Outrage Gone Wild!

OUTRAGE, Outrage, outrage, oUtrAge, outragE, … etc., on and on, if you watched the Jon Stewart show the last couple nights you’d hear and see this in vivid technicolor emerging in captions from the many cable networks and network news shows.

Well, give me a break!

I agree with NYT Op-Ed columnist, Gail Collins, who said in her column today, Let’s complain about Barack Obama. Why doesn’t he sound angrier? Doesn’t he understand that his job right now is to be the Great Venter?

Sure he keeps saying he’s mad. But you can tell that he secretly thinks it’s crazy to obsess about $165 million in bonuses in a company that’s still got $1.6 trillion in toxic assets to unravel. “I don’t want to quell that anger. I want to channel our anger in a constructive way,” he said on Wednesday. Everybody knows constructively channeled anger doesn’t really count. It’s like diet pizza.

OK, where are the pitchforks and torches? If Congress, the Talk Show crazies, and the American People are really that angry, instead of just enjoying themselves spouting and fulminating, how come they aren’t taking to the streets like they do in some countries, and like they often did in this country back in the last century?

The sad result of all this overwrought outrage is that the friggin Republicans will be more likely to gain the political clout to block health care reform. “You’ve got to balance the budget, you tax and spender, Obama!”, they will scream all the louder. And the outraged American public may go along with this, thus yet again railing against its own best interests and preventing a much needed reform.

UPDATE: Joe Nocera has an even better piece than than Gail Collins’ above describing not only how overwrought this outrage is but how dangerous and distracting it is: The Problem With Flogging A.I.G.. There are real problems to be solved and the retention bonuses are negligible by comparison. C’mon Congress, let’s get back into the real world before it collapses!

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  1. ThomasLB’s avatar

    Outrage seems to be what sells these days. Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart, Nancy Grace, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Mathews, Mike Galanos; they’re all outraged about something or other.

    I feel left out. I’m not outraged about anything.

    I’m baking cupcakes today.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Well, ThomasLB, and your blood pressure is probably lower than mine too. If only you hadn’t put Jon Stewart in the company of those other people, especially Rush Limbaugh, I could be happy! But thanks for your comment in any case! It’s great to be not outraged.

  3. ThomasLB’s avatar

    I read that Stewart’s week-long spat with Jim Cramer was his second-highest rated week ever, and that’s what I was thinking of. But you’re right, that wasn’t typical for him.

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    Yes, that week-long spat sure got a lot of attention on cable and broadcast news. Typically, as you say, Stewart doesn’t get that attention but he’s great, I think, in satirizing the news media and getting the truth out.

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