ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Other" Category

Why No Hurricane Maria National Telethon?

[ Posted Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 – 16:30 PDT ]

Donald Trump is rightfully getting slammed over his lackadaisical response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The relief efforts were slow to start and are still pretty disappointing -- the Navy hospital ship just arrived in Puerto Rico yesterday, for instance, a full two weeks after the storm hit. Most of the island still has no electrical power or phone service. Drinking water is not universally available. The critics of Trump are right in pointing all of this out. But there's another glaring absence that also should be raising questions: where is the response from Hollywood? Where is the nationally-televised relief telethon? Why did this happen for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but has not happened for Hurricane Maria? Puerto Ricans are justified in calling attention to their second-class citizenship (as far as Donald Trump is concerned), but it's inexplicable why they are being also snubbed by the liberal artists who normally leap at an opportunity to be seen as doing good.

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Netroots: Energized And Looking Forward

[ Posted Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 14:26 PDT ]

The most heartening thing I've seen so far is how unified the atmosphere is. I've been to Netroots in years following big election losses before, and some of these had a pervasive atmosphere of disappointment, if not outright depression. This is not the case this year at all, I'm happy to report, even though 2016 was the most dismal election loss Democrats have suffered in a long time. Instead of downcast attitudes, people have responded by energetically rededicating themselves to ushering in political change, and the overall feeling is actually one of optimism.

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Off With Her Head!

[ Posted Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

So, comedienne Kathy Griffin's head appears to be on the chopping block. That's a metaphor, of course, and as of now it is even inaccurate, since CNN has already parted ways with Griffin (she co-hosted their New Year's Eve show with Anderson Cooper, one of the most bizarre television matchups since Al Franken and Arianna Huffington appeared "in bed" together, doing their version of election coverage in 1996). Since CNN's announcement, the proper metaphor becomes: "Kathy Griffin axed by CNN." Or, perhaps: "her head has already rolled." These aren't really political metaphors, they're instead business-related. Speaking of getting "axed" rather than getting fired is merely poetic hyperbole, and who among us hasn't ever used the "heads are going to roll" or "on the chopping block" line ourselves? Does this kind of conflation cross a moral or ethical line? Or is it merely what used to be called "gallows humor" -- attempting to make light of the worst of situations?

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In Praise Of Court Jesters

[ Posted Thursday, May 11th, 2017 – 18:01 PDT ]

There must be something to the myths, though, even if only in a Jungian-archetypical kind of way. Because they certainly still remain with us. In today's world, of course, they are not dressed in motley (well, some less so than others...); and instead of a perch near the throne, they crack wise on television shows to an audience of millions. They are our late-night comedians. Two of them were in the news earlier this week, but before I get to Monday night's performances by Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers, I'd like to confess my own evolution in favor of our modern court jesters.

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Beyond Sessions, Trump's Russian Scandal Is Here To Stay

[ Posted Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 – 17:21 PST ]

As is frequently said in Washington, it's not the crime but the coverup that gets you. It's looking like that theory is going to be tested sooner than anyone might have expected, in the Donald Trump administration. No matter what happens now, they may have already done permanent damage to themselves in the eyes of the American public. The underlying theme of Trump being no more than a stooge for Russia's Vladimir Putin seems to be growing by the day, at this point. Which means that everything they do to fight this image is going to have the flavor of "Methinks they doth protest too much" about it. At this point, they can't avoid it.

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Thank You, Seth Meyers

[ Posted Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 – 17:22 PST ]

I have to say, I don't write about television all that often, and when I do it is normally to rip into a network or a host or some other form of complaint. As I did regularly, until NBC wised up and replaced David Gregory with Chuck Todd on Meet The Press (just to give one obvious example). But today, I write in praise of a late-night host.

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Tune In Next Week!

[ Posted Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 – 17:48 PST ]

I wrote a few weeks ago about the dilemma Mitt Romney would face if Donald Trump offered him the secretary of State position. That dilemma did not actually happen, and it now seems like Trump was just yanking Mitt's chain for the fun of it. How presidential! One of Trump's close advisors just admitted as much, saying Trump really just wanted Romney to publicly apologize for all the mean and nasty things he said about Trump during the election. Romney reportedly refused to do so, which was probably smart because it seems to have been the whole point of the exercise. Trump probably wasn't ever going to appoint Romney anyway, but wanted to see how low Mitt would grovel if he thought he could get the job.

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New Corporate Politics?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 – 17:04 PDT ]

Large corporations are getting more involved in politics. Whether that is seen as a good thing or a bad thing depends upon the political issue involved and the side the corporation takes (and, of course, the side you're personally on). Conservatives cheer when corporations take a stand on abortion, liberals cheer when a corporation stands up for gay or civil rights. But it does seem like we're entering into a new era of corporate political behavior, or (since they're apparently people now) perhaps "corporate citizenship" might be a better term.

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I Miss Craig Ferguson

[ Posted Thursday, May 21st, 2015 – 17:27 PDT ]

You know, today was one of those days when I was typing merrily along, writing a column, and then halfway through it had to research a few things -- and found that my entire premise had crumbled beneath me. Also, I found a few existing columns in other media outlets which said pretty much exactly what I was trying to say. So, suddenly, I didn't give a rat's ass about finishing the article.

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If You Care About Government Surveillance, Watch 1971 Tonight On PBS

[ Posted Monday, May 18th, 2015 – 14:49 PDT ]

Everyone who cares at all (one way or the other) about government surveillance should watch the documentary 1971 tonight, on the PBS show Independent Lens. Everyone who has an opinion on the Edward Snowden revelations should watch this film. Everyone who has an opinion on the USA PATRIOT Act should tune in. Disturbed by the National Security Agency's actions? Check your local listings for when Independent Lens airs.

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