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Note to Talking Heads
2007.10.03 (Wed) 14:23
Chris Matthews, have you learned nothing from Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire — where he correctly and effectively reproached Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala for doing nothing more than adding to the meaningless and harmful political noise in the media?
Matthews appeared last night on The Daily Show to promote his new book, Life's a Campaign. Let's rephrase that: Matthews appeared last night on The Daily Show TO PROMOTE his new book, Life's a Campaign. That is, there is a substantial difference between what Matthews was doing there, and what someone who was there to discuss his book and its ideas would be doing there. It's quite pathetic that Matthews can't seem to understand that.
If you come on a talk show — even on Comedy Central — to be interviewed by a host who has a reputation for tearing down bullshit and is clearly not seduced by the "old chum" school of media relations, expect to fucking DEFEND your work. Don't just expect to come on and get the word out that your book is published. Be prepared for dissent; be prepared for debate; be prepared for the possibility that the host has read your book and disagrees with its premises.
Jon's basic argument was that the book endorsed approaching life with an eye toward winning at all costs (like a campaign, one might say). So while Matthews claimed to be supporting listening to people, caring about people, and doing what's right, Jon pointed out that politicians often just pretend to do all those things in order to win. It wasn't clear if Matthews acknowledged that politicians are just pretending, or if he endorsed pretending in everyday life (for our dime, we think that's exactly what he was saying), since he went back and forth on that answer. Jon's assertion was that approaching life with an agenda to win at all costs is "a recipe for sadness." Whether you agree or disagree with Jon's assertions (we agree), he clearly explained his argument. And what was Matthews' reply? After a bunch of waffling, it boiled down to "I wrote a book, I'm trying to promote it, and you won't let me. Stop asking me to defend my views."
Beyond being such an asshole that he couldn't grasp Jon's position, Matthews also had the whiny gall to complain about Jon Stewart dissecting the book in detail, and he declared that this Daily Show appearance was the worst interview he'd ever experienced. Gee, Chris — nice to know that all it takes to make for a bad interview is to call on you to support the assertions you yourself have fucking written in your publicized work. See, those of us who have confidence in our assertions would welcome an interviewer who demanded that we support them.
Instead of blind acceptance and vacuous endorsement of anything and everything that comes down the pike, we'd actually like it if the media did its fucking job and took the time to cull the weak arguments behind bold assertions, ferret out the facts, and expose the lies. You know, like Jon does on nearly every episode. The fact that Matthews (along with everyone from politicos to psychics) has come to expect nothing but fluff from the media is a primary part of the actual problem here, and the fact that Matthews was so shocked and appalled at his treatment speaks volumes about how ingrained this problem really is.
The media is continuing to spiral down that series of tubes, and folks like Stewart are proudly perched on top of the biggest lumps of shit, pointing them out despite vehement protests from floaters and dingleberries. What a bunch of fucking gladhanding whores.
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In answer to the two obvious questions, however: no, we're not necessarily back — still burdened with a huge number of real life responsibilities — and yes, we're aware that our comment preview function seems to be utterly screwed. We're working on both of these — promise.
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[ Filed under: % Media & Censorship ]
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