Cable-TV news talking heads are creepy.
There are the obvious freaks: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, a former sportscaster, is the John Madden of shrill bandwagonism. Bipolar partisan John King eerily juxtaposes false outrage and cutting-edge technology to create the illusion of newsworthiness. Yes, it’s scary.
And then there’s CNN legal analyst and The New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin. Back in June, Toobin called then-Democratic presidential candidate hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton’s refusal to concede to Sen. Barack Obama “deranged narcissism.” After the Republican National Convention in early September, he called Sen. John McCain’s acceptance speech “shockingly bad.” He doesn’t discriminate against neocons or neoliberals; his takes—and takedowns—are equal opportunity.
How judicious. Incidentally, he’ll give a talk at the Mondavi Center next week, on October 10, titled “One Hundred Years: A Look Inside the Supreme Court,” no doubt culling from his 2007 book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. He’ll also likely discuss the 2000 Supreme Court decision to end the Bush-Gore recount in Florida, which he also wrote a book about.
Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to write another after this Election Day.