TALKERS LAMENT! Chris Matthews made a comical claim, helping us name a sick culture: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2011
Lets play softball/When Vitter fell: Chris Matthews got very excited this week about an exciting sex story. We thought you might want to see what he did when a major Republican got snared in a thrilling sex tale.
Lets return to July 2007, to the time when we learned that David Vitter had been a client of the very exciting D.C. Madam.
For ourselves, we dont care a whole lot about Vitters sexual conductnor do we care about Weiners. But Matthews has ranted and frothed this week.
What did he do back then?
As we noted yesterday, the very exciting Vitter story broke on Monday, July 9, 2007. The press corps learned that Vitters name appeared in the records of the so-called D.C. Madam. Vitter released a public statement, saying this in part: "This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible.
But Matthews didnt froth and rave when this major Republican stumbled this way. Heres what he did instead:
On Monday, July 9, Vitter wasnt mentioned on Hardball. (Vitters public statement had been made after the show went to air.)
On Tuesday, July 10, Matthews did mention the exciting new story. But how odd! He didnt froth or rave or fling poo about David Vitters bad conduct! His first discussion of the matter came in an interview with Christopher Dodd. Wouldnt you know it! Matthews was a very good boy when discussing Vitters fall:
How odd! Matthews wasnt frothing or foaming or rubbing his penis or throwing his poo all around. (His immediate instinct was to suggest that others might be involved.) Later, he raised the matter again. He spoke about poor David Vitter, who had played Hardball before:
In fact, Vitter did not put it out himself. He only acted when he learned that his name had become public record. But in those excerpts, you see Matthews full discussion of this matter on this evenings program. Despite the tease, he did not talk about poor David Vitter when Hardball came back on the air.
By the way: Those excerpts represent Matthews full discussion of the Vitter matter for the next seven weeks! Vitter wasnt mentioned at all on the July 11 Hardball. Matthews then went off on a long summer weekend, presumably in his $4.4 million home on Nantucketthe house that Jack Welch built. He returned to host the Hardball programs of July 16, July 17 and July 18; Vitter wasnt mentioned on any of those programs either. In fact, Matthews didnt mention Vitter again until the August 28 program. At that time, the arrest of Senator Larry Craig dragged this whole topic up.
For ourselves, we dont care much about these sexual stories, thrilling though they may be. But Matthews managed not to froth when a major Republican fell. This stands in stark contrast to the big major frothing he has engaged in this week.
By the way: Guest host Mike Barnicle conducted a full discussion of Vitter on the Hardball program of Friday, July 13, 2007. Basically, Barnicle challenged poor Vitters accusers. Well show you those transcripts tomorrow.
On Hardball, reactions were very different when a Republican fell.
Just a reminder: A range of major career liberal players have kissed Matthews keister for years. Why do you have to come to this site to learn about his conduct?
Why arent you reading about this at TPM? Can anyone even guess?
PART 3TALKERS LAMENT (permalink): Is it possible that the familiar word tabloid names the press corps culture?
Tabloidism is part of the mix. Just consider the exciting front page of Sundays Outlook section. (Outlook is the Washington Posts weekly ideas/issues section.)
Classic Outlook! On its front page, the section featured this exciting piece about the exciting SlutWalk movement. This permitted Outlook editors to give readers some cheap, thrilling thrills:
The top half of the sections front page was dominated by a photo of four young women. And people! Three of the women were wearing brassieres! Without any blouses at all! Even more thrilling, the exciting word slutty appeared in very large type as part of the articles headline:
As slutty as we want to be, the hard-copy headline said.
Was this a bow to tabloid culture? Presumably, yes it was. At least, that seems to be the opinion of Jessica Valenti, the feminist writer who authored the piece in question.
For the record, were fans of Valenti around here, although we wouldnt necessarily vouch for her political judgment. (No ones perfect.) Valenti is the type of person who actually challenged Keith Olbermanns misogyny in real time, as it was actually happening. Liberal political writers criticized his misogyny too; in fact, they did so in very harsh terms. But they stated their views in private, when no one else could hear (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/28/11).
Valenti spoke in the open air. She did the same Monday on Morning Joe, explaining why her SlutWalk piece was number one at the Post web site. In the following excerpt, she spoke with Mark Halperin and Joe Scarborough. To watch the whole segment, click this:
Well be surprised if this national conversation ends up going anywhere, although you never know. But Valenti seemed to suggest that you maybe have to go for the flash if you want to see your piece reach the front page of Outlook. By her own account, the tabloid excitement of the word slut gave her piece its pop.
