Listen Up

Rodney Clough
3 min readJun 3, 2022


Ari Melber, The Beat with Ari Melber, May 31, 2022. Video still courtesy pf NBC News

Letting co-conspirators perjure themselves on prime time is ‘not cool.’

An open letter to Ari Melber

Dear Ari,

You don’t know me. Actually, as my friends can attest, you don’t want to know me. I am the nerd who will stay glued to a TV receiver surface beginning June 9. 8:00pm., ET, when the public opinion insurrection resurrection begins on prime time.

Worse for us, I have another fault which I will gladly bandy about and will compel you and other legal eagles to flee: I am proud not to be a lawyer.

I am opinionated and take pride that few will feel compelled to listen. I respect ‘the court of public opinion,’ what ever that is thank you Mr. Giuliani — and I will gladly offer mine, without the gravitas or the hauteur that comes with a sheepskin on the wall.

That’s right, I am not a lawyer, so I know a thing or two about what I speak. I take pride in being a puerile version of a toxic mix: an opinionated cable news junkie. So hear me out or not, as it were, we are delving into another court, what I call the “court of fake testimony.”

Mr. Ari, what’s with the alleged scofflaw “ guest appearances?” We have been treated to two recently courtesy of your prime time slot: Boris Epshteyn (January 25) and yesterday evening Peter Navarro (June 2).

By inviting these goombas’ onto your show, you resurrect more questions than answers and for a non-lawyer, media-phile youngster like myself, I find whatever you’re doing not cool.

Still with me? Good. Let me explain. I don’t know what answering a subpoena entails, nor the eminence of invoking the Fifth, nor why one can refuse to spill the beans to a ‘kangaroo court’ — whatever that is, thank you Mr. Navarro — and gladly will spill away on your show. These are troubling times and these are troubling questions. I get that you want your viewers to see these goofballs for what they are — authoritarianism’s water carriers, guys out for a stroll in cable la-la land, selling their pseudo-legal wares, a book deal here, an appearance there, a VitaLife celebrity pitch around the corner — but please, Mr. Ari,


Don’t turn me off or think you can talk over me. This is print, not prime time, and I have more to say. Listen up:

What I don’t get Mr. Ari are the pseudo-legal obligatory trappings, the co-conspirator winks and nods, the attempts to “get your opinion” aired.

It’s more ‘smoke and mirrors,’ Mr. Ari. It’s ‘newsertainment,’ and I for one, pickled in my media exposure juices, ain’t buying.

Not cool, Mr. Ari.

June 3




Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.