Television Time-Out #3
Every Friday night, at 7:30 p.m., you will find me glued to my CRT, eagerly absorbing the political lovefest known as "The McLaughlin Group." Now I know some of you hipsters find this sort of show as exciting as stubbing your toe. I get it. But there is still a part of me that gets excited over the broad range of social dissent humans are capable of expressing. And the fact that we can yell about it. Well, at least these commentators yell.
For over twenty years, John McLaughlin has moderated a panel of four, where intense political debate erupts over the crucial issues facing the USA. The program runs 30 minutes and usually covers three issues, the first two of some dire importance, the third being some fluff piece. (I've always assumed that the last topic was really designed to let everyone cool their jets.) John usually introduces the subject, and then cuts the dogs and cats loose for what often ends in bitter disagreement.
Currently there are three returning regulars and one new guest every week. The current regulars include: Pat Buchanan, a former Nixon aide, Presidential Candidate and columnist. He's the Patriotic Conservative. Tony Blakely, he is British-born and currently the editorial page editor for the Washington Times. He's the global free-trade conservative. And Eleanor Clift, a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. She represents the liberal Eastern Establishment, so to say.
John himself, who always gets the last word in, has a tendency to be the moderate, but bucks the populist trend if there is a need to stir the political muck. He always ends the program with his signature, "Bye-bye!"