Did Outlook select this piece for its tabloid thrills? Youd be a fool to think otherwise; the children of the mainstream press adore the thrill of hot sex. As one example, Chris Matthews has been frothing this week over all the Weiner excitement, much as he did when he got himself very hot with crackpot Clinton accusers. Kathleen Willey was his dearest darling, someone who got him very excited. And of course, in August 1999, he gave Gennifer Flowers a full half hour, telling her how attractive she was even as she told the world about all the Clintons murders.
Your mainstream press corps adores tabloid pop. But that familiar word doesnt name the culture were discussing this week.
What culture have we been talking about? Consider a comical comment Matthews made as he frothed and foamed Monday night about vile vulgar Weiner.
Matthews had himself quite worked up about vile Weiners bad conduct. As a sign of his high excitement, he even kept trying to drag Weiners wife into the stew (see below). But at one point, this excitable fellow made a truly ludicrous comment. Speaking to Michael Steele and the trained seal Fineman, the laughable talker said this:
Matthews was often incoherent this night, so strong was the thrill up his leg. But yes, he actually said it! In the grip of his high excitement, he seemed to complain that the Weiner news had kept him from discussing the debt ceiling matter! Weiners misconduct had kept him from the topic he should be discussing.
Sometimes, you just have to fall on the floor, laughing at this public nutcase.
People! When has this excitable fellow ever discussed the debt ceiling? (Answer below.) When has this nutcase ever discussed any such serious topic? Matthews enjoys discussing Weiners wee-wee; as a back-up, he likes to rant about the exciting way Sarah Palin looks when she walks and moves all around. (Exciting was the term he used when he studied this topic last week.) As a backup, he likes to sit around with his trained seals and discuss the alleged personalities of the various candidates, generally repeating the same stale ideas night after night after night.
This program airs at 5 PM; prep starts right around 4:55. The idea that Matthews was chomping at the bit this Monday, hoping to discuss our credit ratingwell, that was one of the funniest moments in all of cable news history.
Lets be fair. Matthews and his various seals have conducted lengthy discussions of Newt Gingrichs supposed debt to Tiffanys; on Hardball, thats a key topic. But according to the Nexis archives, Matthews has conducted exactly one discussion of the debt ceiling/debt limit issue; that came in a fatuous mini-segment on June 1 with Marsha Blackburn, a Republican congresswoman Matthews like to book, most likely because shes good looking.
The discussion started in typical fashion. Blackburn simply ducked Matthews questionand Matthews failed to notice:
In this way, Blackburn changed the subject from the debt ceiling deadline to the question of deficit spending. Matthews didnt seem to noticebut then, the debt ceiling was only one of three questions he hoped to raise in this half segment.
You can read the whole worthless exchange for yourself. But as best we can tell, that partial segment represents the only time Matthews has ever attempted to discuss this issue. Thats why our analysts fell on the floor when Matthews suggested he was angry with Weiner for robbing him of the chance to discuss this important issue.
And here we find ourselves staring at the culture that has no name. Can we talk? Influential buffoons like Matthews dont discuss topics like the debt limit. Liberals have accepted this culture for the past twenty years.
This destructive culture still lacks a name. Tomorrow, we will ask why.
Tomorrowpart 4: You cant insult our intelligence!
A truly horrible person: Chris Matthews is a truly horrible person. On Monday, talking with a string of trained apes, he tried very hard, during several segments, to drag Weiners wife into the stewto make it seem like his behavior was somehow her doing too.
In his excitement, Matthews kept misrepresenting what Weiner had said about his widely-praised wife, Huma Abedin, in his press conference. In these passages, you see the instinctsyou see the soulof a very disordered man:
Among this programs pundits, it was the Republican Feehery who distinguished himself by opposing the shaming and blaming of Abedin. But Matthews has always had a jones against liberal women, dating back to his attack on Elizabeth Holztman in early 1999. You saw this very unpleasant jones rise again Monday night.
Well take a guess. Presumably, someone got in Matthews ear and told him the wife-baiting had to stop. By the end of the program, he was walking back what he had repeatedly said. This came very late in the show:
To Matthews, this was an amazing show. Matthews was right in his element.
Please note: Even here, Matthews pretended that Weiner himself had put a bit of the blame on his wife. That is absurdly inaccurate.
Matthews is a very bad person. But you can be quite sure of one thing. The career liberal world will never mention the way he went after Abedin. Career liberals have whored after Hardball spots since the day Matthews went on the air. Again and again, they have looked away as this horrible man stains the air.