Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Breaking the Set




I’m a big fan of Breaking the Set, it’s more or less my replacement of The Young Turks, which I no longer watch due-to both their constant apologies for Islamic violence, and because Cenk is a Capitalist-apologist who says that the Chinese people should be patient and wait for small reforms in their utterly miserable conditions.  I would like to see how you would respond if it was your kid doing twelve hour shifts Cenk, or if they were being exploited by a foreign government (like Israel) rather than the business class.  The Young Turks are basically Social Liberals, and I get that point-of-view once a week with Real Time, which is more-than enough.  And yes, I know that Abby Martin overall gives a “it’s not Islam’s fault” narrative for Muslim violence as-well, but she makes the point one-hundred times better than Cenk, and I actually fall somewhere between Hitchens and Chomsky on this debate (as a materialist I of course hold there’s a converging of numerous factors) so I don’t mind particularly pointing out the other side of the equation, as long as you do it in a intellectually honest and well-reasoned way, instead of just mentioning that the Nazis were Christians.
Anyway, I wanted to write this brief not-even-an-essay to quickly make a small critique of BtS, namely Abby’s leading questions.  It’s a show that’s very explicit with its Left-wing narrative which I’m fine with; and I understand that Martin has her guests on for particular reasons, namely they agree with her views (and they’re well-informed and at-least half-way articulate people) but does she need to make it so obvious that she wants them to say this-or-that point in-terms of minimum wage or climate change?  She’ll say something along the lines of, “tell me about how Israel is a fascist police state,” and I’m sitting on my couch thinking, “damn, I mean, yes, Israel is fucked-up in twelve and a half ways, but way to be an interviewer and keep yourself out of the question.”  Instead, she could easily say something along the lines of, “you say in your book ‘You Don’t Bring Me Sunshine:  Why Sunny D is unhealthier than rat piss’ that Sunny D is unhealthier than rat piss, could you please elaborate?” but instead she just words it terribly and makes the political bias show glaringly and unappealingly, making the show seem more like propaganda (even if the exact same facts are being stated) than investigative journalism.  Like I said, an overall small complaint, but one that I think matters both in-terms of how people perceive the show and to retain a higher degree of journalistic and intellectual integrity.  And I should know, I took a journalism class in community college.

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