Though the other Sunday talkies get all the press, our favorite high-decibel screamfest has got to be The McLaughlin Group, where grandfatherly host John McLaughlin barks out topics to be clawed over by his trusty revolving media scrum of Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, the Washington Times' Tony Blankley, UPI's Martin Walker, HuffPo's own Lawrence O'Donnell, and Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune. Our favorite parts are the awesome 80s beginning ("The sharpest mind! Best sources! Hardest Talk!") and when Eleanor Clift hauls out her trademark conversation-slicing shriek. But this week, we loved it for the fact that it was the only Sunday talker* that actually led with Black History Month** taking a detailed look at black members of Congress and looking at the significance of same. It started off great with McLaughlin barking out a phrase that seemed totally natural for him — "Issue One: Black Power!" — and got even better once Pat Buchanan took the floor:
We're not disputing the truth of this fact, just its sorta-tangential relevance at that juncture, and the fact that Buchanan had that factoid ready at the tip of his tongue. The segment was actually pretty interesting and feisty, as always (with Clift noting dryly that if power meant the ability to actually get Bush to listen to you, then Congress was powerless indeed) and Clarence Page calling for a headline upgrade to "Ungowa Black Power." Don't shoot the transcriber please, it sounded less uncomfortable when he said it. He also doesn't think that John Conyers is going to have impeachment hearings. Also, Buchanan noted that the Latinos in California outnumber the African Americans "something like 6-1." Master of statistics, our Pat! In any case, we can't help it, we like The McLaughlin Group. Also, the graphics were very subtle.
*That we saw, or flipped through. Feel free to correct us!
**Though Brian Williams talking about New Orleans on "Reliable Sources" may kind of count. Kind of.
***If loving Pat Buchanan is wrong, we don't want to be right.