“The traditional stiff upper lip of newscasters has morphed into a quivering lower lip,” he writes.
He brings up the usual suspects — Glenn Beck, Jim Cramer, Keith Olbermann — but also a new one: Ed Schultz. Of Schultz’ opening segment Monday: “By the end of it I felt so physically exhausted I had not taken in a single coherent sentence of what he had to say. I think he was angry at the people who were angry with the President.”
Frei does note the ratings these cable hosts bring in. “I wish I had that many viewers,” he writes. “I am just not willing — or able — to froth at the mouth to get them.”
Frei’s conclusion: Americans (“more aspirational, optimistic and polite” than Europeans) use these hosts to “exorcise our demons” while staying even-keeled themselves. “When my children see another child crying, bawling and whining in public, they immediately stop their antics. They look on in silent awe,” writes Frei. “We do the same.”