Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Politics on Up With Chris Hayes
I watch "Up!" every week, and I must say that some of the most interesting politics on the show for me have less to do with the official topics under discussion than with the politics governing the conversational dynamics themselves, in which it seems to me the most conservative person on whatever topic often seems to spend the most time talking, sometimes perhaps compensating for a perceived disproportion of liberals on the show, but interestingly it seems that the liberal who happens to have the most conservative position on any particular topic also ends up monopolizing most of the time, that the non-experts on the panel often talk more, and comparatively ineptly, on topics for which a particular expert or author is clearly chosen to participate in the show precisely for their contribution to that topic, in addition to the usual outrageous tendencies of men to interrupt women, pushy people to talk over more thoughtful people in ways that reduce the conversation to gobbling scrums, tendencies of non-experts to interrupt and deflate serious discussions with pedestrian twitter-ready jokes, sometimes tendencies of women or people of color or women of color to defer to others, and so on. I think Chris Hayes needs to structure the conversation with more framing editorials, needs to make the roundtable a little smaller and to revolve the guests more to foreground his experts, and he needs to make the ground rules for collegial if still snappy dialogue a bit clearer, especially for his token conservative bloviators.