Fighting it out
Two things are interesting about Keith Olbermann's attack on Hillary Clinton. American viewers who haven't seen it might be amused/gratified/horrified but British viewers will be amazed, I should imagine, that it could be allowed: the rules on broadcasting impartiality in the UK ban such comment even on cable.
The longer I live in the US, the more I wonder (this is me, not the BBC!) whether it is rather more grown-up to allow Keith O and Fox News and all the other essentially partial voices to fight it out in the public square. I certainly don’t buy the idea that there is no such thing as impartiality - and there is still a hunger for broadcasting that strives for it -but there is room for Keith O as well!
Meanwhile, fascinating that the war in Iraq has disappeared from US television. Keith O and the rest are great fun, but you need more.
His outburst reminds me that Sally Bedell Smith's none too flattering book about the Clintons, For the Love of Politics, is now out in paperback in the US; with a truly frightening photo on the front and an afterword whose central message might be summed up thus: "Told you so!" The book contains the line - which got me into hot water when I repeated it on the airwaves - that Hillary "tends to reminds men of their first wives". But it is worth reading for the wider context as well.
Meanwhile, those of us living in DC are preparing either to sleep safer in our beds or to endure a modern day Wild West, depending on your point of view, when the Supreme Court hears the DC gun case this week. It's a case of truly historic proportions. To British eyes, the case for more guns not fewer is a hard one to make but these proponents do a calm and persuasive job. I am fascinated by the fact, as it appears to be, that burglaries while a householder is in a home are far, far fewer in number in the US than they are in the UK. Guns - the argument goes - make innocent people safer.