One of the big flaws now is that there is all this noise on the right. When I yell there is a reason for it. There is a political and factual discernment behind it. I am not doing it gratuitously...Controlled, useful-looking anger. Yes, exactly how does one give that appearance and when is it appropriate? And more importantly, how do we on the receiving end of anger defend ourselves against speakers who would love to leap into the primal dimension of our minds and manipulate us by tapping the feelings we felt when we were children, inspired and intimidated by our parents?
I once had a conversation with the man who is now the vice president when he was still in the Senate, who asked me for advice about how to turn anger into righteous inspiration.
Joe Biden took you to lunch to ask you for tips on getting angry?
He said, ‘‘I just come across like I’m angry and out of control, and you seem to focus it and make it look useful and expressive.’’
Our #1 defense, it seems, is that we've learned to perceive the angry speaker as having taken leave of his senses. Biden sought the secret — which he imagined Olbermann possessed — for getting around that defense. He wanted to know how to seize the power of the patriarch.