Karen Finney’s Disrupt Looks Pretty Good

Karen FinneyI’ve long anticipated Karen Finney getting her own show on MSNBC. In fact, for a while, I thought it might be some kind of political version of The View with Finney, Goldie Taylor, Joy Reid, and some conservative affirmative action case—almost certainly a blond. But today, Karen Finney started her own show, Disrupt. And I was there to watch.

The show is about what I would expect from Finney. She is too much of a Democratic apologist for my tastes. But there is a place for her kind of centrist Democratic commentary. And the issues on the show weren’t bad: sexual abuse in the military, NSA surveillance, IRS scandal, military families. I got a little annoyed by the discussion of surveillance. Finney controlled the discussion far too much and focused on the straw man, “Does the government have the right to keep secrets?” No one, and certainly not her guests, are making that argument. Ill talk more about that in another article, so leave it at this: the discussion of surveillance was by far the weakest segment on Disrupt—not because I disagree but because the discussion was too limited in scope.

Of course, there were many things to like about the show. Although there were a few technical glitches and Finney was understandably less relaxed than normal, the show was surprisingly good for a first outing. Also, it was nice to see only women discussing the sexual abuse issue and mostly women overall as guests on the show. Also, Disrupt pushes against the practice of Chris Hayes and Rachael Maddow by having a fast paced show. It also featured some unusual edited bits that I didn’t really like, but that I think will grow into something really good.

In discussing the IRS scandal, Finney invited on our favorite Tea Party Idiot Amy Kremer. As much as I think that Kremer’s existence is a bad thing for democracy in America, I have to give you top marks for even being willing to go on MSNBC. And she does manage to get her points across, even if the points are nothing more than right wing hate radio talking points. When I saw she was on the show, I despaired. She brings out my Tourette syndrome. But Finney handled her brilliantly. Kremmer repeatedly pushed the idea that since there is no evidence that Obama was involved with the IRS scandal, it means, “We just don’t know if Obama was involved with the IRS scandal.” Finney would have none of it. And I was glad to see it. It bodes well for the future of the show.

I’ll be interested to see how Disrupt progresses. Even in its current form, it is totally respectable—a good addition to the MSNBC family. And it adds another woman to their lineup. I look forward to seeing Goldie Taylor and Joy Reid (who is guest-hosting The Ed Show today) with their own shows soon. But it is great that Karen Finney at long last has a permanent spot on the MSNBC schedule. I expect good things from her and the show.

I will provide a link to the show as soon as I find it!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Karen Finney’s Disrupt Looks Pretty Good

  1. Here’s hoping Ms. Finney does well.

    I’ve been farting around with a long piece on sexual abuse in the military. Too long to summarize here. In short, it’ll never end. I witnessed it in military school, and like most sexual abuse, it was not about desire but about power.

    The central ethic of our military is might makes right. Cruel officers enjoy mistreating you because they can, creating a mindset where many underlings mistreat others because they can. (Occasionally you will meet a terrific officer who bends over backwards to not be a power-mad jerkwad; they really stick out.) Women, or anyone who isn’t aggressive, are targets.

    One time there was a rape being investigated at our academy, and despite official secrecy, everyone soon knew who the accused perpetrator and the accusing victim were. Both were male. Immediately the accused perpetrator (an officer almost everyone hated) was more feared and respected, while the accusing victim (a plebe almost everyone liked) was treated as damaged goods. Weak. A loser. Ass-raped, so probably queer. (The officer was not considered queer for rape, just more formidable.) Needless to say the plebe soon dropped out.

    I have no doubt this mindset (and I have other, similar memories) is prevalent in our military. It doesn’t defend anyone from anything. It enforces the will of power. You can’t be in our military and believe in any kind of noble purpose (besides sticking up for your buddies, as long as they don’t show weakness.) You respect only power; you are meant to ache to use it. (I dropped out because, after making it through the period where I was proud of myself for enduring hazing, I had no interest in the hazing I was expected to inflict on new students.)

    In countries where the military serves to defend the nation from attack and do things like protect shipping lanes, military people are relatively sane. The chain of command exists to delegate responsibility, not to indoctrinate recruits into a culture of cruelty. Those military people are paid well, they enjoy their jobs, and women feel perfectly comfortable as skilled, respected professionals. Our imperial military is abusive to its core, has been for over 100 years, and resembles quite scarily the key psychological attributes of a cult.

    To change it would be akin to changing the Politboro. You’d have to upend everything it stands for; commit to a different, defensive role, and fire pretty much everyone. From the highest brass to the lowest NCOs, and reboot from scratch — while closing all the service academies. Anything less, and you’ll have what we have now, what we will have for the foreseeable future; a military that apologizes for sexual assault, instead of celebrating it as in the Tailhook days, but one that is fundamentally the same.

    Empires, as Chalmers Johnson observed, have consequences.

  2. @JMF – I hope you are just being cynical. I think that improvements can be made, but your point is well taken. It still shocks me that the military is about the only institution in America that has high approval ratings. They talked about this yesterday on Up and it was said that the military has not had major scandals. WTF?! They’ve had nothing [i]but[/i] scandals. You could say those were just individuals, but you could say the same thing for politicians who Americans think very lowly of. And this scandal isn’t just about individuals; it is about a seriously fucked up way of dealing rape.

    Speaking of the rape victim being gay and the rapist being powerful: that’s exactly the dynamic in prison. The fundamental issue I think is that it is only thanks to women that men act better than animals.

  3. Not, for once, being cynical or sarcastic in the slightest. Our military is a dysfunctional abusive nightmare. Women who aren’t abused serve as enablers. All of us who didn’t call out abuse served as enablers. (For good reason; if we spoke up, we’d be targeted for abuse.)

    It’s far, far worse than civilians know. If you get through basic training, you just accept those values unthinkingly. That’s what basic training is meant to do; beat you down physically to the point that you’ll say anything, believe anything, ignore everything.

    Kids join the military because they have few other options. They’re exposed to and indoctrinated by a system that places unstemmed viciousness over every other virtue. We can’t talk about it; we have to pretend that our soldiers are heroes.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a sickness endemic to the institution which is poisoned beyond my ability to describe. And I think it has to do with the imperial nature of our military. Those kids need to be taught that power is its own justification; they aren’t exactly protecting us from an invasion by China. It’s OK to gun down foreigners because they are feeble enough to be gunned down. If they resist, they’re "fucking savages," as Col. Kurtz would put it.

  4. @JMF – It certainly is true that the military teaches two terrible things: (1) do as you are told and (2) the enemy is evil (subhuman). That can’t be good. I’ll leave it there. I get in trouble because the closest I’ve gotten to the military is the time I’ve spent reading about men like Kurtz.

  5. liberals are just fucking assholes and it will never change. Finney is called a journalist. Former head of the democratic national committee. Journalist report the facts. They don’t make them up as they go along. You are like all liberals a complete asshole. Finney thinks it is ok for obama to massively increase spying on innocent people but that is ok with you. And says that now that we are in a war on terror unlike when Bush was monitoring foreign phone contacts and then getting warrants to listen in that it was not a war on terror. Come on asshole your boy obama has been saying forever that there is no war on terror. I am so tired of stupid fucking assholes like you people here. obama is a bastard but of course it would not matter what he does because he is black and wonderful.

  6. @Richard Rhodes – If you read the site, you would know that I am no fan of Obama. If you read the article, you would know that I disagree with Finney on the spying. And then you end with a little racist flourish. Brilliant.

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