Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Matthews' Malapropism

Chris Matthews is at it again. I've seen this numerous places, but I'll tip the hat to Cap'n Ed of Captain's Quarters.

Matthews once again shows his iron grasp of nuance by calling our terrorist enemies "not bad guys, really." Uh, huh. Funny, if unintentionally so.

More interesting to me are the reactions of the right side of the 'sphere. Most comments seem to deride Matthews as having become (if such a thing were possible) more and more unhinged, especially since the election. Possibly true, but I believe the situation to be more prosaic than that.

Matthews really does fancy himself as a shaper of public policy. While this is true of most commentators, Matthews carries such an inflated sense of self that Goodyear airships regularly file flight plan deviations to avoid hitting him after one of his shows. Lest you think I exaggerate, he gets quite a bit of his hot air from none other than kissin' cousin Keith "Never Prouder of You, Chris!" Olbermann.

Personally, I think Matthews only presents a danger for as long as we pay him any attention. Think about it: Higher rated shows can fail to have any compelling message. 60 Minutes tanked their vaunted brand by letting Rather and his brigands loose on the Wednesday Night Pretender. The result is credibility measured in negative integers. Matthews' so-called "Hardball" only becomes such when he's got a guest who sits in opposition to his vaunted opinions. Can't sell the show without the spittle, it seems. Olbermann only appeals to testosterone-based life forms who've found a new religion and followed Keith from the locker-room to the caucus room. Recovering sportscasters make lousy political analysts, just like former defensive tackles do not automatically make great sportscasters.

Ignore the deluded fool, and he'll slip quietly away. Well, not really "quietly," I guess. Probably kicking and screaming about the right-wing zealots who conspired to make him lose market share. But away he'll eventually go. I really suspect most of Matthews' viewers come from those with a morbid curiosity and too much time on their hands. If they're forming opinion based on this dreck, they deserve everything they get (like therapy when Kerry loses, for instance).

No, Matthews reaches one demographic and one only: Hardcore leftists who think animals are more valuable than children and want to make nice with the terrorists.

They are welcome to him.

No comments: