Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson

How did these two clowns get major cable shows? It's a rhetorical question, of course. They have shows because NBC and CNN need their own O'Reillys.

I've watched Carlson only a few times, but often enough to have heard him criticize a network for letting Dick Clark do the New Year countdown after he had had a stroke. Carlson thought it was disgusting. (Yes, of course, the disabled should be hidden away from public view so as not to upset delicate constitutions.) Then the other day he said he couldn't wait until every last baby boomer was dead - and emphasized that he meant it when the interviewee suggested he was maybe exaggerating. That's about 75 million people. Of course, Carlson is only parroting the latest Conservative trope: that all of our problems are due to the Boomers. I can't help but wonder at the response had he said the same thing about, oh, say, all evangelical Christians.

Carlson is nothing more than one of those shallow, sophomore frat boys who's never had an original thought - which is no doubt why he supported the Shrub.

Chris Matthews is a blowhard who has absolutely no personal insight. While touting his book, he used the same example over and over to show how he learned the importance of listening: that's how Bill Clinton got girls in college. Now, let's ignore the reason for that particular anecdote (the fact that Hillary is running for President) and focus on the "listening" part. The one thing that Matthews does not do is listen. He shoots rapid-fire questions at the people he "interviews" and, during the few seconds they get to reply, you can see him preparing his next question out. The interviewees are there basically to give him time to get a breath of air, nothing more. He is so used to non-stop talking that when Jon Stewart actually tried to engage him in a conversation about his book, Matthews accused Stewart of making this the worst interview he ever had.

And during this primary campaign season, this self-described "even-handed, get-the-truth-out" Matthews has become so pro-Obama, he should rename his program the "Elect Barack Obama Hour". Obama can do no wrong except when, according to the political expert Matthews, early in the campaign, Obama didn't go on the attack. When he did, Matthews was thrilled. Of course when Clinton issued a few attacks in return, she was being despicable. No sort of slander against Hillary is out of bounds for Matthews or most of his TV and blog and press cohort. He and they apply a double standard as wide as a 10-lane highway when it comes to Clinton and Obama.

My favorite example: some weeks back an NPR reporter ran two stories, one about Hillary's visiting a restaurant, not paying, and not leaving a tip. This got huge, nationawide media attention, all bad. (plus lots of confusion about what really happened.) Nobody reported the guy's other story about a woman at an Obama campaign stop. She asked a question related to health care because her husband had cancer. Obama got off his podium, went down and took her hand. That's fine, shows he cares. Then he went back to the podium, repeated what he'd heard and said "maybe I'll write him a note afterwards" [probably not a direct quote] and he didn't. But the woman excused him because he cared. Can you imagine the media coverage if that had been Hillary? "How does she think a note could help a man suffering from cancer? And then she didn't even have the courtesy to do it."

I like all the Democratic candidates and would be quite happy if one of a particular set of four got the nomination. But I am becoming so fed up with these misogynist attacks on Hillary, that I am beginning to think I should vote for her just to give Matthews, Sullivan, Carlson, et. al. a bad case of heartburn.