SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2003
SUPER-DUBS DEBUT: Was that President Bushor Super Dave Osbornewho addressed us from the Abraham Lincoln Thursday night? Bushs Knievel-style clowning was a sight to behold. But cable pundits knew how to act. On Hardball, they indulged in a bit of deep clowning themselves, helping us see the deep dysfunction of what some still pretend is our press corps.
A bit of background: As you know, Chris Matthews opposed the war in Iraq. For the first time in the past six years, he actually said what he thought about something, and it cost him dearly with cables core audience. For that reason, the tough-talking pundit is pandering hard to get back in this cohorts good graces. That explains the consummate foolishness displayed on his program Thursday night. We never thought wed see the day when Ann Coulter could come off as the sane one in a group of three pundits. But given Thursdays performances by Matthews and Hardball Democrat Pat Caddell, weve now seen the miraculous happen.
As you read this Hardball transcript, note the astounding immaturity of Matthews and Caddell, who might as well just go on TV and play with their G. I. Joe toys. Weve now reached the point where our millionaire pundits will spend entire segments on national TV discussing which candidate looks good in a flight suit. And dont fail to notice the slimy behavior when Hillary Clinton becomes the topic. A sad-but-true fact emerged long ago; Chris Matthews, at heart, is a thigh-rubbing man. When will Americans tell this strange man that he simply must stop discussing our female public figures in this slimy manner?
Two final points. First, we know who wont tell Matthews to stop. E. J. Dionne wont tell him to stop. Al Hunt wont tell him. Mark Shields wont tell him. Peter Beinart wont tell him. Jeff Greenfield wont tell him. Matthews has degraded our discourse for years; he lied and slandered all through Campaign 2000, for example. There isnt a chance on the face of the earth that his colleagues in the press corps dont know this. But have you ever seen a negative profile, anywhere in the mainstream press? The store-bought butt-boys who make up our press corps would rather eat live worms in hell than speak truth to power within their own cohort. They are extremely well paidand plan to keep it that way. For example, how is it possible that the New Republic has never reviewed Matthews ludicrous work? You know the answer as well as we do. The Beinarts will give you good policy workand theyll angle for powerful jobs in the future. You will never read critiques of the press corps inside TNRs store-bought pages.
Final point: Coulter, of course, is simply lying about Bushs military record. Whatever one thinks of Bushs service, there was never the slightest chance that he would end up in Vietnam. But to see a store-bought butt-boy change the subject when Bushs military record is mentioned, see the transcript of Matthews appearance on Thursdays Countdown. Watch Keith Olbermann ask an obvious questionand watch a store-bought press corps butt-boy slither off, slide-slip and squirm.
Readers, you no longer live in the world you grew up inthe world described in your civics texts. Those civics texts described your free press. But what you have now is these store-bought clowns. We dare you: Try to believe that these infantile conversations are really taking place in your country.
READ EM AND WEEP: On Thursday nights Hardball, Ann Coulter and Pat Caddell joined Matthews for a lively session of clowning. They discussed who looks good in a flight suit, and whether Bill Clinton would rather fuck Coulter or his own wife. For amusement purposes, watch Caddell try to have it all ways about Bush. If your stomach is strong, just click here.
The next hour, Matthews guested on MSNBCs Countdown. Enjoy more of the consummate clowning about which hopeful looks good in a flight suit. Then, watch Matthews squirm and slither away when asked about Bushs war record. Question: Did your civics text describe journalists like this? Actually, yesyour civics text did. At the time, he was called Father Coughlin.
MONDAY: Weve never discussed this topic before: Basic facts about the press corps coverage of Bushs military record.
OKAY, OKAY: Like Glenn Reynolds, Im besieged by people who think Im wrong about the tone of Bushs campaign speech last night. Fair enough. Its a subjective judgment call, and I certainly respect those who took it otherwise. But what amazes me is the vituperative tone, and how many then accuse me of being anti-war, anti-Bush and anti-American. Me? Are politics so polarized that you have to either engage in hagiography or hatred of our leaders? Is there nothing permissible in between?Just like that, Sully became the fourth Dixie Chick for his intolerable behavior.
But in answer to Sullivans question: Yes! Yes, our politics are that polarizedand Sullivan has done everything he could, for the past several years, to create the corps of crackpots who turned on him for his mild comments about Bush. But of course, thats the very group to whom Matthews has pandered over the past six years And thats the group to whom Matthews was fawning with his absurd work Thursday night.
Why does Matthews fawn to this crowd? Duh! Because he wants to be rich and famous! There is nothing he wont say and do to make himself right again with this crowd. Watch him sliming a female Senator if you retain any doubt about that. And dont bother waiting for good guy pundits to notice. Theyve made it clearthey dont plan to speak. They like being rich/famous too.