FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Glimmer of Light in Television Wasteland

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

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.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
The FBI: Another Worry in the National Security State
Rob Urie
Establishment Politics are for the Rich
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: That’s Neoliberalism for You
Paul Street
Midnight Ramble: A Fascist Rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Joan Roelofs
The Science of Lethality
Joyce Nelson
Buttigieg and McKinsey
Joseph Natoli
Equally Determined: To Impeach/To Support
Charles Pierson
The National Defense Authorization Act Perpetuates the Destruction of Yemen
REZA FIYOUZAT
An Outrageous Proposal: Peace Boats to Iran
Lee Hall
Donald Trump Jr., Mongolian Sheep Killer
Andrew Levine
A Plague on Both Their Houses, Plus a Dozen Poxes on Trump’s
David Rosen
Mortality Rising: Trump and the Death of the “American Dream”
Dave Lindorff
The Perils of Embedded Journalism: ‘Afghan Papers’ Wouldn’t Be Needed If We Had a Real Independent News Media
Brian Cloughley
Human Rights and Humbug in Washington
Stephen Leas
Hungry for a Livable Planet: Why I Went On Hunger Strike and Occupied Pelosi’s Office
Saad Hafiz
Pakistan Must Face Its Past
Lawrence Davidson
Deteriorating Climates: Home and Abroad
Cal Winslow
The End of the Era: Nineteen Nineteen
Louis Proyect
If Time Magazine Celebrates Greta Thunberg, Why Should We?
Thomas Drake
Kafka Down Under: the Threat to Whistleblowers and Press Freedom in Australia
Thomas Knapp
JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon Versus the Pentagon and Trump
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s War on the Poor
Michael Welton
Seeing the World Without Shadows: the Enlightenment Dream
Ron Jacobs
The Wind That Shook the Barley: the Politics of the IRA
Rivera Sun
Beyond Changing Light Bulbs: 21 Ways You Can Stop the Climate Crisis
Binoy Kampmark
The Bloomberg Factor: Authoritarianism, Money and US Presidential Politics
Nick Pemberton
Ideology Shall Have No Resurrection
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
What Trump and the GOP Learned From Obama
Ramzy Baroud
‘Elected by Donors’: the University of Cape Town Fails Palestine, Embraces Israel
Cesar Chelala
Unsuccessful U.S. Policy on Cuba Should End
Harry Blain
The Conservatism of Impeachment
Norman Solomon
Will the Democratic Presidential Nomination Be Bought?
Howard Lisnoff
The One Thing That US Leaders Seem to Do Well is Lie
Jeff Cohen
Warren vs. Buttigieg Clash Offers Contrast with Sanders’ Consistency
Mel Gurtov
The Afghanistan Pentagon Papers
Gaither Stewart
Landslide … to Totalitarianism
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
How Blaming Nader in 2000 Paved the Way for Today’s Neo-Fascism
Steve Early
In Re-Run Election: LA Times Journalist Wins Presidency of NewsGuild 
David Swanson
If You’re Not Busy Plotting Nonviolent Revolution for Peace and Climate, You’re Busy Dying
Nicky Reid
Sorry Lefties, Your Impeachment is Bullshit
John Kendall Hawkins
The Terror Report You Weren’t Meant to See
Susan Block
Krampus Trumpus Rumpus
Martin Billheimer
Knight Crawlers
David Yearsley
Kanye in the West
Elliot Sperber
Dollar Store 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail