I'm not blaming the media. It is what it is at this point, but if we want a different result, maybe a different reaction is what is needed.
Some issues are too serious to laugh at obviously, but when the outrageous lies are spoken, I'm thinking we'd do well to laugh at them first. Point out their stupidity. Have the media glom on to that track.
It could be why shows like John Stewart's, Rachel Maddow's and Bill Maher's, make mince meat out of GOP talking points in pretty short order.
That said, when the issues are more serious, we need reasoned dialogue, such that I witnessed on Zakaria's show today.