CURB YOUR IMPERIALISM: The Aggressive Progressiveness of Jimmy Dore
by Albert Lanier
Change happens. Corporations that once thought that they ruled the world like a colossus (Enron) find out that they aren’t too big to fall and thus end up out of business. TV shows (Last Man Standing) last for a few seasons and then are cancelled at the whim of corporate executives. Even the nature of media and their mediums (no pun intended) have been altered with the creation and growth of the world wide web and the internet allowing different kinds of visual content that would have never seen the light of day on the broadcast networks due to language, content or political concerns.
It is therefore interesting that the most pointed, brutal and merciless critic of the major news media as well as the prevailing political orthodoxies of both liberals and conservatives can be found on You Tube.
Jimmy Dore is a comedian by trade not a policy analyst, geographical area expert or a person that possesses a PH d in Political Science but his you tube program “The Jimmy Dore Show” nonetheless provides a far superior analysis of the major issues of the day with the additional benefit of humor thrown in.
Dore stands out in that he especially excoriates what he terms “Corporate Democrats” for their intellectual and fiscal congruence with the reigning market dominated hegemonic political mindset. While any online right wing talk show host like a Steven Crowder can bash Democrats for their supposed liberal and left/progressive stance for hours and hours a week, these right wing hosts’ criticisms are part of their wholly partisan stock in trade since they are largely empty, soulless corporate shills who really stand for nothing more than lining their pockets.
Dore’s criticism comes from a left-of-center ideology that decries the influence of huge money and corporate -crafted policy within the Democratic Party. Thus, Dore’s barbed attacks on Hillary Clinton as a Presidential candidate who was the antithesis of a progressive while running in 2016 against Donald Trump are a centerpiece of his take-no-prisoners style of comedic rhetorical expose analysis.
Dore not only operates out of a studio but does live shows at venues primarily in Los Angeles like Flappers (though his live shows do go to other cities at times) where he combines his trademark breakdown of video of news segments and interviews along with extemporized wit.
Dore’s live show in which he relentlessly hammered MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, host of the show ALL IN, was a masterpiece of this method. Hayes had actress/activist Susan Sarandon who had previously appeared his show prior to the 2016 election and made headlines for basically stating that she wouldn’t automatically vote for Hillary Clinton. Hayes had Sarandon- who was a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter-back on after the election along with documentary filmmaker Josh Fox.
Dore illustrated what Hayes real goal was: to make Sarandon look foolish for not backing Clinton. To that end, Dore pointed out that Hayes played a clip of her previous, controversial remarks on his show in an effort to show her up.
It didn’t seem to work. Hayes kept trying to make the point especially in regards to environmental concerns that the lesser of two evils -Clinton being elected-would have been far better. Neither Sarandon or Fox fell for that rather thin rationalization and Sarandon at one point had stated to Hayes “You consider yourself a journalist right?” before mentioning the Dakota Access pipeline controversy ( a story that Hayes freely admitted he didn’t cover or focus on).
Through all this, Dore berated Hayes whom he called a “former Union reporter” as nothing more than a corporate sell-out-persistently mocking him for making $30,000 a day. Dore is often joined by other comedians and guests on these live shows and they chimed in with witticisms and criticisms as well.
In his in-studio shows, Dore has also found other targets to skewer such as his scathing take down of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for her extraordinarily hyped Trump Tax Return episode. Another noteworthy episode featured Intercept reporter Jeremy Scahill’s criticism while a guest on a CNN show of the reporting by major news outlets of the new administration’s missile attack on Syria after a major gas attack within that nation killed a number of civilians.
An important episode featured Canadian Independent Freelance Journalist Eva Bartlett’s stinging critique of Western News Media coverage of the current conflict in Syria while a press conference. Bartlett has actually visited Syria more than once and has gone out of her way to debunk what she says are false and distorted claims put out by news outlets. Dore not only praised Bartlett’s critique but later interviewed her on his show thus giving a major media critic exposure she might not have had elsewhere.
While Dore also appears on the liberal online news service The Young Turks and his one of the hosts of the TYT show “Aggressive Progressives”, his main platform is his own show.
What “The Jimmy Dore Show” has become is that rare, insightful and sharply critical program that deftly separates progressives from party ideology and fealty and tells truth not to power but about power.
A former freelance journalist, Albert Lanier contributed to a number of newspapers in his 22 year career including Honolulu Weekly and Pacific Business News before recently retiring. He also wrote for magazines including Hawaii and Edible Hawaiian Island. Lanier can be found on Facebook and Twitter.