Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Maher vs. Coulter: Box-office ideologies

HAVE YOU been following the reports on the series of staged debates between two otherwise cordial drinking buddies: Ann Coulter and  Bill Maher?   They are pitted in forensic combat as the gingham dog and calico cat  of the nation's ideological wars.  But anyone interested in such political nonsense was asked to pay pre-recession prices of $38 to $200 per ticket for the three left-right encounters this week in the Wang Theatre in New York.  (The series was pretentiously named "The Minds That Moved the World" although at this distance I feel terribly stationary by an artificially inseminated "news" event.  What they don't think of these days!

It was only natural for some of us to immediately invoke the historical gravity  of the seven Lincoln-Douglas senatorial campaign debates that expressed their profound and nation-wrenching differences on slavery.   Fortunately, neither Coulter nor Maher, comedians on different pages, has announced any interest in running for the U.S.  Senate.  We can only hope they never will.

This latest venture into rhetorical survival is, of course, box-office puffery.  By now, anybody with a wisp of interest in politics already knows where Coulter and Maher come down on the issues without an expensive  front-row theatre seat.  Besides, Maher has often said that he likes Coulter and that (Heavens!) they are good friends. I'm sure the feeling is mutual and the beer was especially refreshing after  the show.

But this is only the beginning of the little side shows  by the sponsors, aptly Madison Square Garden Entertainment.   Next up is James Carville vs. Karl Rove, May 27,  with Charlie Rose as the ringmaster.    Or Arianna Huffington vs. Tucker Carlson,  April  1.   

I think we're being hustled, folks,  and will say no more unless we find out that Maher proposed to Coulter over a glass of Guinness.   But I'm jaded.  I get my kicks from pro football  and will leave the media wrestlers to their own transparent show-biz schemes.  Maybe an Australian tag-team match with Limbaugh,  O'Reilly or Matthews  pawing in  the corners?   

1 comment:

PJJinOregon said...

I sense a "truth in lending" aspect to box office ideologues. Following Rushbo's lead, ideologues have morphed in to entertainers. The programs at the Wang Theatre merely recognize and further commercialize the shoddiness of toady's political discourse. Don't scold Coulter or Maher or Wang; scold those who purchase tickets.