About a year ago I completely stopped watching all of the mainstream weekend news programs (McLaughlin, This Week, Face the Nation and Meet the Press) and have been watching instead Chris Hayes’ MSNBC Saturday and Sunday morning 2-hour program, Up with Chris Hayes.
What’s different about Chris Hayes?
Well, in addition to being brilliant and quick and — this is different — joyful, Hayes, the Washington D.C. Editor of The Nation and Senior Editor of In These Times, structures each of his programs in an entirely ad hoc manner, inviting a diverse group of guests appropriate to the subjects under discussion each week.
There are no pundits on his program. The punditocracy is dead.
I longed for such a structure when I used to watch “pundits” like George Will, Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson, who seemed willing to present themselves — absurdly — as experts on everything.
Chris Hayes, on the other hand, seeks out experts of various kinds — authors, academics, businesspeople of all genders and color and race — whose experience is germane to the subject under discussion each week.
For the last year I have been thinking of posting a short blurb about Chris Hayes, and so I have been on the lookout for just the perfect example of his craft. Every single week seems to be a perfect example.
So here is a short 7-minute clip from this morning’s show, in which Hayes rants about the meaning of the fiscal cliff, and explains why it’s not a cliff, and explains why the discussion of the cliff is riven with hypocrisy.
This example (prefaced by an apparently unavoidable 30-second commercial message) shows as well as any other week chosen at random, how joyfully he approaches his work.
I love that.