I recently told a co-worker of mine that I never watch cable news outside of the office because the vast majority of on-air personalities care more about hearing their voices bounce around an ideological echo chamber than giving viewers honest intellectual discourse. It is much healthier to be alone with your own thoughts on a morning walk than to fill your head with partisan super-balls thrown out on cable news. Exhibit A: Melissa Harris-Perry’s bizarre lecture on race Monday night, which she somehow spun out of a guest calling Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan a “hard worker.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday:
ALFONSO AGUILAR: But let’s be fair. If there’s somebody who is a hard worker when he goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan. Not only works with the Republicans but Democrats. You know very well that I work on [the] immigration issue, trying to get Republicans to support immigration reform. Paul Ryan is somebody who has supported immigration reform, has worked with somebody like Luis Gutierrez. Luis Gutierrez is very respectful, speaks highly of Paul Ryan. This is somebody who’s trying to govern.
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: Alfonso, I feel you. But I just want to pause on one thing. Because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role. But I want us to be super careful when we use the language “hard worker,” because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like.
One of the reasons why I generally don’t blog on individuals like Melissa Harris-Perry is because it is hard to shake the feeling that she is a very-troubled woman. It seems as though a mind would have to be particularly warped to take the phrase “hard worker” during a conversation on Paul Ryan’s job qualifications, and turn it into a finger-wagging lesson on U.S. slavery.
It says something incredibly sad about our culture that a woman as ideologically rabid as Harris-Perry has a bully pulpit on a cable news network. Why would sane, “hard-working” Americans ever enter into politics when media personalities tasked with shaping public opinion are mostly clones of Harris-Perry? Answer: They wouldn’t.
The moral of the story here is this: Turn off your television. Read good books. Get outside and exercise. Spend time with family and friends.
There are many rabbit holes of stupidity out there, but cable news shows possess large entrances. My suggestion is to glance inside from time to time, but resist the temptation to crawl inside. Once you fall headlong into an abyss of stupidity, it is hard to crawl out.