WPLG-TV/Channel 10 video: This Week in South Florida, July 21, 2011, with host Michael Putney.
Channel 10's version of this entire broadcast of TWISF, in High Quality, and 26 minutes and 36 seconds long, is at
The interview with Rep. Frederica Wilson concludes at 13:04 mark.
Well, to use a phrase that nobody uses any longer, "Here's mud in your eye."
For those of you who have doubted what I've said in the past to you, whether in person somewhere in South Florida or the Washington, D.C. area, or what you've read here on the blog, about the weirdly, disconnected sense of reality lived by many though not all of South Florida's pols, almost all of whom live in gerrymandered districts that ensure their election come the general elections, Sunday morning brought forth the latest glaring example of disconnected unreality.
Did you see it, too?
Did your jaw hit the ground at the stale memorized talking points being recited like a not-so-bright Third Grader standing in front of the class?
Did you get a real sinking feeling when you heard so much prattle expressed with so little thought or insight behind it, and realized that the silly person mouthing such nonsense makes $174,000 a year?
Yes, welcome to the second decade of South Florida politics in the 21st Century.
All of this came in the form of an alternately abysmal performance by freshman Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-17) on Channel 10's "This Week in South Florida" with Senior Political Editor Michael Putney.
As most of you blog readers know by now, I respect him more than any other media personality in South Florida -even when we disagree- in large part, because he actually remembers many of the very same people, places and events of the past that I do, good and bad, that so many people, groups and institutions consciously prefer to forget.
(So many South Florida media types I've met either know very little about this area's political history and geography, or flat-out don't care, but that's another post for another time.)
The ostensible purpose of Wilson's appearance -from Washington- in the lead-off (longest) block of the popular public affairs program, was to discuss the federal debt limit crisis, the state of the economy, and to elicit her opinion on what specific steps should be undertaken.
As she has been a cipher since getting elected, I didn't expect much, but even my low expectations were too high.
Prior to this July 31st appearance with Michael Putney, NOT a single legitimate reporter in Florida had so much as asked Wilson even a reasonably hard question about this debt limit issue and asked her to explain herself on the issue.
Trust me, I've looked at searches for her on Google News day-after-day, and even emailed that to friends, who were shocked at how asleep the South Florida news media has been all these months.
(I was even going to post all the citations & news articles here so you could see what lapdogs the South Florida press corps has been towards Wilson since she got elected. Minus the stories on Haiti, Edison & Central High Schools getting special treatment to stay open, or her hats, there wasn't much left, which made it easy for me to read all the articles. Just saying...)
In fact, I was going to post this blog post Sunday morning until I saw that she was going to be on the show. Then I decided to wait until Channel 10 put the link up to the entire broadcast so you could see it for yourself.
To me, Wilson has held common sense and taxpayers "hostage" for months without saying anything of merit, to use a word that she twice went out of her way to use to refer to Tea Party supporters, implying, like so many disconnected liberals, that their desire to actually have a more fundamentally sound financial structure for the country was dangerous.
(Unlike Wilson, some Americans inherently know that not every single federal program deserves to live in perpetuity, or to be equated with apple pie and the Bill of Rights. But try getting Wilson to name one to cut...)
As if, somehow, liberal families and their children were somehow immune to the very negative logical consequences of a template where the U.S. government borrows 40 cents for every dollar it spends, as Sen. Marco Rubio has said any number of times lately.
It won't surprise you a whit that her prescription was the usual one of a person who reps a gerrymandered majority-minority CD in Congress: spend, spend, spend...
And tax the "rich" especially the evil oil companies, whom she says pay nothing in taxes in the same exact way that small children routinely say dumb things but nobody bothers to correct them because they are, after all, just small children.
They're entitled to their fantasy world for a while.
Small children, not congresswomen.
Despite her own past actions and words to burden small business owners with more regulation and higher fees, she demands that someone create jobs in her CD, which has the dubious distinction of having among the lowest investment rates and one of the highest murder rates in the entire congress.
After you hear Wilson, you'd almost have to ask yourself why if you were a business owner seeking to expand, why would someone invest in poorly-educated, blame-someone else FL-17?
Now there's a question.
Wilson seems unable to appreciate the changed environment that has taken over this country the past few years, nor to appreciate the difference between being in Tallahassee and Washington.
The reality is that her constituents without jobs are going to be expected to do a whole lot more for themselves in the future than they have in the past, and that includes the strong possibility that for many of them, that choice involves leaving the area, as happens in every other part of the country.
Uncle Sam is not going to be dropping pallets of money into NW Miami anytime soon.
That plane has been permanently grounded.
Time to adapt!
When Michael Putney brought this poll up, do I even have to tell you that Wilson is a fervent supporter of the minority opinion? The one that says that we just have to keep doing the same things that don't work? It's mind-boggling sometimes, almost as if she has been in a coma.
Watching her appearance on TWISF made me think of many things but none quite so strong as the sense that she's so very used to only being around people that completely agree with her, that she literally has no ability or intuition to appreciate that, for a change, she really needed to come across on the program as a serious and sober official.
Instead, because it's her shtick, and she can't help herself, she chose on the air wearing one of the dozens of ridiculous hats that she insists on wearing to distinguish herself, more fitting for a Delta Sigma Theta luncheon in the spring.
Yeah, like the weird guy with head-to-toe tats who insists on showing up at the public park every weekend with the snake around his neck, the old guy who insists on wearing a tiny Speedo swimsuit at the beach -and not being foreign!- or, the older woman who insists on showing up at the beach in a two-piece swimsuit that more closely resembles dental floss, Wilson can't figure out a way to stand out for what she knows about a given area of public policy, or being able to explain complicated issues in ways that people understsnd.
Nobody has ever said that about her.
It's sad for her, of course, but saddest of all for us, her constituents.
As I reflected on what took place in the program later on Sunday afternoon, in between watching the Marlins game and snapping some photos up in Hollywood for a future blog post here, Wilson's juvenile performance just really continued to irritate me, since it was about as anti-intellectual an exercise as I've seen outside of the occasional segment of MSNBC's Hardball I've come across while flipping thru the channels during a commercial of something else.
If you're not really that familiar with the show, esp. if you are reading this overseas, the Republican Elephants in the bottom LEFT are a tip-off to MSNBC's avowed liberal ideology. Fortunately, not that many people watch the show, as more people watch The Cartoon Channel than MSNBC when Hardball is on.
When she successfully repeated a few simple talking points she remembered -the ones about the number of times the debt was raised during Reagan and Bush 41's presidencies, 18 and 7 respectively- I could almost picture her staff applauding, out-of relief. Really.
So what exactly were the things that she or her predecessors, Carrie Meek and Kendrick Meek proposed that would cut the federal budget and put the country on a more sustainable basis?
She never said despite having thirteen minutes to mention it.
Thirteen minutes that revealed her for the disconnected public official she is, who thinks the old solutions of Big Government spending their way out of a problem still works.
Not Breaking News!