The evening of May 27th, I watched "State of the State" show on WOUB, the local public channel in Athens, Ohio.
One of the guests on the forum type show dealing with multiple aspects of the unemployment problem in Southeastern Ohio was Mark Tatge, some sort of visiting professor at Scripps College of Journalism, Ohio University.
Tom Hodson is the moderator, and the other members of the forum were:
Angie Hawk Maiden: President and CEO of Appalachian Center for Economic Networks;
Perry Varnadoe: Director of the Meigs County Economic Development Office; and
Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) State Representative for the 92nd Ohio House District is also home to Ohio University.
"Mr." Tatge was the most unprepared, impolite and offensive guest I have ever seen on any real public forum/information show. My wife wondered if he thought he was auditioning for a bit on Colbert. I thought that he thought he was on the Bill "Blowhard" O'Reilly set and in some sort of gruesome competition with Ann Coulter.
I am a Libertarian, and I really tried, but I could find absolutely nothing redeeming about his appearance on a show that usually has a thoughtful and well-meaning discourse that seeks practical solutions to problems in our State and in our local area.
With his reckless, unfocused, arrogant "Faux News" style of blathering bloviation, he alienated the other guests on the show, and probably everyone watching as well. The other guests and the moderator were noticably shocked and embarrassed as they tried to politely interact with this pretentious fool.
Mr. Tatge had done no research, spoke in offensive and outlandish generalities throughout, frustrated and discomfited the moderator and belittled the efforts of the other guests by his lack of knowledge and interest in the causes, applicable questions and possible working solutions to the problem of local unemployment. It was a shameful example of ego combined with ignorance by a person who touts himself as an expert and is rumored to teach a class in professionally reporting on financial matters at Ohio University.
Mr. Tatge's one answer to everything (when he wasn't offending literally every single resident of Southeastern Ohio) seemed to be "You people need more help from State Government", which seems a strange proposition for a "Conservative" to espouse. He had the air of someone whose dog ate the homework and who has chosen feigned superiority and attacking in ignorance as his method of defense.
But that is not the worst. The worst is that for anyone watching the show that was still on the political fence, he singlehandedly did his best to make any low tax, small Government, Libertarian leaning political world-view as unsavory and unsympathetic as possible. Mr. Tatge was the onscreen epitome of that generalized view of the Big Business, money-grubbing, unsympathetic, me-first Conservative that the Far Left loves to put out there.
In short, Mr. Tatge is either a stone idiot or he cannot be a real Conservative, but some actor hired by the Far Left to spoof the good intentions of people who want lower taxes and less government, more individual freedom and responsibility.
This may be not giving some enterprising Liberal jokester enough credit, but I'm betting that Mr. Tatge is a stone idiot.