Switch to Decaf. Switch Now.

I am going to sound like a broken record soon, but there are sometimes when I simply can’t stop myself .

I thought my  Chicago Tribune piece about maniacal cable news would make me feel better, calm me down a little, but it didn’t work.

Now it’s  the shouters who often speak for me  — my  “loudmouths,” if you will  — who are about to push me off the deep end.

Is there any chance,   any chance at all,  that hot air machines like Ed Schultz, Chrtis Matthews or Keith Olberman have any idea how deranged even their  most persusave and courageous views can sound when they are shouted in a hyperventilating, salivating frenzy. 

I wish I could think of a more nuanced way to put it,  guys, but you have to switch  to decaf.  Your  indignation, however justified, will emerge in the clarity and elegance of your argument  and not with the accelerartion of your heart rate. 

You look ridiculous. Bulging neck veins don’t make you more authoritative, they bring on heart attacks.

Here’s how sick of the nuttiness I am, how much I want the “debate by dynamite” to stop. I am going to quote from Richard Nixon’s first innaugural address.  That’s right. Richard Nixon. Paragon of quiet, honest, reasoned argument.

I won’t suggest that Nixon followed his own advice,  nor that he even wrote the following passage. But he did say it,  and it keeps coming to mind as I watch the shoutocracy of cable  news act as if they are mainlining Red Bull.

“To lower our voices would be a simple thing …..  We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another–until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices.”

Richard Nixon,  January 20, 1969 

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