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Wednesday, January 29, 2003

State of the Union

When you read, watch, and listen to as much daily news as I do, things like last night's State of the Union address take on an increased importance. Not so important that I missed any of "The Shield", but important enough that I recorded the last few minutes of the speech, the Democrat's response, and the ensuing debates on MSNBC's Hardball. So after watching Vic Mackey rough up the bad guys, I got caught up on all the stuff I missed. I'm not really into sharing my own personal political opinions, but I do enjoy the rhetoric of politics and the news.

I've always been a fan of NBC. I don't know if it makes much sense to have an allegiance to one network over another, but I'm sure there are a lot of advertising and marketing executives counting on just that. Maybe it was because I was a child of the original "Must-See-TV" (Cosby, Family Ties/Different World, Cheers, Night Court, LA Law), or because Tom Brokaw is my favorite of the nightly news anchors, but I like NBC. While I'm sure Brokaw and the gang had excellent coverage of last night's speech, I usually choose to watch NBC's second-stringers on MSNBC. The best of those second stringers were on last night for a special version of "Hardball", hosted by Chris Matthews. Matthews was joined by Howard Fineman, who usually gives pretty solid commentary, and Pat Caddell was there for his opinion and comedic value. Caddell looks like that neighbor who wouldn't let kids play in his yard, and even though he's there because of his previous work in the Democratic Party, he's not afraid to point out his party's faults, and he usually does so the way most of us would - by using words like "stupid" or "failure". Oh, don't worry, there are others on the show to make the Republican Party look equally foolish - Dick Armey was interviewed last night and he took to calling the Clinton/Gore administration the "Clinton/Gore Axis". That's one of those moments where somebody's party loyalty reaches a level where you question their loyalty to the American people, or at least their choice of medication. Ted Kennedy made an appearance on the show, and his off-the-cuff reaction to President Bush's speech was 10 times better than the canned response that followed the speech.

I don't really have any conclusions about last night's events...maybe like a lot of people, I'm still looking for more information. That's fine with me, because that's exactly what I like about news - it's a constant stream of important and not-so-important information, and you've never heard it all. In my opinion, it's still the best reality programming on TV.

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