Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meet the Press: Rotten to the Core

I just made the mistake of watching a replay of today's Meet the Press, in which host David Gregory revealed his infatuation with the word "core".  As in, does Mitt Romney have one, or not.

But what is a core, anyway?  Most people, me included, think of it as the inner part of a fruit, containing seeds -- such as the apple core. Or one's innermost moral being. But another archaic meaning is much more fun. As defined by Olde Hoblyn's Dictionary, a core is "the slough which forms at the central part of a boile."

So, was Gregory wondering if Mitt is the middle of an avocado, or was he wondering if he is a puddle full of pus?  Maybe the script will tell.  Here are some snippets from the official transcript taken just a tad out of context, of the segments with David Axelrod of the Obama campaign going first, followed by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Video is at same link.  Watch if you must, and you will see I am not making this dialogue up!
(Videotape, October 30, 2011)
MR. DAVID PLOUFFE:  He has no core.  And, you know, every day, almost, it seems to be we find another issue.

(Videotape, Thursday)
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL):  They need to understand that this is a person who has no moral core, no conviction, willing to, to change his position based on the political winds and the way they blow.
(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY:  No moral core, no core.  I mean, this is a man whose (sic)been married over 40 years, who has been, in effect, a priest in his faith, as a bishop in the Mormon church.  Is this not underlying what is the politics of personal descript--destruction?

MR. AXELROD:  Look, I--and, and, and I admire, I admire his, his family and I admire his...

MR. GREGORY:  What is this about no core?

MR. AXELROD:  Well, let me just, let me, let me, let me make, let me make this point about what happened last night.  Last night Governor Romney said that the, the EPA was the president's tool to crush the private enterprise system.

MR. GREGORY:  What is this about no core?

MR. AXELROD:  This is about, this is about public character.  This is about public character.  And, by the way, it's not just Democrats, but most of the Republicans who are making the same case, David.  Jon Huntsman's running ads, or his supporters are in New Hampshire on that right now.  We got another example of it again last night on, on the Fox segment that--with Mike Huckabee.

MR. GREGORY:  Well, you think it's an overstatement they just say no moral core, that Mitt Romney has no moral core?

(slight break. Blah, blah, blah. then....)

MR. GREGORY:  Newt Gingrich, does he have a core?  Is he a formidable candidate that the president faces?

MR. AXELROD:(blah, blah, Well he is a formidable character, David, blah.

MR. GREGORY:  We're going to leave it there.  David Axelrod, thank you very much, as always.
MR. AXELROD:  Good to be with you. F--, I mean Thank you.

MR. GREGORY:  Let me turn now to the chair of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus.
Welcome back to MEET THE PRESS......

MR. GREGORY:  Campaigns are tough, they've already gotten tough.  How do you respond to Mr. Axelrod on the moral core question for Mitt Romney?

MR. PRIEBUS:  Well, for the first time I, I've seen David tongue-tied.  I think he's living in an alternative universe here.  Blahmumblemumblechuckle.

MR. GREGORY:  Let me just...

MR. PRIEBUS:  This president has been a disaster to this country, David.

MR. GREGORY:  Let me just--let me just ( pleeeeeze let me say core one more time) button up one thing.  I mean, we talk about how tough these campaigns can be.  You just said a moment ago this president is not real, and that's how Americans are perceiving him, as not real.  You've heard Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, say that Mitt Romney has no moral core.  David Plouffe saying he's got no core.  David Axelrod saying the same about Mitt Romney.
(Me to TV: Not true, Gregory, you steaming pile of slough! You're the one keeps saying the damn core word!)
MR GREGORY: Fair to say, on both sides of the ledger, we're headed for a very personal and pretty nasty campaign?  (Me to TV: Gotta get in the false equivalence. Both sides are doing it, only they're not. I see only one Core Whore on this show, and it's not any of the guests).

(big break here about some other really stupid stuff, but nothing hardcore)

MR. GREGORY:  Newt Gingrich says he's the inevitable nominee.  Do you agree with that?

MR. PRIEBUS:  I think it's going to be up to the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Florida.

MR. GREGORY:  All right.  How about a harder one.  Do the Packers go undefeated?

MR. PRIEBUS:  You guys are going to have the cheeseheads coming out of your ears pretty soon.

MR. GREGORY:  (That'll be fun, since my head is made of Swiss Cheese. I'll have sloughs of heads coming out of my head holes.)   Chairman Priebus, thank you very much.
The rest of the show was a panel discussion about Newt Gingrich. David Gregory tried mightily to find a happy medium between Good Newt and Bad Newt. Harold Ford's favorite phrase was "Newt Might Implode".  Ford was a little bemused that Newt hates child labor laws.... but hey, give the guy credit for at least talking about childhood poverty, right?  And the Manchester Union Leader editor thinks Newt is getting a bum rap about this childhood janitorial crap.  I think he really meant to say that Newt really would love to rap some children's bums. His education program will be called No Child's Behind Left.

