15 Apr. 2008

Crashing the US Media

John McCain quotes Atrios on Chris Matthews' MSNBC Hardball program:
"Maybe I am digging for the pony here."
Atrios today also links to a NYT Magazine profile of Chris Matthews, "a man trapped in a tired caricature". As Atrios notes, "it's rare for members of the media attack their own like this". I particularly liked this little exchange:
“This strikes me as artifice,” Stewart said. “If you live by this book, your life will be strategy, and if your life is strategy, you will be unhappy.”

Matthews accused Stewart of “trashing my book.”

“I’m not trashing your book,” Stewart protested. “I’m trashing your philosophy of life.”
It's a long and rambling article, and nowhere near as critical as an Aussie reader might expect. The underlying attitude to "news" is revealing of the US media generally:
Matthews says he wants to be synonymous with this campaign, like Howard Cosell was with Muhammad Ali.

“Imagine bullfighting without Hemingway,” he says. “I can’t.”

Is Matthews comparing himself to Hemingway?

“No way,” he says. “Don’t you, don’t you [expletive] do that.”

...

“It’s a show,” Chris said again, interrupting. “It’s a show. That’s my basic response.”

...

Staring at the screen, Matthews squinted, cocked his head and leaned forward. “Have you noticed,” he said to no one in particular, “that my head looks about four times as big as Obama’s?”