FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Glimmer of Light in Television Wasteland

by MIKE WHITNEY

It’s time to knock the cobwebs off the television and fish the remote from the trashcan. Believe it or not, there’s finally something worth watching on TV. GRIT TV with Laura Flanders is a fast-paced political talk show that leaves its mainstream competitors in the rear-view mirror. This is the real deal and Flanders is hands-down the best interviewer in the business. She’s bright, cheerful, well-informed and engaging. She also keeps the topic moving briskly from panelist to panelist, an art in itself. She even has a good handle on what’s going on in the financial markets which is typically a weak-spot for liberals.

This isn’t a half-hour free-for-all like the McLaughlin Group or another tedious spitting-match between a Loofah-wielding simian and his faux-liberal guest. GRIT TV is a forum for intelligent, articulate progressives to discuss the issues in depth without a script or an agenda. It’s what TV is supposed to be, a way to strengthen democracy by maintaining an informed public. It’s taken a while, but GRIT TV is headed in the right direction.

Political junkies don’t have to wait for Bill Moyers Journal on Friday nights anymore to get their fix of thought-provoking analysis. GRIT TV runs Monday through Thursdays on Free Speech TV with a new panel every night covering everything from the environment, elections, race, gender, energy, to the economy. There’s no lull in the action. The guests are the people who never get a shot at network TV; the activists and authors who are working for change but don’t have the right-wing bone fides to appear on Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer or the other corporate-friendly talk shows. GRIT TV provides them with a platform to give their perspective and Flanders, thankfully, lets them talk. She doesn’t sit like a coiled snake ready to pounce whenever someone challenges the conventional wisdom on the war or (heaven forbid) disparages a corporate sponsor. GRIT TV is not underwritten by big oil, Boeing or King Coal like so much of the crap on PBS. It’s all contributions from people who still believe that television can perform a public service.

Do you care whether your new “gas saving” Prius was made with sweatshop labor, or whether Obama’s platform really offers progressive change, or what Kevin Phillips had to say about the global financial crisis? GRIT TV is a good place to start. It’s all issues without the attitude.

Thursday night Flanders reviewed the recent Supreme Court rulings on the second amendment (gun rights) and habeas for Guantanamo detainees. That was followed by a 4 minute video which showed how African Americans were disproportionately victimized by the subprime meltdown. After that, Flanders led a lively discussion on “executive pay” and America’s ever-expanding “wealth gap.” It was all first-rate coverage.

This is television at its best; broadcasting that does not assume that its viewers are nincompoops that need plunging necklines and endless car chases to keep them entertained. GRIT TV doesn’t provide bread or circuses, just hard-edged politics for people who really want to know what is going on. That’s Flander’s beat and she does it better than anyone in the business.

GRITtv airs Mon-Thurs,at 8pm & 1 am ET, on Free Speech TV (DISH Network ch. 9415) & at http://www.firedoglake.com. Laura Flanders is Alexander Cockburn’s niece.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail