I discovered this at the Blogora this morning, and posted it to Facebook already. But I do have a few friends, well at least one, who resist the siren song of Facebook. So here's the video clip with my short, glib commentary.
The comment that MSNBC wishes they could be Fox News was on point, though I think the Washington Senators would have improved the analogy. The closing nod to Nietzsche, and the acknowledgment that the White House doesn't complain about MSNBC because "they agree with us," demonstrates that contemporary comedy is often more transparent, and thus more trustworthy, than either politicians or news agencies. Given Fox News' parodic claims to "balance," and Obama's intense interest in media new and old, the vituperate nature of this clash isn't too surprising. A reminder that the death of the author equates to the propogation of authors.
For those unfamiliar with Nietzsche, here's the relevant passage from his "We Scholars" in Beyond Good and Evil (I'll quote at length his comparison between meager intellectual laborers and true philosophers, but you really only need skip to the last line):
Those philosopical laborers after the noble model of Kant and Hegel have to determine and pres into formulas, whether in the realm of logic or political (moral) thought or art, some great data of valuations--that is, former positings of values, creations of value which have become dominant and are for a time called "truths." It is for these investigators to make everything that has happened and been esteemed so far easy to look over, easy to think over, intelligible and manageable, to abbreviate everything long, even "time," and to overcome the entire past--an enormous and wonderful task in whose service every subtle pride, every tough will can certainly find satisfaction. Genuine philosophers, however, are commanders and legislators: they say, "thus it shall be!" They first determine the Whither and For What of man, and in so doing have at their disposal the preliminary labor of all philosophical laborers, all who have overcome the past. With a creative hand they reach for the future, and all that is and has been becomes a means for them, an instrument, a hammer. Their "knowing" is creating, their creating is a legislation, their will to truth is--will to power.
What I find interesting here is that both Fox News and Obama represent this Will to Power--Kaufmann's choice of "legislate" works well for me, since both Fox and Obama equal share legislative power. Notice, too, that Nietzsche emphasizes "thus...shall" and not "it...be." Being here (object) is less important than emergence of Being, or the rhetoric of Being, of power to influence Being's becoming in the public eye. Thinking about politics over the past few months, it seems as if Fox News is beating Obama, that his Power is waning.
Of course, I feel compelled to say "Obama," as I am using it above, becomes something that Obama [flesh and blood] could not possibly contain or control. It becomes mimetic. As "we" host it, we invest in it. We invest more than it could hope to contain. Bubbles burst. Frustrations remain. As old notions of authority become evermore loquacious, I can't help but think of Nietzsche's "Night Song":
Night has come: alas, that I must be light! And thirst for the nocturnal! And loneliness! Night has come: now my craving breaks out of me like a well; to speak I crave. Night has come: now all fountains speak more loudly. And my soul, too, is a fountain. Night has come: now all the songs of lovers awaken. And my soul, too, is the song of a lover ("Thus Spoke Zarathustra")
It will be interesting, as we move toward 2012, to see and hear, in the era of increasingly democratized media, the overflow of fountains.