The best is still at hand - to lance the sore/And cut the head, for till the core is found/The secret vice is fed and gathers ground . (John Dryden)
 For further reading: Is David Gregory a Vegetable?


Suzan said...

You rock, Karen, but what do you mean nothing hardcore?

It's all hard core. . . porn.

And it's not even interesting . . . except to the politically inept like Gregory (who really enjoys using that word over and over you've noticed) . . . and the audience whom I gave up on years ago.

I don't believe anyone intelligent watches this mess (or much else of the Sunday morning viewing) anymore. And we know why.

At this most dangerous time economically we're listening to a discussion based on some topic of personal honor (among thieves) defined by the the word "core." What could be more irrelevant?

Oh, I forgot . . . Mitters, Cain and the Newt thoughts!

Thanks for keeping tabs.


Elizabeth Adams said...

"No Child's Behind Left".


Anne Lavoie said...

Newt is rotten to the core. He wants a path to citizenship for illegals so their children can be used as slave labor, along with poor black kids, to clean toilets in the schools in order to save the taxpayers money. I mean, so they can learn good work habits such as working for nothing in preparation for slave wages when they grow up.

Anonymous said...

you won't allow this on your site, but you are an absolute idiot. and to whatever extent corrosive, poorly reasoned political argument can render someone a shitty person... you are a very shitty human being.

Karen Garcia said...

Hi Anonymous!

Thank you for a well-reasoned, cogent and anti-corrosive response. The use of the word shitty twice in one paragraph is the height of intellectualism I always look for in my commenters.


Valerie said...


Poor Anonymous! That's what watching Fox TV does to your brain! It makes you incoherent and incapable of actually thinking and putting together a reasonable argument! Just like O'Reilly yells, "Shut up!" when he can't come up with a decent response, Anonymous just writes, "shitty, shitty!" We must be tolerant of these poor, poor brain dead souls.

Valerie said...

As to Mitt having no "moral core" it all comes down to what people consider morality. Is morality not cheating on your wife? Not drinking alcohol? Not drinking caffeine? Or is morality standing up for what is right over what is expedient? How moral is it to attack a country which hasn’t attacked us because we want that country’s resources? How moral is it to say it is OK for the United States to get into bed with corrupt governments because we want to use them to get back at a political enemy? How moral is it to support corporate greed over justice and fairness? For Fundamentalists like Mitt, morality has very little to do with kindness, compassion, tolerance, respect for the dignity of others, honesty or justice and everything to do with small human foibles.

It is not that Obama has a moral core either. Morality has a lot to do with integrity and neither man has much of that. Both men will say whatever they have to say to get elected and then will turn on the vulnerable people who put their faith in their (Mitt/Obama) leadership without a backward glance. The difference between Obama and Romney is Obama isn’t as much of a hypocrite in the religious department.

Anne Lavoie said...

I can understand why David Gregory's mother left a comment here, hiding behind the 'Anonymous' name and calling Karen a shitty person and human being. It's because David's itty bitty ego hurts and momma is coming to the rescue. Bhwaaaaaaaaaa!

DreamsAmelia said...

re: Anonymous. Karen, I truly believe this is another spam-bot. Computer science students, according to NPR, are assigned by their teachers to create the most popular and life-like avatars that comment on social media sites like blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.
The two oldest tricks in the book are antagonism/profanity and sex--the key to propagating a spam bot is eliciting a reaction--which then spreads it further, and then the student gets an A on their assignment!
The really sad thing is, I'm convinced that possibly 1/4 to 1/2 of all traffic on Twitter is computer generated spam bots "talking" to each other to increase their social media popularity. (and how many Facebook accounts are pure computer-generated holograms?)
When fleshly human beings try to figure out the norms of accepted speech on these sites, they are literally taking lessons from robots!

Also, see the NYTimes article, "A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web"

about the perverse algorithms of search engines that give as much weight to negative reviews and complaints as to positive reviews--thus careening the most thuggish con-men above legitimate businesses into search results for services.

I still say, unless you have "personally" exchanged multiple emails with a commenter, you really don't know who is a human and who is a robot in the virtual world--and it is sad when I mis-take a real human for a robot! Thus, not even fleshly people are foolproof spam filters...

Karen Garcia said...

