So I watched Obama’s subliminal message to Kill Whitey! last night. And it was great in a high-gloss, reach-out-to-the-undecided-heartland kind of way. But then, I made a really big mistake. I kept the tv on for a few minutes of Larry King and then a few more of Christopher Matthews. I know, I know, bad move. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure that Obama hypnotized me to enter self-destruct mode. If he can get The Man to take himself out, the Army of Black Liberation — made up largely of the Fruit of Islam and the S1Ws — he has waiting in the wings will save ammo on January 20th. Which means that budget surpluses are just around the corner!

Anyway, cable news. Wowza. First, John McCain was on Larry King’s show. And he was the same candidate we’ve been seeing throughout the campaign: angry, unsteady, and occasionally afflicted with aphasia. But then, after McCain doddered off the set, Larry and his other guests insisted that he had done really well. (Actually, Larry took partial credit for how well McCain had done. It was like a superannuated support group.) McCain’s comeback has begun, I learned. A week is a lifetime in American politics, Dan Rather told me. And so on. It occurred to me that without a focus group to provide instant reactions to McCain’s bile, the pundits default to their baseline setting: McCain’s just good, plain folks; his campaign has done him wrong; and there’s no way a war hero like him should lose. The punditocracy want a horse race — for the ratings, for the theater, for America — so badly that it’s painful to watch their dreams die in real time. Well, not really.

Chris Matthews was even worse. His first guest was Tom DeLay. Who kept insisting that Barack Obama really *is* an America-hating radical. No, seriously, that negro African-American dood is a socialist — at best. And Obama and his friends — the S1Ws, the Fruit of Islam, and probably some dashiki-wearing Kenyan warlords (mirrored sunglasses, too) — want to dance with your dates. Also: Bill Ayers. And teh gayz. Homosexuals who Rev. Wright is just waiting to gay marry in your kid’s kindergarten class, whereupon those faggots will probably sodomize your little boy. Because that’s just how they are. Better yet, Matthews, who we’re supposed to believe is in the tank for Obama, legitimated DeLay by noting what a political realist he is. Seriously, on cable news channels Tom DeLay is a reasonable conservative and Barack Obama is a spearchucking Marxist.

So, after I glued the pieces of my head back together, I changed the channel. All of which is a long way of saying, a sort of public service announcement, that if you’re watching cable news, you’re living in an alternate universe. I can’t tell you if the facts in that universe are closer or further from the truth than those that I find at FiveThirtyEight or Pollster. But things sure are scarier on television. I won’t be going back there again. Until Tuesday, that is, when I won’t be able to turn away.