Donald Trump may never have had much of a reputation but it has suffered major damage in his latest unseemly foray into politics. Here are some timely reminders and reactions.
My problem is I hardly watch it any more. A while back I thought it had real potential. Now I think it is on its way down.
Not because I do not agree with what I assume to be its hopes for the President. But because they serve these hopes in the following ways:
1. I cannot believe the Rachel Maddow peremptory attitude that says essentially, “We’ll see what the President can do now…” As though it was up to him alone. It is up to us and if she is a true progressive she will get with the program and stop playing wise guy. I know she often does exemplary things. But I also know she has shied away from major global human rights issues that cried out for some progressive attention. I think she is probably the best of the lot now, but a shaky best.
2. Keith Olbermann’s format is becoming a bore to me. I liked Jean Shepherd and his music and other anachronistic things on Keith remind me that the next time around is never equal to what is being evoked. The plain fact is we do not care about the pissing contests and fun-making and grimaces and other posturing. The most recent denouement of the current style was the Glen Beck Daily Kos fiasco in which Keith went full bore and then pulled a Wizard of Oz nothing act on the air. It was literally unbelievable. And I think full justification for the President’s gentle chiding of progressives last night.
3. Then there is Chris Matthews who has evidently decided that visible aging is an excuse for the emulation of a gravitas that he lacks. Many of us who have served in various ranks have a choice to make when we talk about our less-than-central role in things. One can shut up or write a novel or start celebrating yourself at every turn. Chris has chosen the last option with numbing effect. But that is probably a nasty jab, even if true. The main problem I have with Chris is that while he is routinely being rude and interrupting his guests, he is also allowing his own opinions and feelings to so predominate that he becomes a most unreliable witness to events. Because he is dealing with important issues, this is bigger than just accusing him of being opinionated. He is using words to distort the truth at times. And this makes him no better than the more obvious examples of this sad tendency.
4. I reserve my last place concern for the Ed Show which I think would require a H. L. Mencken to adequately describe. Again I agree with many of his impulses and points but I find his show a travesty, a production bust and an exercise in blather and bloviation beyond my capacity to describe or adequately criticize. I do not think he serves the causes he so obviously represents. I think he toadys to some guests and thinks that off-the-cuff will play to his audience. I find the whole thing frankly unbelievable. A man of the people in 30 Rock ? Enough said.
This is the MSNBC lineup and this is how I see it. I know there are many who are happy with this channel. I think it is precariously perched on the road to perdition. I wish CSPAN would put up a news channel that simply reads news in something like real time.
No Chris. You are wrong. Obama has been consistent. But the President has been saying two things. And for simple minds, that can be a little disorienting. The President has said what he would prefer in order to get his agenda passed — that is his look forward statement. He has also said in 100 different ways that the Bush Era was corrupt and wrong and most likely illegal and specifically that torture was wrong. And that we are a nation of laws. That is his second message, from which he has never diverged.
Matthews and his ill-informed colleagues are on a 24 hour clock and are unable to deal with a universe that is finally not binary. Two equally true but divergent positions over more than a single day are just too many.
Barack Obama is deep enough and honest enough to be chary of a process that, in the hands of people like Matthews, will indeed be a circus. But he can deal even with this idiocy.
Obama was and is right. Matthews is wrong and will, I hope and believe, be proven so as the President demonstrates that it is possiible to navigate even a season of Watergate-like circuses.
Incidentally, as Pakistan inches toward a serious meltdown, in every sense of that loaded term, Matthews will mainly deal with Blago and torture and anything but Pakistan.
Chris Matthews will never understand why I got ticked at him last might for his rude, bullying and interrupting effort to put Ari Fleischer in his place. Ari managed to do that with no aid from Chris and I never defended Fleischer’s statements. Ari also aptly flagged Chris’s MO as a show host. But no one seems willing to accept the fact that such behavior demeans our culture, particularly the part of it that I relate to. Matthews runs roughshod over his guests. Add in Buchanan and you have a paranoid wailing wall. That it took Countdown and his Hardball today to sate his need for retroactive blasting of Fleischer proves that he has no idea that he is the problem. And none of his paid acolytes will say it.
Ari Fleischer beat Chris Matthews on Hardball just now and I am glad. Chris deserves to be brought down by someone and this is the first time I have seen anyone do it.
I think Chris Matthews should be taken off the air and that someone like Andrea Mitchell should have the time he now has. This is not to endorse Ari’s arguments but to get the interrupting bully off his high and increasingly creaking horse.
Chris should get rid of the Hardball name. He should call his show Apoplexy, featuring Pat Buchanan with incessant interruptions from Chris Matthews.
This show is becoming certifiable.
He just said that procedure in Congress (the Senate) would keep Obama’s program from getting passed. This says to me the man needs a vacation. I look at him and see meltdown.
He yells at everyone else for causing a lack of confidence in the market while being the among the biggest fear-mongers.
I was sick of him last week. This week I am analytical.
The man clearly thinks he is the IT person. He needs an extended vacation. This is getting pathetic.