I started this piece before hearing the news of a violent attack on the Pelosi family home in San Francisco where Nancy’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was seriously injured. So, this is a more serious, less flippant redo.
I watched the new MSNBC host, Alex Wagner, for the first time the other night. She had a guest from the anti-defamation league. His subject, anti-Semitism. Bingo. My last Post was on anti-Semitism.
Alex Wagner has been in the anchor’s chair at MSNBC for about a half dozen sessions. I don’t know who had the final say so on her hire. But, I do know who is the last word if he chooses to exercise that prerogative. It’s Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, which owns MSNBC, and other assets. He loves Israel and knows, and is known by Israel’s, leaders. Brian Roberts is Jewish.
Message to a new anchor; don’t blow yourself up before you get comfortable in the anchor’s chair. She accomplished job one. She didn’t set herself on fire. She listened respectfully to her guest from the anti-defamation league and didn’t ask him embarrassing questions. She played it safe and she gets to keep the anchor’s chair for another day, week or year or decade. Who knows?
She can get her teeth fixed a little later. (That’s a figure of speech that an old friend of mine, Bob Beckel, used to use. It means be careful in a job. Don’t try and be a hero, and risk getting fired until you’ve saved up enough money to get your teeth fixed. It’s also an expression that plays well with country boys. I find the expression more amusing now that I might have to get my teeth fixed myself.)
Last, where did I get this “anybody but the Yankees” thing? How does that make sense given our subject?
It goes back to my hometown, a textile mill town in New England. Everybody in town was either a Red Sox fan or anybody but Yankee fan. I chose the later option. The Yankees won all the time. If you’re five years old, your sense of fair play requires that everybody wins, now and then, not just the Yankees. It offended my sense of a benign universe that the Yankees seemed to be the only team that won regularly.
Israel and the American Jewish community are our later day Yankees. They dominate media ownership, entertainment, sports team ownership and political fundraising and power. It’s a free country. They have a right to be energetic and successful.
With success comes scrutiny. And when you spy on us as Israel did with Pollard, or push us into unnecessary wars like Iraq 2003 your representatives should take some heat when they go on TV.
That will be Alex Wagner’s job after she catches her breath. It would be asking too much to require a brand new anchor to engage in vigorous cross-examination of a guest that is probably known by Mr. Roberts, the network owner. But, that day will come and then we’ll see what Alice Wagner is all about.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.