Problem: liberals keep getting clobbered when they go on television opposite conservatives.
Solution: Pour Soros dollars into a training program so liberals who go on television won’t look so dumb.
Seriously, that is what the left is doing: Media Matters boot camp readies liberal policy wonks for the camera’s close-up. The Washington Post reports:
The brick carriage house is usually the headquarters of the Mathematical Association of America, but for a few days in the middle of March, the left-wing organization Media Matters for America converted it into a partisan boot camp where rebel forces were trained for combat on Fox News. Over four grueling days, Harvard-honed instructors drilled a dozen softie policy wonks, molding them into an elite unit of smiling, succinct and well-coiffed talking heads.
Since its inception in August 2009, the Progressive Talent Initiative, or PTI, has trained nearly 100 pundits who have appeared 800 times on television and radio. Media Matters uses that metric to pitch donors for more contributions, but its leadership believes that the surge of camera-ready liberals has recaptured lost ground in the media wars against conservatives.
It is true that liberals tend to lose arguments. One obvious explanation for this is that their ideas are poor ones that tend to be unsupported by facts. But Media Matters adopts the opposite theory: the problem, wouldn’t you know it, is that liberals are too smart!
The problem for the soldiers of the left, according to Media Matters instructors, is that they are just too smart for their own good. The traditional dependence on facts and figures, on being right, is no longer germane. Too often these wonks disappear into the policy weeds or fall through the cracks of nuance.
Well, if these folks really are too smart, they have come to the right place. Media Matters can dumb them down in no time! In fact, the dumbing down process seems to be well under way:
Media Matters, too, is embracing the notion of television debate as performance art. The PTI program is in part conceived by Joel Silberman, a Democratic media trainer and former cabaret singer, who says things like “actors speak louder than words,” “heart, persona, presence” and “feeling wins.” The instructors at the carriage house spend an entire day emphasizing “nonverbals.”
The participants studied “strength and warmth inventory” handouts (“furrowed brow” for strength, “brow up” for warmth). They learned to avoid licking lips, tilting heads and rubbing one hand against the other.
This is all too pathetic. I’m not sure whether the Post intended to laugh at Media Matters or not; if not, they should have. Contemporary liberalism suffers from a great many problems, but excessive intelligence is not one of them.