The Stuff That Matters

Monday, June 18th, 2012

These two very important looking people are discussing the 2012 election on a national television news show.* I mean, they’re wearing suits and everything. So they must take their jobs very seriously.

This particular segment is five minutes and fifteen seconds long. That’s a fairly decent chunk of time in the world of cable news. What important issue of the day do you suppose they’re discussing? How the candidates will handle the Supreme Court’s pending health care decision? Mitt Romney’s plans to take us to war with Iran? Obama’s prosecution of people who leak lawbreaking by the federal government? The situation in Europe? Our own massive federal deficit?

Click on the photo to see!


(via Glenn Greenwald’s Twitter feed.)

(*By the way, Lawrence, we’re still waiting on that correction!)

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47 Responses to “The Stuff That Matters”

  1. #1 |  Radley Balko | 

    Partisans: Before you comment, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Fox News has recently aired a segment that demonstrates equal or greater stupidity.

  2. #2 |  Chris | 

    No doubt they have. Fox is as empty and vapid as the others. Somehow, though, MSNBC seems beyond the pale when it comes to partisan propaganda.

  3. #3 |  Brandon | 

    Lawrence O’Donnell: Still a twit.

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    people are analyzing this nonsense…

  5. #5 |  karl | 

    This points to an important issue: that we middle-aged people sometimes forget common words.

  6. #6 |  Burgers Allday | 

    When I had a tv I used to watch PBS. It wasn’t great, but you could, like, watch it.

    For non-serious programming, the good channel is whatever one has Archer.

  7. #7 |  Other Sean | 

    I recognize Lawrence O’Donnell, but…was that Raj from What’s Happening?

  8. #8 |  Jack | 

    It’s a test designed to provoke an emotional response.

    “Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about your donuts…”

    “Donuts? Let me tell you about donuts.”

  9. #9 |  omar | 

    Tactical politics rides again. Whatever gives me the temporary advantage is what I do today. No regards for the long term.

    In strategy news for the agitator uber nerds, the civ v expansion comes out at midnight. i will get my sleep, but tomorrow, it’s on.

  10. #10 |  Bob | 

    Oh My God! I’ve been so blind! Here I’ve been wasting my time being concerned about shit like the deficit and the state of Europe… when this is the important shit I should be worrying about!

    I feel so relieved! Thank you Mitt Romney for showing me the way! Now where is the thing… the changing thing for the TV, I need to switch it to that channel. What channel was it? I can’t remember.

  11. #11 |  C.E. | 

    Sadly, this is pretty much what matters to voters. If these guys engaged in a nuanced discussion of some critical issue, viewers would think they’d stumbled across the News Hour and change the channel.

  12. #12 |  John C. Randolph | 

    For Christ’s sake, they’re talking about a man who has repeatedly displayed depraved indifference to human suffering, and they’re trying to get a cheap laugh over what he calls a doughnut.


  13. #13 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    Hopefully, Gary Johnson will try to get caught on video attempting to sort his way through buying smokes at the local Shell station. Good publicity.

  14. #14 |  Other Sean | 

    “Sadly, this is pretty much what matters to voters.”

    Actually I think that clip was a tidy little preview of the presidential reelection strategy. They’re going to point in Romney’s general direction and say “getta load of this guy!” and do their best to help people picture him teeing off beside Judge Smails.

    Obama will then come across as a spoiled and aloof but still likable version of Ty Webb. That’s how he wins.

  15. #15 |  KBCraig | 

    No doubt Fox has been just as stupid (I assume; I haven’t watched any cable news in years), but because they’re actually making money instead of spilling red all over the floor like MSNBC, I doubt they’d devote over 5 minutes to such a minute topic.

  16. #16 |  KPRyan | 

    What’s amazing is that partisans on both the Left and Right think this type of ‘JOURNALISM’ is really, truly, journalism.

