The Ultimate Guide to the Political Talk Shows

I am sick and tired. I have tried to watch them but I can’t stand it any more. They are hurting the political discourse in this country and outside the wonks who live and breathe politics, they have no relationship with average people. I’m talking about political talk shows. Here is the ultimate guide so you never have to watch them again.

I should clarify one point. The shows and the news in general on the broadcast networks have an effect on average people more than those on cable but all of them still are pretty much worthless unless you obsess about politics.

Ultimate Political Talk Show Guide

1. The shows covered under this guide is as follows: 

ABC This Week
CBS Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer
Fox Fox News Sunday w/ Chris Wallace
NBC Meet the Press with David Gregory
PBS The McLaughlin Group

CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley
CNN Reliable Sources
MSNBC The Ed Show
MSNBC Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann
MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show
FOXNEWS Any show at any hour

2. Formats are pretty much the same in that they allow for unquestioning press release spin 

3 Except for the MSNBC shows, the spin is at least misleading and in most cases lies.

4. Again except for the MSNBC shows, the hosts never really ask follow up questions.

5. The shows all have the same guests and those guests lean toward the GOP with a token Democrat in some cases. Again MSNBC is the opposite – having mostly Democratic or left leaning guests but the GOP rarely appears on MSNBC shows even as tokens.

6. MSNBC shows are better because they at least stick with facts and the truth even when it looks bad for Democrats and liberals in general. The other shows “concern troll” for the Democrats on all topics and accept the GOP talking points as true on their face.

7. The hosts and/or guests on any FOX “News” shows are either stupid, racists, or both at the same time.

8. All shows tend to have stories and topics that are important only to those who live inside the Washington DC beltway. Occasionally, most likely the MSNBC shows will actually have a topic of importance to all Americans.

9. Most of these shows favor “drama” over substance where yelling and arguing is seen as “good”, except for Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann, and The Rachel Maddow Show. Or they obsess on the political process which is like watching sausage being made.

10. You don’t have to watch any of the shows live or on your DVR. You can go to the network websites and watch clips, watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report to get a funny take on what the shows have on, or visit these websites:

and for special handling of FOX “News” crap:

11. Although it seems some shows might be better than the others, at the end of the day you don’t need to watch them to keep yourself informed. They take up time better spent with friends and family and laughing and having fun.

Project Runway at this Old House

Nifty title, no?

I just wanted to comment on 2 TV shows I watched this week in the same post. So, sue me.

Project Runway

I have really tried not to be sucked into this reality show. I am not a fashion person or even care about the fashion industry even though I do know something about the history. Simply put I watched a few episodes of the Season 3 of Project Runway because Bravo repeats it so often – talk about roadblock programing.

I did watch the finale and I was not shocked that Jeffery won. Couture isn’t about what regular people will buy and wear – it is all about art and style. Jeffery had the trendy and arty part down. A woman wearing a dress that makes her look like peppermint candy has to be arty, no? The judges on the show were looking for that and that is why Jeffery won. Why else would they ignore the fact he went over budget on his finale designs.You knew he would win the show when he won the couture challenge in episode 9.

If the criteria was about what practical people would buy and wear then it was a tie between Uli and Laura. I liked a number of their designs. Laura’s bead work was stunning and the swimsuit Uli designed was nice.

Project Runway

This Old House

One of my long time favorite shows is finally getting back to basics – at least for this season.

The crew of Norm, Tommy, Richard, Roger, and Kevin began work on renovating an East Boston duplex that was built in 1916. This time money is tight and they have a strict $250,000 budget to use on both units.

Some recent projects had moved away from the formula that made the show a great watch as money became no object. It is great seeing what someone can do with unlimited funds but that gets boring and doesn’t relate to what many regular rehabbers go through on their houses.

For example, in a scene in a recent episode of the East Boston project had Tommy, Norm, and Kevin looking at the stucco on the outside of the house and an expert told them the stucco was original. They learned that totally redoing the outside would require a good chunk of the budget and only patching the cracks would be the least expensive option. Another episode had an electrician explaining to Norm that the house still had active knob and tube wiring that would need to be replaced. The homeowner also learned that the cost of removing a street tree that has clogged up the sewer main to the house would be the same as if they just dug up the sewer and relocated it.

The other part of the return of the show is the homeowners would do some of the labor to save money.

The refocus on the basics seemed to start this past spring, when TOH helped renovate a burned out row house in Washington DC that would sold to a moderate income family through the group Mi Casa.

I remember one episode when Kevin is told the budget for that rehab would be $200,000 he mentioned they spent that on just a kitchen on another project.

It is great to see it back. Now if I can just get my local PBS station not to interrupt it for their pledge drive so I can watch whole project it might be better.

This Old House