Not for naught do Green Valleyites touch the power button on the TV remote control each morning.

Nay, ’tis for knowledge.

It’s to feed the gray cells of the mind, whether in the form of a bouquet of ragweed for the president from MSNBC or CNN, or the fawning, buttery babble and pep talk Trumpeted by the Foxes.

Seeking out knowledge in its various forms (how to factor polynomials, lose weight or fill a flower pot) we turn up the hearing aid and discover a world of earth-shaking blarney served on a platter of platitudes by people whose hair doesn’t blow in the wind.

TV news isn’t Fake, it’s Facile. It is glib and brooding and jokey.

And it is bathed in clichés.

It’s like an old sit-com in which you have to ignore the laugh track or it will drive you nuts. In TV news you have to find a way to ignore the clichés or you’ll be barking up the wrong tree, so to speak.

Good luck.

Progressives are out to get the president’s goat, you see. But their progression crosses the line, steps on toes and ratchets up tension.

But if they want to play dirty, the other side can give them tit-for-tat. No two ways about it.

Somebody could go out on a limb and throw down the gauntlet. (What do gauntlets weigh? Are they breakable?).

Behind closed doors combatants are all over the landscape.

They circle the wagons and take a hard line. They want to get everyone on board.

Pundits have a field day, coming through the wry.

In a free society, you know, when the rubber hits the road everyone wants his or her piece of the pie. It’s that simple when you get right down to the nitty-gritty.

But there’s more to it than meets the eye.

After all, you can’t dance around the problem. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.  Besides, there’s more than one way to skin a cat (in case you’re into skinning cats).

One table-talk panelist suggests that rather than stirring up trouble, why not talk it through? Play by the rules? Strike the right tone?

It’s a tough nut to crack, however.

A good politician, we’re told, keeps his eye on the ball, his head above the water, his shoulder to the wheel and his nose to the grindstone.

Oh, and he keeps his shirt on.

When you’re on a roll it’s easy as pie. But time is always of the essence. And it’s hard to think straight even when the ball is in your court.

You have to have a game plan, of course.

You can’t please everyone, says a stern-looking invitee to one of those news show “debates.”  So it’s best to just keep your ear to the ground.

What if one side of a political battle had all the answers? Would they be willing to cobble a compromise?

You shudder to think …..

Could this be done under the radar?

Would that have an impact on gauntlet-throwing?

Ah, but hope springs eternal — even ’way out there on a golden bough.

Just the same, asks a lovely and talented member of the panel, isn’t there more than one side to the story?

Only time will tell.

Truth be told, watching TV news is not much more than a bad habit.

You could learn just as much by watching your ceiling fan or toaster or vacuum cleaner.

Corky Simpson writes weekly for the Green Valley News.

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