Friday, July 9, 2010

Dobbs/Napolitano, Lady Gaga, and David Brooks

•Coincidentally, the very same week that Freedom Watch is set to run a confrontation between the host (my boss) Judge Andrew Napolitano and populist Lou Dobbs, The Daily Show also depicts differences between the two commentators (starting at 3 min. 28 sec. into that clip). You’ll just have to watch the new episode of Freedom Watch (at Saturday 10am Eastern or 8pm, Sunday 7pm or 11pm on Fox Business Network) to see how closely reality matches comedy. Don’t expect a tranquilizer dart on our show, though (just an array of exciting guests, including Sharron Angle).

•In a further weird coincidence, last weekend, I found a copy of former senator Fritz Hollings’ book Making Government Work at the Strand, and, lo and behold, it had not only been autographed by Hollings — but made out to his friend Lou Dobbs. Small world.

•In yet a third media coincidence, mere hours after I criticized the music of Lady Gaga (at last night’s Debate at Lolita Bar, about whether burlesque is art, to which the audience says the answer is yes), I found myself literally trapped in a crowd of gaga Gaga fans around Rockefeller Center, on my way to the nearby News Corp building for work this morning. Cruel irony (which should be her next album title).

•Back to politics: I’m tempted to go on about how convincing the profile of David Brooks in the new New York Magazine (brought to my attention by Gerard Perry) is, given that it emphasizes his almost pathological ideological squishiness, but I think Kyle Smith may have best summed up New York’s summary of the man who summarizes about one new centrist paradigm per week, sometimes two. Not all neocons are bad — and they are too varied to dismiss as Trotskyites or warmongers the way some paleo types do — but Brooks has several of the bad qualities people usually mean when they complain about neocons (I say this as a man who could by some metrics be called a neocon himself and still misses the Reagan coalition — global markets, selective use of the military, morals and Western Civilization good without the specifics disrupting yuppie lifestyles too badly, yadda yadda yadda).

The next-page teases on that New York Mag article are more vicious than the article itself, including this one: “Next: Why he’s been called a ‘spineless Beltway geek.’” (Sidenote: The issue’s cover story is about mounting evidence that having children makes people less happy, though it’s happy people who tend to have children. Which side are you on?)

My own summary of the Brooks mushiness as media phenomenon: DAVID BROOKS IS THE NEW DAVID BRODER.

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