Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to follow election news and not lose your mind

My millennial daughter Roz tells me not to let anything Trump says bother me.

"The dinosaurs probably made a lot of noise as they were going extinct, but they still died."

I've been watching too much television, letting his lies against Hillary Rodham Clinton get to me, letting the ups and downs of the polls get to me.

She's way beyond watching tv as a source of information.  She goes to the gambling odds makers to see who is winning, and she says they are citing Clinton's odds of winning as 77%.  

"Don't rely on the news shows as a source of information," she says.

Wow, that's just a habit I have.  I've done it since my family first got a tv when I was about seven years old.  Hard to break that habit.

"Those shows are entertainment," she says.  "They're in business to boost their ratings, and they do so by hyping things like a bump up in the polls for dt."


To develop my skills in watching news shows for their entertainment value only, she introduces me to Fox News commentator Shepard Smith.  

She sent me this link to Rachel Maddow of MSNBC praising Smith for his work in exposing Republicans who blocked health care for 9/11 first responders in New York City.

Roz points out that Shep Smith's style is subversive.  He interviews right wing people to let them reveal how ridiculous their views are.  She says he's gay but closeted

She showed me a great clip of Smith interviewing Rick Santorum  in January, 2012, about why he is against gay marriage.  Smith really backs Santorum into a corner where he can't find any respectable reason to oppose gays.

"How long will it be before you catch up to the rest of the country and decide that everybody's okay?" asks Smith.

First Santorum tries to say gays can make any contract they want, just not call it marriage.  Then he says his position is all about kids, what's best for kids.  Then he says if there were gay marriage, it would cause big government to get bigger.  

"Senator, good luck and thanks for coming on today," concludes Smith.

Good luck with that.

It was my first lesson in how to view news reporting as a spectator sport, not a serious source of life-and-death information about the outcome of this election or any other political matter.

Hashtag post-modern.  

Thanks, Roz, for holding my hand and telling me not to let the election news coverage get me down in the dumps.

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