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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chris Matthews: Just entertainment?

Last night I watched a few minutes of the Chris Matthews show on MSNBC. And a few minutes was all I could watch. In my own defense, I rarely watch this show, or even MSNBC. So, I don't really know what kind of credibility Matthews has, if any.

His guest on the show was Tom Delay. The only introduction Matthews gave for Delay was "former the [sic] House majority leader Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas." If Matthews really cares about the message he delivers to his audience, he could have introduced him as "former House majority leader Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, who is currently under indictment and awaiting trial for charges of money laundering and conspiracy to engage in money laundering." That way people watching the show could better judge for themselves Delay's own credibility.

Later, in response to a question about how the tax system works, Delay responded:

DELAY: We ought to throw this tax system out and we ought to impose a fair tax system where every American is paying some tax and has some vested interest in America. But Obama wants to raise your taxes. And I guarantee you he will not cut taxes. He will come in as president, if he is president, along with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and the first thing they'll do is raise taxes and they'll forget about cutting taxes. And they want to get taxes back up to the rates that they were back when they were in control back in the '60s and '70s.
DELAY: And you'll be paying 80 percent and 90 percent...

And that was the end of the conversation about taxes. Now, anyone who puts their faith in some guy who was the former House majority leader will think their taxes are going up to 80 and 90 percent.

Matthews said nothing, did nothing, to refute Delay. Maybe Matthews doesn't know the facts. Or maybe he doesn't care what Delay said. Maybe all his guests come on and make wild statements. Maybe that's the way the show goes. Maybe the Chris Matthews show is not supposed to be informative. Or factual. Maybe it's just entertainment. I don't know. At that point, I turned Matthews' show off. Had I continued watching, I would have heard:

MATTHEWS: OK. OK. It's great having you on, Congressman. You speak your mind.
DELAY: Thank you, Chris.
MATTHEWS: You do not speak with a forked tongue, that's for sure.
DELAY: That's for sure.
MATTHEWS: Former U.S. congressman Tom DeLay, once part of the brilliant leadership of the Republican Party in Congress, now in hasty retreat.

Well, I guess that's something. Anyway, you can check how much your taxes will be under a Barack Obama tax plan at the Obama-Biden tax calculator.

In a similar vein, Infospigot caught a political hack being billed as an analyst on NPR yesterday.

Posted by Marie at October 30, 2008 8:53 PM


The national corporate news networks are a complete waste of time. They stopped being factual or informative a long time ago. I think Obama's 1/2 hour TV ad was necessary because none of the news networks talk about real issues. CNN refused to run the ad because they didn't want to interrupt their oh so important "coverage" of the election. I saw their online articles about Obama's infomercial and it was about which stations aired it, which didn't, how people might react, wild speculation on what impact it might have, why they delayed the World Series, and absolutely nothing about any of the issues he discussed in the ad. Typical.

The lead up to the Iraq War made it very obvious that the only way to stay informed about national issues is through the non-profit and alternative media like PBS, NPR, Christian Science Monitor, Pacifica Radio, blogs etc. At least most print newspapers are useful for local news and real information.
Whew, I feel better after that rant. Thanks for the post.

Posted by: Will at October 31, 2008 11:37 AM

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