    Yes, I attended ‘J’ school. Yes, I wasted a good portion of my parents’ retirement. Yes, I was drunk the good majority of the time. In fact, I consider myself (at worst) equal to O’Donnell and Hannity and O’Reilly (God, you don’t know how much it pains me that THEY share Irish names with ME!).

    But true journalism would be making a mockery out of both candidates. Because in truth there’s very little substantially different between the current two (or the 2 from 4 years ago or the other 2 from 8 years ago, etc, etc, etc). They are both beholden to the military industrial complex. They both perceive Muslims as the enemy. They both are eager to do the bidding of the bankers. They both have been approved by Israel and England.

    However, preaching to the choir gets old (for the choir and the preacher) so this is the last reply I’ll leave that touches on this horrific presidential ‘election’ soon to befall America.

  17. #17 |  greenback | 

    This isn’t what matters to voters. It’s what fills a 24/7 news cycle.

  18. #18 |  marco73 | 

    This is Emily Latella journalism. “If you give Puerto Rico a steak, next they are going to want a baked potatoe and a salad!”

  19. #19 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    For Christ’s sake, they’re talking about a man who has repeatedly displayed depraved indifference to human suffering

    JCR, you’ll have to be more specific about which politician you’re talking about.

  20. #20 |  Pi Guy | 

    “…looking down his nose at the little people…”

    And, yet, Obama’s held We the Little People;trade& in such high regard. He’s just such a regular guy.

  21. #21 |  dave smith | 

    I won’t know if Romney is a viable candidate until I know if he wears boxers or briefs. Don’t the Republicans ever vet who they run? He’s already been a governor for Pete’s sake.

  22. #22 |  ALowe | 

    Don’t be silly. Everyone knows Romney wears magic Mormon underwear.

  23. #23 |  marie | 

    I’ll just say…corpsman. Remember O’Donnell discussing THAT? No? Huh.

  24. #24 |  Robert | 

    @ Bob “Now where is the thing… the changing thing for the TV, I need to switch it to that channel. What channel was it? I can’t remember.”

    I believe the word you’re looking for is “doohicky” or “thingamajig”.

  25. #25 |  Z | 

    Well we wouldn’t want a substantive discussion of issues that impact Americans such as the devaluation of the dollar, the collapsing of American infrastructure, the uncompetitive public school system, the oligarchy that masquerades as a capitalist Republic, the never-ending war on terror and attendant police state to govern the serfs or the like. That would give the impression that the Presidency matters and government can be effected by people.

  26. #26 |  Bramblyspam | 

    @24 – The proper word is “clickyjob”. At least that’s the word my wife uses.

    @21 – You reminded me of Bob Dole’s supposed answer to the boxers-or-briefs question: “Depends!”

  27. #27 |  SInchy | 

    The doughnut issue was off base and O’Donnell is a petty hack to harp on it.
    Romney was not saying the word because he was being cute about wanting to eat a sugary fatty unhealthy treat. He was being coy with the doughnut. I’m sure he knows what a doughnut is.
    The real story is how he used this woman’s cafe as a campaign prop to make him relatable to average people yet didn’t have the decency or political acumen to even introduce himself to the shop’s owner, the small business owner he claims he values. That tells me a lot about his character and his campaign’s ability and it was what took up most of the clip.
    Is it the most important issue? No, not even close, but it’s politics and not surprisingly it’s part of the cable news cycle.

  28. #28 |  MH | 

    The doughnut would make a better president than either candidate.

  29. #29 |  Pi Guy | 

    “A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no holes is a danish.”

  30. #30 |  divadab | 

    MSNBC is the Democrats’ equivalent to Faux News. It’s really sad that anyone pays attention to this divisive BS.

    Why? Because Romney and Obama only differ on emotive issues like gay marriage. They both lust to be the smiling face of the Empire – which stays the same whichever is in office: Salesman-in-Chief for the Complex. Head cheerleader for the Corporatocracy.

