Let's say for a moment Ralph Nader is a lush. I mean that metaphorically. As far as I can tell Nader has never tasted liquor, and as far as I can tell there are few people in public life who could use a drink more. But if Nader is a Metaphorical lush (Booze for Fame, get it?), then “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert was his enabler, Sunday. The Metaphorical case of scotch was the national platform Russert turned over to Ralph.
Russert helped resurrect the political career of a man who is at least peripherally responsible for the last seven years of National Misery. Lest we forget, had Nader not siphoned off the naiveté vote in Florida, the pivotal state in the 2000 election wouldn't have been close enough to steal-hanging chads be damned. Al Gore would never have done his Slide Show, the publisher of the “Bushisms” would be out some serious cash, and -who knows-perhaps half the country wouldn't hate the other half so much.
Nader made news Sunday, of course. Ralph announced he was running for President. Three thoughts. (1) Shocker. (2) Nader has as good a chance of getting elected as Harold Stassen does-and Stassen is dead. (2) You KNOW Russert knew in advance Ralph was there to announce. Otherwise, my sources say, Russert would have booked Brittney to announce she was going back into rehab.
Nader's combination of Ego and pragmatism is understandable. He runs for President again to reestablish his faded presence on the national stage. Fortunately for Megalomaniac enablers, this need plays right into their wheelhouse. Russert gets the pub for his Sweeps guest; Ralph gets a boost with voters anxious to waste their ballots. Win-win and sexier than-I dunno-booking guests who might discuss the real issues facing the country.
The (redundancy alert) Paranoid Far Left might also see a deeper conspiracy--the move as part of the McCain-loving MSM's desire to elect as president one of the few politicians who pretends he likes them, really likes them, just for themselves. Why, if John McCain becomes President, I'm sure he'll have us all over for a beer.
Never has the need for self-aggrandizement by the Ego needy been better positioned than in this day and age. Jokemeister turned Kingmaker Jay Leno launched Arnold Schwarzenegger's political campaign, and even Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and Conan O'Brien “fought” over who helped bring Mike Huckabee out of obscurity.
Bored over the early Presidential campaign, some Media luminaries promoted Fred Dalton Thompson from the workaday TV character actor he was (and may again be) to “movie star Fred Thompson,” some even comparing his career with Ronald Reagan. Critics know Fred Thompson is a better political campaigner than an actor.
Last week we saw other examples how Splashmakers and their enablers operate. When Bill O'Reilly cranks up his (obviousness alert) Outrageous Stupidity Factor to Eleven, his Sworn Enemy, Keith Olbermann, tweaks O'Reilly by naming him the Worst Person in the World.
Last week O'Reilly suggested the possibility of lynching the African-American potential future First lady of the United States, and Olbermann righteously pointed out that--at the very least--O'Reilly should be suspended by Fox. True, but Keith is too smart to think that would ever happen.
So the Media Mandela goes on. O'Reilly rages, Keith rails-and both look good to their base.
But worse yet? When “The New York Times” ran its innuendo fest about John McCain, the biggest question on the Media's mind wasn't merely “What the Hell Were They Thinking?" or "What else have they got?" No, Media just had to know how the most Bloviated Bag of Wind in the land would react--in other words, what would (Oxymoron alert) Limbaugh Think?
So America's news junkies were treated to undercover quality video snippets of Rush doing his radio thing, telling the Dittoheads around the country how they should behave.
I could go on with other examples, but my goal here was to write about Media Megalomania without mentioning Chris Mathews.