Most of my spambots are people/computer programs selling stuff. I decided to go ahead call Anonymous's bluff and post his/her missive because I thought it was amusingly telling. To be honest, I rarely get personal attacks here.

WestVillageGal said...

Karen -

off topic, i know - mea culpa - and yet (she perseveres) . . .

i'm wondering if you've read Herman Cain's farewell (as channeled through Andy Borowitz)?
an infusion of humor
(or perhaps - as Jay-Ottawa has referenced - of Paxil?)
can soothe while slogging through the not-so-mellow drama that is our Present Tense.

with best wishes -

Valerie said...

Absolutely BRILLIANT essay by Chris Hedges on TruthDig about the hypocracy of organised religion - particularly the Fundamentalists - and he appeals for it it take its rightful place supporting the 99% and not the plutocracy.

Pat said...

This is off-topic but since the Post Office is back in the news I thought it would be of interest to the followers of this blog.

I'm writing in Pete DeFazio for pres. next year.

Will said...

Here's intelligent comedian and Occupy supporter Lee Camp's latest Moment of Clarity episode. I love this guy.

Anonymous said...

I noticed David Gregory sort of misquoted Axelrod regarding Romneys moral core during the panel discussion and after taking a commecial break he replayed a video from earlier in the program. I assume someone on the MTP staff noticed it or Axelrod let them know before the show ended.

Neil said...

Somewhere I read that Barak Obama has fired more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined. So is hypocrisy Obama’s ‘core’ moral value? I’d like to hear Axelrod and Wasserman-Schultz comment on that fact.

Is a repugnant moral core better than no core? Seems that way if Newt Gingrich is being taken seriously as a presidential candidate.

The question of ‘core’ is pretty meaningless as used by Gregory; it is a subjective judgment based on imperfect information and unknowable thoughts of another, as interpreted through the lens of Gregory’s own moral compass, wherever that points.

Gregory’s predecessor Tim Russert did a hatchet job interview with Ron Paul in 2007, where he mocked Paul’s warnings about the economy. Russert never lived to see the 2008 economic crash and the absurdity of that interview. Ron Paul is still ignored or ridiculed by the MSM whenever he questions the actions and legitimacy of the federal reserve, or questions the morality of the worldwide US military empire. Instead the likes of Gregory ponder the moral core, the current form of navel-gazing.

Denis Neville said...

Yes, David Gregory is a vegetable.

And that is why he was the perfect replacement for Tim Russert. Glenn Greenwald on David Gregory’s model of sycophantic, unchallenging “journalism.”

Atrios is “never quite sure if Villagers are just unable to distinguish ‘the GOP operatives and other Villagers we talk to’ from ‘the people’ or if they truly believe (perhaps correctly) that they are just the only people who matter.”

Of course, they are just the only people who matter.

This is why I don’t like vegetables.

Denis Neville said...

Good Newt or Bad Newt?

Newt’s Hot Air Rises

John McWhorter on Newt’s mere words:

“Gingrich may be a master of academic exercises - his ability to make bookish references and formulate long sentences demonstrate as much - but that does not mean he knows what he is talking about.”

“Gingrich's patterns of speech are largely analytically acute, and sometimes aesthetically interesting, but substantively, they are very often lacking. Language is supposed to be a package that carries substance, but Gingrich is sometimes so pleased with his uninterrupted stream of words, that he mistakes it for an actual flow of ideas.”

No Child's Behind Left.

Bad Newt!

naluca said...

The only value in US media for national and international material is to skim to see what silliness is being taken seriously by suckers, aka the American public. Owning a TV is a waste. Dodecangulation of euro, latin american, african, asian news sites seems the only sensible approach. Local news can be sought out the same way, and on "the street trying to be in touch with the activities of people involved.
There is some reliable web radio.

Read Camus on scorn.

John in Lafayette said...

Neil: Obama did not award himself the Nobel Prize. In fact, when it was given his immediate reaction was to say he felt undeserving. While it's easy to argue that Obama in no way deserved the award, you can't say the actions of the prize committee make Obama a hypocrite (if that was your intent).

@ Anonymous: If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will quickly come to understand that Karen welcomes criticism that is reasoned, rational, and cogent. Anyone with intelligence does; it's how we improve ourselves. So next time please make your comments reasoned, rational, and cogent and we will all be happy to read them.

Karen: One of your best.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

Yes, David Gregory is a vegetable --- Okra, with the full sliminess that implies.

I’m curious (though I probably shouldn’t ask, as the answer will probably make me ill): Does anyone have any idea how much David Gregory receives — can’t say “earns” — each year in salary for his “performance interviewing” at Meet the Press?

