Since I don’t own a television, you’ll have to forgive me if I seldom watch any of MSNBC’s ‘The Cycle,’ which features a segment called ‘Political Playground.’ Now that I am familiar with it, it’s actually something I’d expect to see in a Simpsons Tree House of Horrors Halloween special. And, in truth, when I do watch MSNBC at work, I usually catch Reverend Al Sharpton later in the day. I’m routinely fascinated by his ability to keep a show when almost every single guest he brings into the studio (except Meghan McCain) is intellectually out of his league.
Take a second to digest for a moment a major cable news channel that brings children in for regular segments, at which point they are asked a series of leading questions until they arrive at a place where they can parrot the public policy preferences of its target audience. MSNBC’s Krystal Ball plays the prosecuting attorney, who will do whatever she needs to do to get her star pupil — her daughter — to stand up for the liberal cause de rigueur. On MSNBC, pimping out your political pawn-child on national television is seen as ratings gold.
The following is a partial transcript of the piece. I have cut out a portion where Krystal Ball talks about not being able to marry trees and cars.
Krystal Ball: So Ella, this week a lot of people have been talking about marriage and I was wondering if you can tell us: What is marriage?
Ella: I don’t know.
Krystal Ball: You don’t know what marriage is?
Ella: (awkward pause)
Krystal Ball: What does it mean if you get married?
Ella: Uh, it means that you live together.
Krystal Ball: It means that you live together. And who can you marry? Can you marry like, a car? No? Who can you get married to?
Ella: Um, a person.
Krystal Ball: A person. What kind of person?
Ella: Like a person who doesn’t have a wife or a husband.
Krystal Ball: Uh-huh. And what makes a person decide if they want to get married?
Ella: Like they get in love with each other.
Krystal Ball: They get in love with each other? How does someone get in love with each other?
Ella: Well they talk and stuff and they say: “Hmm. I’m in love with you.” …
Krystal Ball: (Awkward pause) What if you were in love … with a girl? Could you marry a girl?
Ella: Only here could I marry a girl.
Krystal Ball: Here in New York you can marry a girl?
Ella: Mmm-hmm. Because girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys in New York. And a girl can marry a boy in New York, too.
Krystal Ball: And that’s good because you want people to be able to marry people they’re in love with, right?
Krystal Ball: Well, how come other places a girl can’t marry a girl?
Ella: I don’t know.
Krystal Ball: That seems strange, right?
Ella: I don’t know.
Krystal Ball: That’s strange right?
Ella: Tell me.
Krystal Ball: some other places haven’t decided yet that you should be able to, if you’re a girl, marry another girl. They should change that, shouldn’t they?
Ella: That’s crazy!
Krystal: It’s crazy because people should be able to marry who they love, right?
Krystal: Yeah, I think so, too.
What kind of warped person would exploit their own child in such a manner for political purposes? Should Fox News start segments where Steve Doocey brings children to gun ranges? (Please God, no!) Should Sean Hannity “Hannitize” a pre-schooler into saying the U.S. should preemptively strike North Korea?
I’ll tell you who would do such a thing: people who believe that kids belong not to their parents, but to “the community.” A woman like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry (aka: Melissa — Did I tell you I was sorta-kinda a Communist? — Harris-Perry):
“We have never invested in public education as much as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of “These are our children”; so part of it is that we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments,” (Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC promotional video).
And yes, this is the same Melissa Harris-Perry who refers to unborn babies as “things.”
At MSNBC, it seems only logical that an organization that employs people who see children as “things” would also hire someone who would exploit her own “thing” for hundreds of thousands of television viewers.
Remember the Chili Peppers’ “Throw Away Your Television”? I do. They were right on that one. Do it. You’ll thank me later.