Isn’t funny that cable news’ talking heads – the Chris Matthews, the Tim Russerts, the Bill O’Reillys – all play up their blue collar roots, identifying as one of the people, when they earn millions of dollars a year and have more homes than you have limbs?
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Chris Mathews Bully & Hypocrite â€“ Ernie Nounou, Disgruntled GE Shareholder
â€œThe Aria of Chris Mathewsâ€ (NYT Sunday Magazine 4-13-08) provided a contextual reminder why friends and I stopped watching Hardball. As long as GE provided steady double-digit earnings growth, Iâ€™ve held my peace. After GEâ€™s dramatic earnings miss last Friday, Iâ€™m mad as hell and see no reason why the $5 million that is partially mine pays the salary of a narcissistic, boorish lout conducting an oral food fight.
Full disclosure: Iâ€™m a Hillary supporter, dismayed by her disastrous campaign missteps, the responsibility for which rests with her, and fully respect Barak Obamaâ€™s campaign triumphs from a standing start. The best analogy is Sir Francis Drakeâ€™s routing of the Spanish Armada. That said, I donâ€™t accept the shamelessly biased behavior of MSNBC during this campaign, and Mathews in particular.
An enduring quality of the American character is our strong sense of fair play. While we forgive and abide liars and philanderers, we loathe bullies and hypocrites. Mathews is both, and based on all the blogging in response to the NYT article, opinion of him runs 15 â€“ 20 to 1 against. (Chris, why not put it to a vote on your show, if you dare?) Very interestingly, I tuned Morning Joe to see their take on this article. Note they have a segment that checks out articles in various papers, and suck up any media pieces that aggrandize any MSNBC personality. They quoted Frank Richâ€™s NYT Op Ed, but had a loud silence, total avoidance of the Mathews article. MSNBC policy, future portent? Letâ€™s hope so!
Bully – Chris Mathews makes a big deal about his tough and blunt holding guestsâ€™ feet to the fire; but the truth is itâ€™s very selective. Interrupting and talking over his guests, as the article contextualizes, is not about uncovering scabs and discovering truth, but rather feeding the insecurity of this self-absorbed egotist. Where does such a loudmouthed bully get the temerity to complain about the divisions and lack of civil discourse in our politics and society?
Note how he doesnâ€™t dare talk over Russert, or Obama. Based on a clip on another show of his campus interview with Obama, it takes chutzpah to call that show Hardball with a straight face. Mathews has defended his tough critiquing of Hillaryâ€™s campaign based on her being the frontrunner. Now that Obama is the frontrunner, whereâ€™s the hardball?
Hypocrite â€“ Mathews totes his book â€œLife is a Campaignâ€ as a philosophy for the young to embrace. His enormous self-absorption blinds him to Hillaryâ€™s being the embodiment of that philosophy. His derision of her for following some of the precepts in his book reveals his own true heart. It is told that a Roman viceroy of Jerusalem, on seeing a Jew salute as his carriage passed by, ordered him executed for daring to salute a Roman viceroy. Later, a Jew having heard what happened, did not salute as the viceroyâ€™s carriage passed. The viceroy ordered him executed for failing to salute. When questioned on this inconsistency, the viceroy admitted it didnâ€™t matter; he simply hated Jews. So it is with Mathews, he simply hates Hillary no matter what she does. Her laughs are cackles. Her ads relating to 9-11, Mathews sees as 911 and subtly racist, when even African-American guests donâ€™t.
Mathews ignores Hillaryâ€™s successful senate career and reaching across the aisle to work with former tormentors such as Trent Lott and Lindsay Graham. In true Roman viceroy form he calls her a divider, and decries her campaign as a soap opera that must end. In his January 17 apology to Hillary he praised her resolution as First Lady, senate campaign and accomplishments, and predicated his judgments as relying on his heart, â€œâ€¦a heart that bears only goodwillâ€¦â€ Goodwill, really? Jon Stewart had him pegged right that his views expressed in his book is a sad reflection on his philosophy (and by extension on his life).
Mathews is reported to have backed away from his apology, implying he was forced/induced to make it. Great testament for his integrity, and a ringing credential for his proclaimed senate candidacy. My â€œBig Numberâ€ is 90-10 Mathews wonâ€™t run, because bullies lack the courage or stomach for a fair fight, and to hear what people really think of them. And he has the audacity to question the veracity or integrity of any candidate? His own supposed candidacy is merely hype to revive a career in eclipse!
Notwithstanding MSNBCâ€™s bump in viewership this past rating period; it is more a reflection of this historic campaign, the absolute crap that passes for television programming, and far less a testament to the quality of its programming. Once this race is over, so will go the ratings bump. A liberal leaning Lite version of Fox News is not an answer either. As a GE shareholder I object to this misuse and waste of corporate assets, and urge that Mathews contract not be renewed. In fact take him off the air now, and let him do cameos like that other clown, Tucker, who actually doesnâ€™t sound so unreasonable in measured doses.
If GE and NBC management canâ€™t do better job, then sell NBC Universal and invest the proceeds in faster growing businesses. Let someone else do the necessary housecleaning, starting with ending the psychodrama of Chris Mathews, the bully and hypocrite hosting the food fight that is Hardball. Any likeminded reader and/or GE shareholder please voice your opinions to GE, NBC, MSNBC, and the blogs, and feel free to copy any of the above if helpful.
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