Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gored

After reading Evgenia Peretz’s wonderful piece in this month’s Vanity Fair about the savaging of Al Gore by the lazy-ass, insincere, cynical press in the 2000 presidential race, I was reminded once again what a piece of shit Chris Matthews is. Not that he’s alone in abandoning his journalistic duties in order to engage in crass, self-serving behavior, but he is particularly good at it.

Some examples from the article:

On two consecutive nights of Hardball, Chris Matthews brought up this same trio as examples of Gore's "delusionary" thinking. "What is it, the Zelig guy who keeps saying, 'I was the main character in Love Story. I invented the Internet. I invented Love Canal.…' It reminds me of Snoopy thinking he's the Red Baron." "It became part of the vocabulary," Matthews says today. "I don't think it had a thunderous impact on the voters." He concedes, however, that such stories were repeated too many times in the media.

First of all, I suspect I need hardly remind my readers that Gore did not say he was the inspiration for Love Story, did not say he invented the internet, and did not say he discovered Love Canal.

But to a journalist like Matthews, it hardly mattered. Saying so was good TV.

Secondly, calling Al Gore a liar on television didn’t have a thunderous impact on the voters??

Chris, you are too modest. And that’s unlike you.

But more than that, it wasn’t as if the journalists themselves picked up on what Gore said and decided to exploit it or misquote him themselves. They took their cues from the opposing party. No journalist cared about what Al Gore said about the internet until Republicans starting making fun of him, and then all of a sudden it was a “news story.” It was, as Rove would no doubt put it, “fair game.”

Just like that debate in 2000. Remember? The one that all the talking heads gave to Gore. And then, the next day, they all changed their minds. Gore was too peevish. He had sighed too much. He rolled his eyes when Bush spoke. Who did he think he was?

What happened overnight to bring about the change? Republicans had spliced together a tape of Gore sighing and sent it around to journalists.

And a campaign narrative was born. Born not in the minds of the press, but in the camp of the opposing party. The press was only the carrier.

More Matthews via Peretz:

One obstacle course the press set up was which candidate would lure voters to have a beer with them at the local bar. "Journalists made it seem like that was a legitimate way of choosing a president," says Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter. "They also wrongly presumed, based on nothing, that somehow Bush was more likable." Chris Matthews contends that "the likability issue was something decided by the viewers of the debates, not by the commentators," but adds, "The last six years have been a powerful bit of evidence that we have to judge candidates for president on their preparation for the office with the same relish that we assess their personalities."

Oh, really, Chris? Then I expect you to not only stop slavering over the manliness of George W., but to resist the temptation to speculate on whether Hillary is faking her laughter.

Especially given the incredibly fake laughter escaping from your mouth as Jon Stewart roasts you over a hot coal or two.

Suddenly, I feel so much better.

8 comments:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You make the baby Jeebus and I weep with happiness when you write like this. I'm sending you a high five via UPS, be sure you stay home to get it.

Chris said...

I boycotted Matthews after he gave Ann Coulter a full hour to spew her venom a number of monts ago. Occasionally he would hold people's feet to the fire that deserved it, but he was so inconsistent and the praise that you mentioned that he's given Dubya is just so odd,

Bubs said...

Great post.

We saw Matthews on the Daily Show the other night, and it was fun to watch him get poked. When it was over we were talking about guys like Chris Matthews, heck even some politicians--they go on the Daily Show, you can tell they're smart, they come across as fun and insightful...and then they go back to their MSM homes and continue whoring. It's truly disgusting.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I'm so sick of people saying that Gore said he invented the internet. Like, still.

dguzman said...

The future of journalism is bleak; I've worked with enough journalism students from the local incredibly overpriced land-grant university to know first-hand that these kids consider Wikipedia and email to be equal to critical thinking and hard-hitting interviews. (I don't wanna be indiscrete, but the university's initials are PSU and it's in a Happy (Valley) place.) The facts and integrity be damned, they've got partying to do.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Dr. MVM: Thanks, but the UPS guy usually leaves everything with the neighbors, so they probably got it.

Chris & Bubs: I think Matthews does the right thing when it suits him. He has no discipline and no real principles when it comes to his profession. I think the Stewart interview kind of exposes this in a sly way.

GKL: Nobody reads the corrections page.

DGuz: My alma mater! Seriously. My alma mater.

dguzman said...

Sweet!

kirby said...

Yeah, what was up with their weird laughter the other night? Why go on TDS at all if he was afraid he was going to get Tuckered?