Ben There

For the first time in years I tuned in this morning to what had once been a television never-miss: “CBS Sunday Morning” with Charles Osgood. I’d been a fan since deep into its days hosted by the great Charles Kuralt. If I wasn’t quite sure why I had strayed away and for so long I found out this morning, which would’ve been no different from the past couple hundred Sundays had Susan not decided she wanted to see it and turned on the last 20 minutes or so of the 90-minute program.

We saw an interesting piece on Bob Seger’s return to the stage, which reminded me how much I missed the show, but that was then followed by a commentary by Ben Stein which reminded me why the weekend staple was no longer on my TV viewing plate. Shoe-horned onto my screen was Stein feeling the imperative to smack back at the “untrustworthy” media that jumped all over and up and down upon Duhbya after his state of the union address last week. In foisting upon me his opinion that the presididn’t isn’t all that bad and certainly not worth being called irrelevant and insignificant and lame by apparently every newsroom pundit in America and Merle Haggard, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Stein so worked up — certainly never on his silly game show and not since that Beuhler kid decided to take the day off from school.

At the beginning he said:

“The media is staging a coup against Mr. Bush, just the way they did against LBJ and Nixon and tried to do against Reagan. They cannot impeach Bush because only Congress can do that. But the media is doing what it can to basically oust Mr. Bush while still leaving him lifting weights in the White House.”

And at the end:

“But no one elected the media to anything. In the TV studios and newsrooms, there is a lynch mob at work. Let’s see it for what it is. Mr. Bush is the only President we have, and, with all his faults, I trust him a lot more than I trust the unelected princes and princesses of the newsroom.

In between and for whatever reason he took a potshot against alleged media darling and legendary singer Merle Haggard who “knows nothing of what’s up in America right now,” and he intimated that it was unfair to hurl arrows at BushCo for the Iraq debacle because he wasn’t the first leader of our nation to make big mistakes. “What about Vietnam? What about Korea?” Stein asks.

No doubt those are Clinton’s faults, too.

Stein cites the country’s economic boomtimes and staggering employment and the spotlessness of there being no terrorist attacks on this country since 9/11. True enough. How convenient though, that Stein had nothing to say about the continuing disaster of post-Katrina New Orleans — but hey, grating minds think alike: Duh-bya in all his questionable relevance saw that debacle as nationally irrelevant and unworthy of mention either. Stein also seems to conveniently focus his narrow field of vision on some strange media revolt occuring, when in fact the true and inarguable coup came last November when the majority of the people of these United States rose up in protest with their votes. Stein has nothing to say about that, though. The media is a far easier target to poke at than those millions of us that poked our ballots in disgust.

Via an outlet of the very media he disdains, Stein exclaims his trust of Duh-bya far exceeds that of the populations of American newsrooms. I give that a yikes, but he is certainly entitled to his opinion — just as I’m entitled to hope I go the rest of my life without hearing anything else half-baked that he might have to say. Looks like as long as I stay away from what once was my favorite TV program, I’ll be able to do that.