    They’re both bought and paid for – only Romney is an actual oligarch; Obama is a telegenic hired hand. They both have the same sponsors and they dance to their tune.

  31. #31 |  Checking in on the Presidential race… | House of the Dread | 

    […] who actually refuse to tell us their policy plans because it would hurt their election chances, the media is a good place to lay the […]

  32. #32 |  Mike | 

    I can’t believe no one has linked this yet.

  33. #33 |  crazybob | 

    Hmmm… MSNBC engages for 5 minutes in the kind of thing that faux news does 24/7 and they get called out for it. Its good to see that there are still standards expected for the “liberal” media, even if they aren’t applied to the right wing “news” organizations.

  34. #34 |  Out of Touch with Being Out of Touch » Right Thinking | 

    […] the weekend when Lawrence O’Donnell had a five minute segment pretending that Mitt Romney had never seen a doughnut. And, believe it or not, the issue of the Romney’s interest in horses is coming back again, […]

  35. #35 |  Andrew S. | 

    And crazybob posts without paying attention to Radley’s first comment.

  36. #36 |  Bob Mc | 

    “The next category in tonight’s ‘who’s the real American contest’ is…food”.

    Real classy, Lawrence. Not divisive at all.

  37. #37 |  Lorenzo | 

    Is he the same O’Donnell who said fire never ever in history melted steel? I get those two gentlemen mixed up.

  38. #38 |  GeneralGarbage | 

    @#30 –

    “MSNBC is the Democrats’ equivalent to Faux News. ”

    Because Fox gives Noam Chomsky 3 hours every morning, amirite?

  39. #39 |  Burgers Allday | 


    Doesn’t which candidate is elected make a difference on whether the US goes to war or not?

    It seems like with a President Romney there will be an Iranian nuke going off in, or near, Israel, or perhaps an Iranian terrorist attack in the US, but with more President Obama that isn’t going to happen.

    If that conjecture is true then that is a real diffo.

  40. #40 |  Rick H. | 

    Burgers, with the US already in several unending wars, bombing civilians on the flimsiest of pretexts, and both parties boorishly competing to prove they’re more belligerent and militarist – and overwhelming bipartisan agreement that we must somehow gin up a new war with Iran by any means necessary – I don’t see this “difference” that you speak of.

    If I read your second paragraph correctly, you’ve also bought into the cable news propaganda that the entire country of Iran is just a 74 million-strong suicide cult.

    Just step away from the idiot box. Remember that war is the health of the State.

  41. #41 |  burgers | 

    My 2d paragraph is to suggest that a president Romney would be more proactive about getting a nuke to detonate in the desert. If that happens it couldn’t have been a us nuke or an Israeli numeric so it will be must have been an Iranian device.

  42. #42 |  Other Sean | 


    It’s not that FOX would refuse to broadcast a show with Noam Chomsky. It’s that Noam Chomsky would haughtily refuse to host a show on FOX.

    But even more than that: everyone not currently in a coma would refuse to watch the Noam Chomsky Show.

  43. #43 |  Legate Damar | 

    @omar #9,

    Jon Shafer still owes me $50 for the steaming pile of Civ 5 he left on my desktop. Civ 4 forever (or until Derek Paxton gets put in charge of Civ 6.)

    Seriously, try the Fall from Heaven 2 mod for Civ 4. It’s not just better than 5 is, it’s better than 5 even hopes to be.

  44. #44 |  dsmallwood | 

    #8 | Jack |

    Blade Runner
    the Voight-Kampff test
    nice leon impression

    i can’t believe it took 34 response for someone to hat-tip you

  45. #45 |  par4 | 

    Have any of you geniuses considered NOT watching any of this crap?

  46. #46 |  Steve Verdon | 

    And people still think voting matters. Man are we fucked….

  47. #47 |  Jack | 

    Thanks for the hat tip dsmallwood!

    Willard’s obviously a skinjob. I’m not too sure about the other candidate either.