Sunday, March 22, 2009

Talking Heads

The Sunday morning ritual for Washington's cognoscenti is to watch the TV talk shows. Never call any of your inside the Beltway (that is Washington) friends on a Sunday morning. They are all following the conversations by a carefully selected, articulate, and photogenic group of Washington "insiders."

Now, this does not mean that any of these people are actually intelligent, just good at sounding and looking that way. These shows are limited by the self-promotion abilities of their guests and the inability of real experts to answer questions in succinct and meaningful ways. The unwillingness of some to speculate on issues they are not familiar with is a real career limiter in Washington.

The must-see shows are Face the Nation, This Week with George Stehpanapolos, Washington Week, Meet the Press, The MacLaughlin Group, Inside Washington

Most of this is just pure entertainment. Participation in these shows is one the markers of success in Washington. And invitations are not given lightly. Much of Monday's conservation will revolve around what was said on Sunday.

One new show, however, is surprisingly interesting. This is This Week in Defense News. The format is old fashioned and features unattractive white men talking about war and peace. Actual experts are invited to participate and there are no regulars. I actually learn something.

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