Did he, or didn’t he? Will she, won’t she?

I was watching MSNBC yesterday when I got a tutorial on how much hot air passes for analysis these days. The discussion was centered on the “reported” offer by Barack Obama of the Secretary of State position to Hillary Clinton.

Here is how the “analysis” went.

– Did he really offer the position to her or did he not?

– Will she accept the offer, or will she not?

– If she accepts the offer, and if Bill Clinton is appointed an envoy, will he end up working for her?

– If she does not accept the offer, why would that be? Is it because she doesn’t want to be vetted?

– Who leaked the offer to the media? Was it Obama’s camp or Clinton’s camp?

– Why did they leak – was it a deliberate/ “strategic” leak or was it not?

– If it was a deliberate leak by Obama’s camp, what was the strategy behind it – did they want her to accept, or did they really want her to reject the offer, but be seen as offering it to her? Or were they trying to damp Kerry’s hopes or send a message to Bill Richardson?

– If Obama wants to really offer Secretary of State to Clinton, was it because he wants to put together a “band of rivals” like Lincoln? Was he taking the Godfather’s advice – “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”.

– Or was he floating the idea to see how his followers would react to Clinton’s appointment?

– If it was not a deliberate leak by the Obama camp, does it mean we can expect a lot more leaks from the so-far leakless Obama camp?

– If it was a leak by the Clinton camp, why did they leak it?

– When Clinton joked about the speculation in Albany, did she do that because she was serious about the offer, or because she wasn’t?

– Will Kerry feel bad? He gave Obama his first chance on the national spotlight. Will Richardson feel hurt? He endorsed Obama at a crucial juncture.

There was much more, and this went on for two whole hours – first thrashed out by Chris Matthews, and again rehashed by Keith Olbermann.

I wondered if this was what I should expect on television for the next four, or maybe even eight years.

Maybe it doesn’t matter – I have already torn out most of my hair.

I tried switching channels – but what are my choices? Another “analysis” on why the market crashed again, on CNBC? House flipping on HGTV? Yet another rerun of a program on the Grand Canyon (Travel channel)?

I think I shall take up knitting. Or Hatha Yoga. Unless you guys have better ideas?


19 thoughts on “Did he, or didn’t he? Will she, won’t she?

  1. This is the reason why I dumped the cable. I live in a blissful cable free world and I took up crocheting and driving the husband crazy as my new hobbies inaddition to the other half-complete ones lying around

    Dumping the cable is wise. If only I could get myself (and R) to do that. As for driving people crazy, its a big hobby of mine too – why do you think I blog? πŸ˜‰

  2. I think I shall take up knitting. Or Hatha Yoga. Unless you guys have better ideas?

    You know, I heard gardening is a calming hobby. Yeah.

    Oooooooh wait! Gardening, where have I read so much about it? πŸ˜€

    Guilty as charged πŸ˜€ But what does a gardener do in winter? 😦

  3. Tina Fey is brilliant in 30 Rock I hear. Also Jennifer Aniston made/making a guest appearance? In black stockings and suspenders?

    Seriously! Anything to take the spotlight away from elections and the President-elect. πŸ˜€

    You are right, I should start watching “30 Rock” and “Mad Men”.
    I noticed you can view the Aniston episode on NBC.com – although, it looked like it would take a few hours to load 😦

  4. Adithya: Dood… the Jen Aniston episode is already out. Rather underwhelming if you ask me, compared to Oprah during the previous episode. I am a new entrant to the club that watched all of season 1 over a period of two days (thanks to Netflix!), but Tina Fey rocks.

  5. I saw a similar interview with governor Patterson. At the outset he said that he knew nothing about the Clinton offer, but the interviewer persisted for the next 5-10 minutes. It’s like they were given a list of questions that must be asked regardless of the responses to prior questions.
    Maybe the anchors have questionable intellect. Maybe we viewers are so dumb that they need to ask the same question in a hundred different forms.

    30 Rock is great. As is The Office! Knitting, fabulous as ever.

    Yes, the issue then made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, filled more newspaper and blog columns.. I can understand it’s a slow news week, but why do they want to torture the viewers? 😦 As you said, do they think we need to listen to different analyses of the same “important” issue? I wish they’d spend half as much time discussing immigration, or healthcare, or some really important issue..

  6. Take up crocheting..easier than knitting I promise. Hatha yoga is good.
    Or train for a marathon…it is tiring and you wont care about anything beyond your aching back, knees and carb-protein intake.

    Crocheting is easier than knitting? I have always been fascinated by those delicate patterns, but I didn’t realize it was easy..

  7. The news channels really do take it to an entirely overdone level, don’t they? Haha, nice entry.

    They certainly do 😦 The good news is, they are helping me go off TV (or whatever little I watch) πŸ™‚

  8. Well, you could always sign up as a US political expert with one of the Indian TV channels!
    …and torture us no end! πŸ™‚

    You are right, I must have the same knowledge-level as some of those “experts”, which is – not much πŸ˜‰

  9. blogging is quite a good means to drive people crazy πŸ˜› and talking about killing(using) time, driving, gardening, poetry, blogging, gaming, and a few others should make up for the loss of cable, if it happens πŸ˜€

    The loss of cable is not happening any time soon, sadly 😦 There are other TV/ politics junkies at home, you see πŸ™‚

  10. This is why I don’t watch television.

    Wise, I’d say πŸ™‚ I don’t watch much either, but even the few “good” channels seem to be designed to drive people away πŸ˜›

  11. Huh…I never figured TV was the only means of being busy. Read more books. Rent more films. Listen to more music. Blog some more so we can read more and have less time to watch TV too.

    The flaw is, reading books cannot be done while making dinner or folding laundry 😦 Neither, really, can blogging..

  12. >> reading books cannot be done while making dinner or folding laundry 😦 Neither, really, can blogging..
    Now, the intrepid blogger never lets such minor obstacles come in their way.

    Speech-to-text software. That’s the key. Talk as you fold laundry, and convert it into a blog post. Or even better – attempt a new recipe, and talk us through it, recording it all the time, and you then edit it a bit, and voila! a ‘live’ food blog-post.

    Actually, I have long been curious about speech to text software. Can you recommend any good (free) ones?

    Blogging while attempting new recipes – now that is a recipe for disaster πŸ˜‰

  13. >> Can you recommend any good (free) ones?
    Dem! Should know better than to offer suggestions without back-up claims. Umm…I suspect KM would be a better reference-point, if only for the amount of time that man spends trawling through random stuff on the ‘net.

  14. Haven’t had a TV in years, and what little snippets I do catch on The Daily Show/Colbert Report, vindicate my decision – most programs on TV are stupid, lead to dulling of mind and TV is quite likely a cause of AD(H)D. The so-called “pundits” are nothing but hacks and your view of bureaucracy would fit them nicely too.

    Though it can provide you with an endless source for your critical blog posts. πŸ˜‰
    Like shooting fish in a barrel. With a bazooka.

    You’re right, they are too easy a target for my ire and blog posts 😦 Notice how I refrained from saying a word through all the long campaign months? πŸ™‚

  15. Skip the knitting. It’s over-rated. I just finished an infant vest and all the unravelling nearly killed me. I must have unpicked almost as much as I knit!

    That would not have been fun 😦 I must confess, I’ve never knitted, though as a child, I have watched my mother try it, and tried a line or two. It seemed fun at the time, but maybe because I didn’t have to unravel those 2 lines (i.e. my mother did) πŸ˜‰

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