Saturday morning jabbering

Most weekend mornings, Partner and I watch a program called “Up with Chris Hayes.” Chris is a bright-looking young man with hipster glasses, who moderates one of those political-panel shows featuring people you’ve never heard of discussing issues of the day.

The problem on Chris’s show is that nothing really gets said.

Chris himself is a big part of the problem. He’s a jabberer. He’s obviously very bright, but he asks questions that turn into ten-sentence essays, and he continually interrupts himself, talking at top speed, because his mind is (obviously) working so very very quickly.

Unfortunately, his guests (consciously or unconsciously) follow suit. They jabber, and interrupt themselves, and one another. It’s like listening to dogs barking at one another in an animal-rescue facility.

Also, Chris does not necessarily invite the best or most compelling guests to his show. A while back he had Michael Ian Black on the panel, to discuss immigration issues. Michael Ian Black is a comedian / actor / performer, okay? He’s quite bright, I’m sure; he even co-wrote a book with Meghan McCain, for whatever that’s worth. I’m not sure, however, that he had anything powerfully compelling to contribute to a discussion about immigration rights. Also, back a few months ago, Chris had Mike Daisey on several weeks in a row to discuss Chinese factories, and the terrible conditions therein. Daisey claimed he’d been there and taken all kinds of direct testimony from people. Guess what? Daisey lied about many of the details. When confronted with this, he responded that he was a performer, not a journalist.

Around eleven o’clock on a recent Saturday morning, I went to the health club, and turned on the treadmill television, and saw Melissa Harris-Perry was on, and I sighed with relief. Her show is a lot like Chris Hayes’s show, with the following exceptions:

–        She speaks deliberately, in complete sentences.

–        Her guests (mostly) speak deliberately, in complete sentences.

–        Her guests (who on that morning included a former Cabinet official, a real journalist, and a professor) seem qualified to speak to the issues at hand.

It was a genuine pleasure to listen to her and her guests.

Chris Hayes, if you’re reading this: take a look at Melissa’s show. You might learn a thing or two.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

One Response to Saturday morning jabbering

  1. starproms says:

    It does sometimes feel as if once people get onto TV they think they can say just whatever comes into their heads.

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