And after Martin’s duel with blogger Kathleen McKinley, he took in the Hornets game and later appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to talk about Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s declaring April “Confederate History Month.” Here’s a great write-up of the CNN exchange (and I agree with this blogger: pure theater for ratings):
We’re next joined by Roland Martin and Brag Bowling, the commander of the Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, for a batshit insane spirited debate of the governor’s declaration. Oh boy. Gee, I wonder how this is going to turn out. Yeah, we’ve got all kinds of train wreckiness going on here. Brag tries to dismiss the slavery aspect of this controversy, saying it was just an omission that he would have no problem including. According to Anderson, it’s also an omission on the homepage of his website, where it says the Civil War was about “preserving liberty and freedom.” Okay then.
For his part, Roland manages to equate Confederate soldiers to Nazis in record time. Seriously, did I miss the memo that says every cable news debate must have a Nazi/Hitler reference? Then Brag starts saying that we’re seeing some of the same issues today that we saw back then, but he backs off when Anderson asks if he’s comparing the Republicans of today to Confederate soldiers. Brag also tries to say that by not having this month we’re whitewashing history and then we’re automatically Russia. Of course.
Also? When Brag brings this point up, Anderson’s all, “Well, let me just give you my answer.” What? But you never give your answer. You are opinion-less sleeves man! Anyway, our anchor goes on to tell us that he has both Union and Confederate ancestors and he visits the graves of the latter in Mississippi, but that doesn’t mean you whitewash the cause of the war. Okay, that wasn’t so much an opinion as it was a semi-genealogy lesson. Still unexpected. That Silver Fox is just full of surprises. And since I’m talking about him anyway, I love that he’s wearing his “this guest is so bullshit” look on his face throughout a good portion of this segment.
This basically wraps up with Brag lamenting all the horrible things the Union soldiers did to those poor southerners, all the while Roland has a coronary. “Do you even hear how you sound?” asks Roland. “I think I sound perfectly rational,” says Brag. And that, boys and girls, pretty much says it all. Oy. I don’t really know what to say about this discussion. In theory, I like that they let it have room to breathe (it lasted almost a third of the show). The thing is though, there was no where for this to go. An exercise predictably doomed for failure.
C’mon, did anyone really think anything enlightening would come out of a discussion with these two, much less a consensus? It’s pointless. It’s theater. How is this the news alternative to the bickering on the other two cable news nets? If they were going to do this story, they probably should have just had Anderson interview Brag alone. Instead, we got something that smelled suspiciously like a ratings ploy.