Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gerrymander redux - Tom's visit to Hardball(?)

Well, the valued, vaunted and once mighty "Fourth Estate" that we call the independent media in this country took another bullet in the knee cap last night when Tom DeLay deigned to grant Chris Matthews an exclusive post-resignation interview on Hardball. The way Matthews handled it seemed more like he was interviewing for the job of assistant bagger at Tom's grocery store. I think if ol' Tom had shown up on Access Hollywood instead that Nancy O'Dell could've done a better job. The Huffington Post has a great piece by Harry Shearer on this, plus some off-air video that shows DeLay looking amused and a little reserved in the face of Matthews' blatant boot licking.

Whether or not Matthews has a rightward slant doesn't really matter to me and isn't the core problem here. The real issue is that Matthews along with the rest of the mainstream media has a ratings and profit driven greenward slant. The very fact that instead of a reporter or news correspondent, CBS just hired the queen of infotainment to anchor their evening news, is proof enough of this. Somewhere right now, Dan Rather is contemplating slitting his wrists.

This is the kind of interview that twenty or thirty years ago either: 1) Wouldn't have happened in the first place, or 2) Would've left DeLay in serious need of a sweatband and eventually in the fetal position mumbling for his mommy. Exactly because of the ratings and money that these exclusive interviews with the likes of DeLay, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. provide, Matthews needs to put out the signal that they'll be able to tell "their side" of the story without ever having to answer any uncomfortable questions. Nevermind the fact that these people are proven liars and probable thieves. Unfortunately this game of grab-ass that the news media and politicians have gotten into in the last decade doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon.

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