Thursday, January 7, 2010

Personal Aside: The Liberal Irrelevance of WTTW-TV Channel 11.

The Feast of St. Raymond of Penafort*

Like a dead fly encased in amber, WTTW-TV Channel 11, the flagship for fast-dying liberalism, put on a program Wednesday that, typically, was full of denial of doubt concerning a key tenet of liberalism.

As placid interviewer Jay Shetsky held the microphone, global warming enthusiast Howard Learner (head of the Environmental Law & Policy Center) recited the catechism of Warming…in temperatures so cold Learner’s nose looked like a ruddy ice-cube. The location shot was an abandoned coal plant taken over by Exelon under federal subsidy where a wind energy project is being constructed with federal subsidies…to combat—this dastardly threat to all our lives.

Evoking fears of global warming! What is more appropriate for public television especially when the program subsidies poor Exelon which contributes lavishly to `TTW?

The interview showed both men stiff with cold, exhaling vapor but talking carbon footprints all the while on the same day world headlines reported that…

The winter for the U.S. is the coldest in 25 years…Britain’s big snow is shutting down cities…gas supplies are running out in the UK…in New York elderly in Harlem are burning books for warmth…the U. S. army to-date has rescued 1,000 snow-stranded motorists…Vermont is recording the heaviest snowstorm in its record-keeping history…Iowa chalked up 30 degre3es below for three straight days…the Midwest is recording a near record for snow by the foot…Miami is suffering its coldest weather in decades…the Florida governor has signed an emergency order to protect the poor against the cold and the orange crop from caking with ice…and the winter has spurred power rationing in China.

In the interview Learner maintained un-contradicted by Shetsky the mike holder, that since other energy producers have received federal subsidies it is only fair for an even playing field that industries like Exelon at last receive this subsidy. Ergo: subsidies to all make all industry play it fair. That was perfectly okie doakie with Shetsky the head-bobbing microphone holder. Utterly no challenging evidence was offered and the summation was smilingly accepted by Cardboard Man Host Phil Ponce, patented smile pasted on, back at the warm anchor desk.

Now you can’t fault Ponce for selection of issue since he must do only what he’s told. Mary Field, the executive producer, decides what goes on Chicago Tonight…and what does NOT go (i.e. Republican candidates for the Cook county Board debating: only Democratic candidates allowed, please). She’s a U of C former Benton Fellow let you know… and she determines that the slant shall go so far portside as to fall off the leftward flat edge of the earth. To her there is no very little dissent with an issue discussed except to provide a weak chiaroscuro that highlights Liberaldom.

WTTW executives are desk neatniks: thus under studio rules, only allow one vigil light is allowed to burn 24 hours under the portrait of Al Gore who was elected in 2000 which was foiled outrageously by the Court. Here is the package of acceptable opinions engraved deeply on every `TTW reportorial heart (as shown in its Chicago Tonight coverage)…or they’re out on their collective ears:

One must not impose Christian moral values on others (Buddhism and other contentions from the Middle East, okay)…the Constitution mandates separation of church and state…voluntary school prayer is unconstitutional…gun control laws that eliminate guns will eliminate crime if we can only abolish the NRA…many of those who say every life is sacred endorse the death penalty hahahahaha!.... “Avatar” the movie is so deep we can hardly stand it…


A woman’s right to choose is in the Constitution (if you ask “choose what?” you’re a male chauvinist)…Criminals must be rehabbed not locked up…It takes a village…America’s exploitation of the world has triggered terrorism by such heavily wronged representatives of the poor as Bin Laden and Umar Farouk Abnulmutallab…everyone has a right to affordable housing…Brit Hume had no right to suggest Tiger become a Christian: it’s a violation of-of-of, well, Tiger’s privacy and the canons of commentary...Christians must be tolerant enough to understand “South Park” the Comedy Central show that lampoons Jesus Christ nevertheless makes some good points…Neither Moses nor Christ ever said homosexuality was wrong…

Still more:

We invaded Iraq for oil…Western culture is not superior; all cultures are equal…America’s founding fathers were Enlightenment Deists not Christians…We live in such a pluralistic society it is not right to allege we are a Judeo-Christian nation…America is exceptional only in the sense that Greece is exceptional to the Greeks and Italy is exceptional to the Italians.


Profiling is racist…spending more money on public schools improves them…War has never solved anything…Israel is an occupying country which chased the poor Palestinians out, people who only want to get along with their neighbors.

If she somehow forgets one of the preceding, you can bet that Elizabeth Brackett, the redoubtable Nurse Rached contributing anchor will remember and keep the station’s journalism on Port keel. The other night she “moderated” a discussion on the health care bill where she all but dismissed contrary views and at the end begged both participants “tell me, is the bill going to pass”? Well, lady, variations have already passed two chambers and what remains is for the thing to be resolved (without conference so as not to allow Republicans to participate) and the president’s signature affixed.

Both participants said yes it will passed. Whereupon Elizabeth drew a long sigh of relief...almost evoking a “thank God” (but then she’s a secularist) and returned it to the starry-eyed and uncomprehending Ponce.

If, God forbid, something happens to Field or Brackett, you have Carol Marin the orange haired duenna of political correctitude…who gets three salaries one from the Sun-Times for writing lefty columns, one from NBC for doing lefty “analysis”…and one, partially taxpayer-subsidized from `TTW for running panels skewed to preconceived Lefty ideas… adored the late Studs Terkel who ordered all his identical red-checked working-man’s shirts from Paul Stuart’s of Michigan avenue…the self-same Marin who prayed Cardinal Bernardin be sprung from his tomb to counsel the current Pope on theological matters (roll the stone away and you’ll find he’s still in there, despite claims from devotees that he rose on the 3rd day)…she being the same gushing ex-college enthusiast who idolized the late Msgr. Jack Egan, local devotee of Saul Alinsky, the atheist who dedicated the first edition of his book “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer, Prince of Hell—but then Egan was only kidding…besides which Egan’s secretary, a trendy nun, thought the inscription was cute.

Not to forget Joel Weisman with hair the same shade of orange as Marin’s, who grimaces knowingly at the camera as he directs his class of barking trained seals to take a journeyman’s road through establishment conventional political wisdom on “Chicago Week in Review.” What do’ye think of Obama, he’ll ask Mike Flannery of Channel 2 who begged The One during the presidential campaign Flannery was ostensibly covering to send Flannery an ornament from the White House Christmas tree—that’s the kind of dispassionate commentary the clicks when articulated on “Week in Review.”

Thus you have your Window to the World Portside where the goal is to eliminate differences between poor and rich with the laudable exception of our own salaries…the cabal headed nominally by Dan Schmidt, who is manipulative play-dough in the soft, manicured hands of Mary Field.

And that’s the way it is on WTTW… Wilmette Talking To Winnetka.

*: St. Raymond of Penafort [1175-1275] who lived a full century when Medieval unsanitary food and no universal health care made life extremely tough going. A Dominican, theologian, master homilist and superior general of all Dominicans, he decided to pack it in at age 65 but in “retirement” for the next 35 years converted thousands to the Church. Finally he asked Thomas Aquinas to write “Summa Contra Gentiles.”

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