I used to watch Chris Matthews until he put Ann Coulter on for a full hour and gave her hatred a free national platform. I wrote about what I found so terribly wrong and irresponsible about this here on the Huffington Post. As a result, I stopped watching him for a couple years, though now I'll put him on for a segment or two, on a periodic occasion.
My dad likes watching him, so now that I'm visiting I'm sort of stuck watching him. And on Friday night, Chris Matthews demonstrated again why I stopped watching.
He had just done a segment on a goofy TV debate in the Idaho gubernatorial race, with two rational candidates and some crusty old codger who was an anti-abortionist, and the leader of a motorcycle group who'd changed his first name to Harley years ago and came dressed for the part. Matthews noted that this Harley came up with some of the more "memorable" lines and proceeded to show a montage of pathetic, idiotic phrases, like describing political correctness as a "turd" and other ramblings.
Fine, swell, it was annoying to give him that much airtime, and raise his profile, but it was brief enough, and blessedly over. But then...Matthews had Harley in the studio as his guest, and let the guy ramble for five minutes! It's was absolutely shameful and a waste of airtime, but worse, giving him a national platform.
I'm sure that Matthews thought it would be fun television and give him a chance to make the guy look foolish. And he did ask some hard questions -- but hard questions are pointless with a guy like Harley, since he's not serious to begin with, and all he's doing under the best of conditions is rambling and spewing hatred and ignorance. He's a guy who was pining for the good ol' days when he was growing up in the '50s because there was better music and TV shows and cartoons. Yeah, that's what made America great! And who thought that when we went to Korea, we should have killed all the North Koreans. And the only Democratic president he thought was okay was Harry Truman because he had the chillybeans (or whatever he called it...) to push the button.
And Chris Matthews put this pathetic clown on national television for five minutes. Something I consider utterly irresponsible.
When you give a serious national platform like this to pathetic clowns, it demeans the process, because it drags down the platform to that level and colors everyone on it with the fumes.
And once again, Chris Matthews -- who has much good of value in him -- dives down deep into the dung.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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