Matthews gets a taste of his own medicine
Oh man....I've waited a long time to see this. Matthews, consummate insider, the man who's all cozy with Tom DeLay and all up in Hilary's bidness, who's never met a subject who he won't interrupt and who he won't talk over, just gets taken to town by Jon Stewart. Oh man, this was hilarious. I thought Matthews would concede Jon was basically correct and that it's important to do right...but no, he just keeps hammering away at (yes, he really said this) how (and this was such a bizarre anecdote) he thought the way to get girls in college (wait....wasn't that like 40 years ago Chris? You're talking as though it's ongoing) was drinking and hoping for the best...and Bill Clinton says, no, it's listening. Apart from the fact that, uh, when has Bill Clinton ever said that, Jon follows up that this begs the question of whether politicians are actually interested or whether they're just going through the motions. Either Chris has never thought of this or he's so in the tank that he can't think objectively about this, but he's confused. He presents the example of Hilary's listening tour and Jon says, well, does she (or any other pol) really care?
By the end, Matthews is really frustrated. BTW, what is up with his laugh? And why does he walk out with his arms crossed? Who does that? Jon's invited on Hardball and he demurs, saying "I don't troll". The funny thing is....this.is.an.interview. Jon obviously knows what Chris is talking about....he just doesn't believe the hype, so to speak. Matthews has written a book that basically says (with apologies to that old chestnut) "Everything I Learn In Life, I Can Learn From Campaigning". And Jon says, isn't there something to do with, do right, do the right thing? And Matthews here gets a bit hazy. He claims the two are intertwined, but he doesn't seem to believe it himself. Matthews claims at the end that this is "the interview from hell." I think if he'd admitted essentially that he was a hack and there was a limited amount one can learn from the cynical business of modern politics, he might have survived. But when Jon notes that this book is a recipe for sadness in response to Matthews' claim that everything in life is essentially campaigning-trying to get a girlfriend, get a job, etc-he reveals his essentially craven political hack-ness. Matthews compares this interview to an interview he did with Zell Miller (D-Insania) during the '04 Repub convention in which he met his match in political cynicism. Miller's odd smile after supposedly convincing Matthews to back off a bit is one of the strangest political moments I've ever seen, and we've seen some doozies over the last nearly seven years in particular.