Have you thought up an excuse for loving TMZ TV yet? Because the dilemma of loving a trashy syndicated daily show has the TV critics working overtime. Last week's Slate went with the tired "voyeurism" excuse that basically applies to pretty much everything on television; today's Washington Post compared the show to C-Span. I always figured the show was good because everyone who works there is too smart to be working there but had been forced by some absurd fluke of our market economy to do so. But it only during yesterday's commercial break that I realized the NY Times' Virginia Heffernan wasn't smoking crack when she called TMZ modern-day version of Karl Marx's Capital. Because here's the discourse on socialism that was going on over on MSNBC's "Tucker" with Tucker Carlson:
TUCKER: They don't believe in individual choice...If they did, then how about this? I want to make the choice not to buy health insurance. That's not allowed. I don`t have a choice. It's mandated. I mean...
FENN: Tucker. You're making...
TUCKER: This doesn't give you the creeps?
FENN: Let's — let's get real here.
TUCKER: Am I living in a parallel universe?
FENN: You would never make a choice like that for you and your family.
TUCKER: I have made a choice like that for me and my family.
FENN: To never have health insurance?
TUCKER: No, not to never have it. But I — you know, people live.
FENN: But look, let me just
Yeah, and then I switched back to the parallel universe over at TMZ, because it was my personal choice, and watched the people our blessed capitalist system has rewarded with fame, lucrative endorsement deals and the type of rehab no PPO could buy get viciously shamed and skewered. Because they deserve it. Like Americans deserve health care! Except Tucker Carlson. No Boundaries In The Thirty Mile Zone [Washington Post]
CROWLEY: It's getting worse right now. The status quo gets worse year after year. I mean you — I'm sure your premiums are rising as fast as mine are.
CROWLEY: We`re paying for it every month.
TUCKER: So doctors love Medicare?
FENN: Let me just...
TUCKER: Is that what you're saying? I mean come on.
FENN: They do! (CROSSTALK)
FENN: But Deamonte Driver, 12-year-old kid who had a frigging toothache in Prince George's County. His mother tried to take him around to get medical...
TUCKER: And he died.
FENN: And he died.
TUCKER: So is that...
FENN: And let me just say...
TUCKER: So that's the excuse that I should be forced to buy health care?
FENN: No. We now have 47 million people without it.
TUCKER: What do you — what does that mean?
FENN: And that's a seven million increase under this administration. Over eight million of these are kids.
FENN: And this is...
TUCKER: That's doesn't mean anything.
FENN: Yes, it does...
TUCKER: (INAUDIBLE) something.
FENN: ...because the system is not working.
TUCKER: Should — this is a philosophical question and it's also a practical issue. Should people — because people do die under our current system of care — should everybody be forced to — that is, have the choice taken away from them...
FENN: Tucker, let me say something.
TUCKER: ...about whether to participate?
And you're saying yes.
FENN: They — the number of people...
TUCKER: I think that's authoritarian.
FENN: ...who would decide not to have health insurance, you could put in this studio in this whole country.
TUCKER: That is not true. That is totally not true.
FENN: That — you're telling me...
TUCKER: If I am — that's a total lie. If I am 25 years old and I'm a healthy person, I might make a rational decision not to get health care.
FENN: Well, if you...
TUCKER: The chances I'm going to need it are infinitesimal.
CROWLEY: And would you sign a contract saying that if you got gravely ill, you would relinquish free emergency room care...
TUCKER: That right there...
CROWLEY: ...if you couldn't afford it?
TUCKER: That is an interesting question and I think that's — right there. That's an interesting debate right there.
CROWLEY: I mean maybe...
TUCKER: Would I?
Yes, I probably would. Maybe I wouldn't.