Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chris Matthews, verbal diarrhea, and the Obama Inauguration

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I love a good takedown of a self-important media blowhard as much as anyone, even if it's a liberal-leaning enthusiast for "change," which is why I appreciate Jack Shafer's biting critique of the manure-spewing Chris Matthews:

Nobody in TV news stir-fries his ideas and serves them to the audience faster than MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Drawing from a larder filled with old anecdotes, unreliable metaphors, wacky intuition, and superficial observations, the always-animated Matthews steers whatever's handy into the hot wok that is his brain. The sizzling free-associations skitter through his limbic system, leap out his mouth, and look for a resting spot in the national conversation, where they steam like fresh lava in untouchable heaps.

Read the whole thing.

Shafer focuses on Matthews's Inauguration Day "cooking" -- one must pity Shafer for having to endure so much Matthews in so little time -- and, needless to say, there was a lot of material, much of it, as usual, pathetically self-referential, pretentiously self-absorbed, and arrogantly self-aggrandizing.

My favourite bit: Matthews declaring that the crowds were actually cheering for MSNBC as "the network of the 21st century," then later name-dropping all the celebrities he met (including quasi-celebrity Val Kilmer, to whom he gave a ride home). Awesome.

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