And in related matters, how an interview of most politicians could be better done (Terry Bisson’s screenplay for “Greet the Press”):

Also relevant to current events (Bisson’s “By Permit Only”):

Valerie said...

@John in Lafayette

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee did indeed make a really bad call awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize when he had done nothing to earn it. It cheapened the award for the many worthy people who have received it in the past, including my hero, Jimmy Carter. It angers me that people have spent their lives working for peace and because Obama managed to sell himself to the rest of the world as the anti-Bush, which we now know is totally untrue, he was given an undeserved award that carries with it so much respect.

However, Obama did not have to accept the award and had to know that he was being a total hypocrite accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in the same month he announced a surge in Afghanistan. So whether or not Neil was implying it, yes, I certainly think Obama is a huge hypocrite amongst other things.

Valerie said...

Very nice interview with Rocky Anderson on Democracy Now - It is an older interview before he decided to run for Prez.

I also read up on him and he sounds very principled and to have stood up for everything I care about. I certainly wouldn't mind casting my vote for him, even as a write-in candidate. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. All I know is I won't be voting for Obama. I might register as a Republican to vote for Huntsman if he is still in the race, but come November 2012, it won't be a vote for Obama or a Republican.

And before anyone wants to jump in there and tell me how I am throwing my vote away . . . I already threw my vote away on Obama and Clinton and look what that got me!

Ormond Otvos said...

WELL, I went over to Jon Huntsman's site, and read around for a while, and then moseyed by the Wikipedia entry, and went back to Jon's site and asked a few pointed questions.

One of his flacks, going under the nom de web "info" made haste to engage, but never answered the questions.

Basically, Jon is another well-traveled and educated businessman who follows the path he's told to.

On abortion, he's pro-life. On energy, he's natural gas, with fracking OK. On health care, he's private voucher, against single payer. On motorcycles, he's Harley, a very telling point if you know anything about bikes. His money comes from chemicals.

So I'm not going to even pretend to vote for him, or think about it any more.

Valerie said...

Point of clarification: I think Huntsman is better than Romney and would rather see him as the Republican nominee on the off chance a Republican can beat Obama - which I doubt. But then again, I didn't think Bush (stupid) could beat Gore (smart). If no one challenges Obama in the Primary, I will register as a Republican so I can vote in the Republican primary but I won't be voting Republican in the actual election.

Neil said...

@ Ormond

RE: His money comes from chemicals.

Like all good, moral, upstanding people, his money actually comes from Daddy.

The Huntsman family owes its status in the top 0.1% to Jon Huntsman, Sr., who among other things, created the "clamshell" container for McDonald's Big Mac in 1974 through the Huntsman Container Corporation. Huntsman Sr. went in 1959 to the Wharton School on a scholarship. In 2002 Huntsman Hall opened at Wharton, courtesy of his $50 million dollar donation toward the $140 million cost. According to Wikipedia, Huntsman Sr. has donated over $1.2 billion to various causes, and wants to "die broke" by giving his money away to various charities.,_Sr.

Huntsman Sr. worked for the Nixon administration, and is friends with Glenn Beck. The Huntsman family appeared on the Glenn Beck show and discussed the kidnapping of their son.

Jon Huntsman Sr. wrote "Winners Never Cheat" a book that sets out his moral core. Jon Huntsman Jr. was US Ambassador to China, and Gov. of Utah. The Huntsmans are active Mormons and must cross paths often with Mitt Romney, who is also a Mormon.

Neil said...

@John in Lafayette

Allan Nairn reviewed Obama’s first year in office on Democracy Now, see "Obama Has Kept the Machine Set on Kill"

Nairn wrote: "I think Obama should be remembered as a great man because of the blow he struck against white racism," Nairn says. "But once he became president...Obama became a murderer and a terrorist, because the US has a machine that spans the globe, that has the capacity to kill, and Obama has kept it set on kill. He could have flipped the switch and turned it off...but he chose not to do so." He continues, "In fact, as far as one can tell, Obama seems to have killed more civilians during his first year than Bush did in his first year, and maybe even than Bush killed in his final year."

Obama campaigned in opposition to Bush’s policies, from war, to banking, to almost everything. But once Obama took office, he continued many Bush policies.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee, like me and many of Obama’s supporters, were duped. If Obama had any integrity, he would have declined the Nobel Peace Prize, since by his own admission it was not merited. Even without considering the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama is a hypocrite, and in my opinion, just another lying politician. Obama has no moral core either, other than the political winds.

So yes John, Obama did not award himself the Nobel Peace Prize, but he is a hypocrite nonetheless.