February 7, 2009

Phil Hare, media darling

Local Congressman Phil Hare scored quite the media coup Friday evening by appearing for an interview with Rachel Maddow, whose show on MSNBC is one of the highest rated cable talk shows.

MSNBC's Hardball, Maddow, or Countdown have become coveted spots to appear for politicians, especially Democrats. Maddow's show, along with Keith Olberman's "Countdown" were the only two such shows on television to show a profit last quarter, and both enjoy huge ratings, particularly with those under, say, 80.

Maddow had Rep. Hare on to discuss the unrelenting Republican war against labor, and their latest ridiculous attempt to block the nomination of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. The object of their patented phony outrage this time? Solis' heinous offense is being married to a guy who owed taxes on his business, to which Solis has no connnection whatsoever, and who has long since paid them off.

Hare pointed out that this of course is just a means of trying to block or dirty up Solis, who they know will not be reliably anti-union as all Republican Labor Secretaries in the past. It's simply an early salvo in the fight against proposed laws which would allow workers a choice as to whether or not they would like to be represented by a union.

The so-called "card check" measures would allow workers to essentially petition for a union by signing cards indicating their preferences. And despite Republican lies to the contrary, workers wold also be allowed to do so by secret ballot if they chose.

Hare was Hare. He spoke. He was rather wooden, as you might expect a person with not much prior media experience. But he stated his case well and got through the softball interview just fine.

After decades of a congressman that seemed allergic to any sort of media exposure whatsoever, this is kind of nice to at least see a representive from our area getting some real national exposure.

And it's also good to know that Phil Hare is there to do his part to defend unions against the masssive effort to weaken or destroy them. Now more than ever, unions should play an important part of reclaiming the country back from the sliver of economic elites that have so thoroughly dictated the direction of our country and our economy for far too long.


At 2/07/2009 7:40 AM, Blogger A Bishops Wife said...

You are so right on target, as usual.

I am just a regular mom from Decatur,trying my best. I am a wife, mom to three kids (2 are Autistic)working full time and attending Millikin University full time. (Criminal Justice major)

We really look forward to reading your perspective. It is good to know some one, like yourself, can be a voice for how we feel.

At 2/07/2009 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweat poured off Hare's brow and the blemish on his forehead was distracting, but on the merits Phil did okay. He threw just enough red meat to his base to keep their empty heads nodding.

Hare would be wise to polish his image, get some media training and lose 100 pounds, as Schwiebert is gearing up to run against him and as everyone knows, the Mayor is smooth one!

At 2/11/2009 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Hare did okay, but I was also distracted by gapping zit on his forehead. A little base powder would have covered this blemish. I wonder if Meddow did this on purpose to make Mr. Hare look foolish? You can't tell me Meddow didn't have a makeup person on the set.

At 2/13/2009 2:58 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 9:18.

Excellent point.

First it should be noted that, as in the case of myself, nothing short of plastic surgery is going to make Hare look "good" on camera.

And unfortunately there aren't enough makeup artists on the planet to convert him into Mitt Romney. (not that Hare would ever WANT that. Really, who would want to turn themselves into a Ken doll?)

The thing to bear in mind is that Hare was obviously doing this interview from a remote location. He was not in studio with Maddow, so could not have used the show's make-up staff.

Secondly, he was likely doing it from one of the Capitol TV studios set up for such purposes.

I'm not aware of exactly how such things work, but I know they have studios for pols to do just such interviews and us taxpayers spend millions on constructing and staffing them just so Rep. X and Senator Y can look spiffy on TV.

I can't tell from the background however WHERE Hare was.

But that said, if it was any sort of half way professional studio that did just such spots on a regular basis, you would certainly expect there to be SOME sort of makeup available.

They obviously have all the lights and microphones and audio gear and the capability to do a high tech link-up with a network feed.

There's really no good excuse for letting someone appear that waxy and generally icky.

And beyond that, one of Hare's staff should have made SURE that something better was done. Apparently none of them are experienced with such matters.

Also keep in mind that Hare may have just breezed in and sat down only moments before going live, and perhaps they didn't have time.

But really, how much time does it take to dump a bowl of powder on his face to tone down the glare?

Good point.

At 2/14/2009 6:40 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Yes, Phil is the genuine article- "what you see is what you get" with nothing slick or fancy. I wish more politicians were natural like that. Is it any wonder that the best presidents and politicians were from the age before 24-7 television?

Lane was way too low-profile. For someone who was in there so long, he should have been much more visible to a national audience. But he was not. Maybe that was because of his shyness. But with his "bowl haircut", he was the real deal and not a phoney.

Schweibert is too polished, too artificial. To the point of being creepy. Schweibert is in a category with Mitt Romney and Evan Bayh and the "Ken-doll" you mention.

I have a sure-fire way of spotting a political fraud before he/she opens his mouth: I look to see whether he/she has had cosmetic surgery, eye-lifts and botox which leaves them looking absolutely ridiculous. The best example is Speaker Pelosi who has this permanent"deer-in-the-headlights" etched on her face. She should accept her looks and age gracefully. Instead as she gets older, she has her face stretched tighter so she looks like Howdy Doody. And Republicans do it too, I lost a little respect for Bob Dole when he just didn't look like himself anymore. And of course there's Cindy McCain. Not as grotesque as Pelosi, but she's getting there.

As far as these talk shows, people put too much stock in comedians like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert. I don't watch them, not because they are liberal, but because they just aren't serious. Appearing on such shows should be beneath the dignity of politicians.

At 2/15/2009 1:35 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Re: latenight political comedy... I wouldn't say they're not serious, only as much as they are going for comedy. But they often use humor to cut through the massive wall of bullshit in the national press and political spin.

Olberman and Maddow, at least, actually do delve into current issues and news that is underreported or simply missed. That I think is a service to viewers.

While they may go for comedy to make things palletable to audiences, they do treat the issues with very much seriousness.

That said however, I don't know if I'd apply your opinion about it being "beneath" a politician's dignity to appear on these shows in general.

Again, Olberman is serious, as is Maddow in her interviews (for the most part)

But I do find myself thinking, "What the hell were they THINKING?" sometimes when I see pols appearing on Colbert. He routinely makes fools of them, and he's like a pit bull in there expertly throwing them wild curve-balls that almost no one could emerge from and not look weird, stupid, uninformed, or all three.

If I were a staffer, as much as I love Colbert, and as much as they crave exposure... of any kind, I have to say that I'd probably advise against it unless my boss was very, VERY clever, knew enough about Colbert to know his schtick, and could mix it up in a duel of wits and at least battle to a draw.
And with Colbert, that's a tall order.

I too have an affinity for "real" politicians, and most definitely share your opinion that Lane was simply TOO invisible. I remember almost falling out of my chair when I actually saw him on C-Span as part of a hearing in a committee he was on. It was as though he shunned attention.

Vershoore is much the same. The invisible man. You'd never know he exists.

Boland at least tries to get himself out there, and of course, Jacobs is marching around beating his own drum continually.

At 2/15/2009 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schweibert is much better looking than "Fat" Hare and when he runs against the Philster, you will see voters prefer nice looking men compared to ugly ones. As soon as Phil has an election, he will be toast.

At 2/15/2009 3:32 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 12:14.

You're, of course, entitled to your opinion, but my, what an incredibly mean and shallow one.

Maybe it's people basing their vote on ridiculous measures like that that has given us the crop of morons we currently suffer under.


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