Thursday, January 10, 2008


MATTHEWS: Tom, we're going to have to go back and figure out the methodology, I think, on some of these [polls].

BROKAW: You know what I think we're going to have to do?

MATTHEWS: Yes sir?

BROKAW: Wait for the voters to make their judgment.

...does not and cannot even occur to Chris Matthews. That -- the most elementary nuts and bolts of standard, healthy journalism -- is way, way beyond the scope of what our media stars are able to do or want to do.

Petty personality-based gossip and speculative, worthless chatter is all they know. Drudge, after all, rules their world. He's their Walter Cronkite. And they wallow exclusively in the Matt Drudge currency, what two of their most revered members -- Mark Halperin and John Harris -- described as their fixation with the "attacked-based, personality-obsessed politics" pioneered by their Ruler.

Are Gloria Borger and Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman and Wolf Blitzer suddenly going to abandon their desire to impose shallow, melodramatic narratives on our elections and spend their time, instead, analyzing the candidates' responses to:
  • Charlie Savage's questionnaire on presidential power, or
  • the dominant, corrosive role lobbyists and large corporations play in our political culture, or
  • the widening rich-poor gap, or
  • the strain and stain on our country from our imperial policies?

The question is so absurd, so laughable, that to ask it is to answer it. None of them could remotely do that even if they wanted to, even if they were allowed to, and they don't and aren't.

Our entire media edifice is structured to operate the Drudgian Freak Show and its stars are the ringleaders, chosen for their affinity for it. In that sense, Matthews really is right and Brokaw absurdly wrong, almost delusional.

If our media stars ceased spewing the type of worthless (though destructive) chatter that (when directed at Hillary Clinton) has been more apparent in the last week than it has been for a long time, they'd be left with nothing to do. As Matthews says, if they didn't do that, they might as well stay home. It's who they are.

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