July 19th, 2010

A follow-up to my earlier piece about Sharron Angle and other Tea Party candidates’ attempts to limit their media exposure, Darwinism.

“Some of the most conservative and combative Republicans running for Congress are convinced that the media have it in for them. But these candidates seem to regard it as an affront when reporters challenge them on their past statements and inconsistencies, which is a basic function of journalism. They are avoiding or limiting interviews with all but the friendliest faces as a way of circumventing the press.” — Howard Kurtz, Softball questioners only, please (Washington Post 7/19/10)

Sorry Howard, but I disagree:

Tea Party media looks more like t-ball to me.

Playing hardball? Forget it—

These people just don’t get it.

“Tee Ball or T-Ball is a sport based on baseball and is intended as an introduction for children to develop baseball skills and have fun.” — Wikipedia

When someone challenges them, they get upset.

They haven’t even graduated to softball yet.

Forget about the Major or even Minor League–

These folks haven’t even mastered Little League.

“In T-Ball, the pitcher is usually used for defensive purposes only. The ball is placed on an adjustable tee atop the home plate at a suitable height for the batter to strike.”

Carefully selected interviewers don’t even throw them lobs

(If they pitched at all, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs),

Teabagger candidates only talk to those with whom they agree,

So interviewer questions are set up on a tee.

“Many parents assist during the game by coaching players in the dugout, in the field, on the bases, and at the plate. They also perform the task of umpiring. A roster is typically displayed to the fans cheering from the bleachers.”

Teabaggers still think they’re universally adored—

Understandable, since at Tea Party rallies, everyone gets an award.

Just repeat the mantra, and no matter how unhinged,

You can be sure what you say will never get challenged.

“In many organizations, score is not kept and rules are designed to maximize participation: an inning is completed once each child has had a turn at bat and all extra players of the defensive team play in the outfield every inning.”

No strike-outs, no score-keeping — everyone gets more than one chance.

Even losers are winners, player self-esteem to enhance.

No fixed positions, since some are more fun than others—

Putting the best person in each job self-fulfillment smothers.

“The positions that get the most action in tee ball are pitcher and first base, followed by the rest of the infield positions. Catcher is also a special position due to the added gear that is worn. Thus, it’s important for the coach to ensure all players get chances to play those positions.”

That’s why Tea Partiers finally forced out into the real world

Find it strange that a pitch might actually be hurled.

They’re used to just hitting the ball off the tee,

With everyone cheering them on indiscriminately.

“Any child will have fun with this. Both my son and daughter can’t get enough. And since the ball is stationary and the stand is height adjustable, children can actually hit the ball, thus building their self-esteem and confidence. Such a modest price for loads of fun.” — Amazon Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set

The solution: stay in your happy right wing media cocoon,

And avoid questions that might potentially be inopportune.

Rand Paul showed what happens when you stray

And America hears what you actually have to say.

“Each player has a past that reveals his skills, limitations, tendencies. You can look it up, especially if you have been disciplined about writing it down. And teams too have tendencies.” — George Will, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball

It’s risky when a candidate leaves the safety of Teabagger herds–

Journalists might end up reporting their actual words.

Sharron Angle has learned the Rand Paul lesson,

And has limited her media contact, major gaffes to lessen.

“Sport [and politics] should be the triumph of character, openly tested, not of technology [or lobbying], surreptitiously employed.” – George Will (slightly paraphrased), With a Happy Eye, But…: America and the World, 1997–2002

As the Post reports, she’s only giving interviews to George Will and Fox News,

And far-right radio commentators that share her views.

She runs away (literally) from reporters that might ask actual questions,

And she’s the one who her opponent’s openness and competence questions?

(But as George Will can tell you, the game isn’t just about running to your base:

In the Majors, the real players don’t have to make journalists give chase.)

“She wears as a badge of honor having been voted Nevada’s worst legislator, a disparagement she says is always bestowed on a conservative because the voters are members of the press and the political class (the legislators and their staff).” – George Will opining about Sharron and the media

George: As a fan of both politics and America’s pastime, I’d  think

That you’d be the last, this mediocre Cool-Aide to drink.

When someone suggests changing baseball tradition, you’re irate,

So I’m surprised your OK with letting political discourse degenerate.

“But the theory that praise, self-esteem and accomplishment increase in tandem is false. Children incessantly praised for their intelligence (often by parents who are really praising themselves) often underrate the importance of effort. Children who open their lunchboxes and find mothers’ handwritten notes telling them how amazingly bright they are tend to falter when they encounter academic difficulties. Also, Bronson and Merryman say that overpraised children are prone to cheating because they have not developed strategies for coping with failure.” – George Will

But I do agree with you about the negative effects of false praise,

And am surprised you didn’t that point in your article about Sharron raise.

T-ballers are just kids, so it’s understandable to cut them a break.

But should Teabaggers be treated with kid gloves when they make a mistake?

“If the election becomes a referendum on [Harry Reid], she wins. If he makes it about some of her injudicious statements — e.g., ‘transition out’ of Social Security; using Yucca Mountain north of here not for storing nuclear waste but for reprocessing such waste — he might survive.” – George Will again, with a somewhat less than ringing endorsement

I would have thought you’d want to see a minimum level of skill,

But I guess I over-estimated you, Mr. Will.

When someone’s this bad and this extreme,

You’re excused of your obligation to root for the home team.

“I’m not going to earn anything from people who are there to badger me and use my words to batter me with… Will they let me say I need $25 from a million people, go to SharronAngle.com, send money?.” – Sharron Angle during “interview” on the Christian Broadcasting Network

And Sharron, since the thing that you apparently most bugs

Is that you won’t able to make your 25 million dollar plugs.

Chris Matthews confirms that’s not true at all…

Though to come on his show, you’ll have to learn how to play Hardball.


Here’s Hardball’s (aptly, for this post) 7/14/10 report, with Chris’s comment that he’ll be happy to let Sharron Angle make her $25 million plug if she comes on.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s Rachel’s 6/30/10 report on how Tea Party candidates’ cloistered political lives has left them unable to compete in the marketplace of ideas (Ironic, considering their nominal commitment to the free market). Also check out my earlier piece on another Teabagger candidate (Captain Mark Kirk) running away from reporters trying to ask him some actual questions.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s an old Daily Show Jason Jones spoof that is even more applicable today than it was then.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Quitter – Leave Sarah Palin Alone
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Here’s your theme music for today, Take Me Out to the Ballgame by the Countdown Kids (and others).

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