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.

More articles by:
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail