Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chris Matthews: Not World Class

Check out the kind of comments Matthews made to our mayoral candidates last night:
At one point Matthews sparred with Landrieu, for instance, on the question of whether the federal government bears responsibility for the failed levee system, which has been under the auspices of the Army Corps of Engineers for nearly 80years. “Nobody out there thinks the problems are with the levees,” Matthews asserted, but rather with corrupt local officials.

These are not the comments of a journalist who merits national attention.

These are the words of an uninformed crank.

NBC could have plucked a guy off of a barstool at Parasol's and gotten a better performance from a debate moderator.

7 comments:

Marco said...

What he says is not worth hearing AND his voice is one of the most grating on TV.

Mike Moser said...

CW,
I agree, and particularly like the idea of the 'Parasols' -type joint candidate appearance format. However, I could have thrown something heavy at my TV when the topic of why-should-the-rest-of-the-country-pay-for-you-obvious-morons-so-you-can-live-below-sea-level came up. Is it just me, or does anyone have the balls to point out that if there ever was a case for government intervention in a 'market failure' this is it. To wit, billions of the property damage was UNDERinsured because the federal flood insurance monopoly restricted the upper policy limit. The Corps of Engineers built a system that was defective, but the flood maps [and all subsequent risk calculations] were based upon it not failing, as GWB so famously said. Our citizens bore tremendously more risk than they believed and suffered tremendous losses as a result. The issue of federal funding for a) the adequate protection that was anticipated 30+ years ago and b) some sort of federal compensation for the loss are issues of equity. We are not asking cab drivers in Cleveland to build houses here. Houses may never be re-built in the affected areas. I won't be, but that doesn't mean that the next Mayor of New Orleans should not be advocating for a federal system of levees/compensation/insurance that will keep the city viable. Those two bozos don't want to make a case for the just and equitable reasons we need congress to step up. Instead, they dithered and even talked about gas prices... another embarassing moment in our despoilation.

adrastos said...

Tweety *is* a world class asshole. Hey, he's gotta be good at something...

humidhaney said...

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Mike Moser said...

I suppose an informed heavy hitter in the press like Matthews doesn't read the Washington Post too frequently. Check out the May 14 opinion piece by Grunwald on the Corps and all of its wallowing bureaucratic idiocy. Anybody want to shame him into it? I'm a few dozen miles south of DC. I'll go up there and hand deliver the article if I thought it would do any good.

Mark said...

So, I think we have reckless disreguard for the turth. None of the people he is damaging by his comments is a public person (at least, we aren't). Can one file a class action libel suit?

mchebert said...

I agree with all the facts stated above, but am going to be a fly in the ointment and defend Chris Matthews.

For all the bashing you may dish out to him, at least Matthews is paying attention to the mayor's race. On TV, who else is? Matthews hosted this event as well as the earlier MSNBC broadcast of the mayoral debate before the primary election. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that even negative attention is attention, and is far better than indifference. Being critical, even if uninformed, may be a sign of personal concern.

Secondly, I don't think Matthews believes the Feds are not responsible for the levee failure. He is (I think) playing devil's advocate for a sentiment that does exist outside of the Gulf Coast -- Why shoud we pay for your mess when you chose to live down there? People really do think that, and it is a big mistake for us to pretend that they don't.

Matthews is right about one thing: if New Orleans is to survive, the city and its mayor have got to articulate the value of our city to the nation, instead of just crying for more and more money, and complaining about FEMA.

America hates complainers. NOLA has to tell America what it can do for the nation. If that is done, we will get all the help we will ever need.