Every summer when I go back to the Dakotas to visit family, we mix manhattans, gimlets or martinis, make snacks, and watch the NBC Nightly News along with the first few minutes of the local news. This ritual starts at 5:30 local time, it’s been fixed for years, and that’s the way my old man likes it. He doesn’t like cable news, and the snooze hour is too long: he wants his 45 minutes of information to supplement the long list of printed media he reads every day. Politically, he’s a liberal Democrat, but in his personal habits, he’s 100% “get off my lawn”.
Given his inflexible nature, I was pretty surprised to learn that he’d changed his ritual to include the first half of Cenk Uygur’s show. He thought that Cenk was “pretty good”. That’s how I came to watch a few hours of Cenk a couple of weeks ago and, yeah, he’s pretty good. What I saw was an aggressive and smart journalist. Unfortunately, his body language was too much for Phil Griffin:
The “people in Washington,” he said, were MSNBC producers who were responsible for booking guests for the 6 p.m. hour, and some of them had said that Mr. Uygur’s aggressive body language and overall demeanor were making it harder to book guests. “The conversation was, ‘Hey, look, here’s how we can make it better’ — about physical things on the show,” Mr. Griffin said.
So now we know that MSNBC management, who want to portray their network as a smart, forward-looking and hip place, are less open to change than an 80 year-old man who could probably chisel his daily routine onto granite tablets. Isn’t it time that Griffin was sent home so he could mix a martini at 5:30 to watch Lawrence Welk, Leave it to Beaver, or some other show where the participants don’t move their arms too much?
And, no, my old man is not going to watch fucking Al Sharpton.