Thursday, September 02, 2004

A couple of notes re: RR, Jr. & Matthews

I was surprised to visit the blog this morning and find that Bo had already discussed the question that has been driving me absolutely nuts this week: what in the hell did Ron Reagan, Jr. do to make him qualified to offer "analysis" of the RNC on one of the most prominent cable news networks? If that guy weren't Dutch's son, he'd be lucky to get on the air on WOWL-TV 15 in Florence, AL. Not only is he unpleasant to look at (looks like a malnourished baby bird--I keep waiting on Matthews to spit chewed up worm in his mouth...I know that I'm cruel) with an abrasive personality, but his analytical skills are piss-poor. I have yet to hear him make one single coherent point, much less an astute observation, during MSNBC's RNC coverage.

Although I never gave him much credit to begin with, his exchange with Matthews and Ed Rollins last night was astonishing. After Rollins had rightly pointed out that Dubya was, politically, more like Reagan than his own father, Chris asked RR2 if it bothered him when people compared GWB to President Reagan (referencing a piece that referred to W as "Reagan's son"). Reagan, Jr. proceeded to offer some borderline-unintelligible response in which he conceded the ideological consistencies between the two, but pointed out that his father "didn't have a mean bone in his body," and that he heard "a lot of anger coming" from the stage last night, particularly from Zell Miller. When Rollins and others pointed out that A) Miller was a Democrat, and B) Miller isn't Bush, RR2 offered yet another ambiguous response, first explaining that he didn't mean GWB specifically and that he was simply comparing the current party to his father (again, Ron: see item "A)"), and then maintaining that the comparison of Bush to Reagan on a personal level was not valid and (at least as anyone could tell) implicitly suggesting that Bush was a mean or angry person. At this point, the whole panel (undoubtedly as confused as I was at RR2's "yes, no, maybe bowl of mush") acknowledged that, love him or hate him, it is hard to construe GWB as "mean" or "angry." Matthews then, having seen his ally look foolish enough, mercifully (for all of us) changed the subject. Unfortunately, MSNBC has yet to post the transcript from this portion of their coverage, but I'll link it once they do so you can observe Ron Reagan's idiocy for yourselves.

Sorry to go on and on, but this exchange was just unbelievable. I mean, "I wasn't talking about GWB specifically...I was comparing the party." Well, shitfire Ron! I could've sworn Matthews asked solely and explicitly about the comparison many make of W to Reagan. Was it that difficult to understand? Bottom line is that Reagan, Jr. is a tool and, accordingly, is being used by the media to help achieve their agenda. Let's be very clear: Reagan, Jr. isn't on MSNBC covering the RNC because he's Reagan's son; he's on the air because he's Reagan's son and he isn't voting for Bush.

With regard to the Matthews-Zell Miller altercation, I did happen to see the replay of it, and I just wanted to make one quick observation about CM that I have no tolerance for. The series of questions that, understandably, frustrated Miller went something like this: "Do you really believe that John Kerry doesn't want to defend this country?" 3 times in a row, with virtually no opportunity for Zell to respond, followed by "Do you really think Kerry wants to defend this country with spitballs?" Matthews actually asked that last question multiple times and with a straight face. I've never heard a more disingenuous series of questions in my entire life. Maybe someone should let Chris know that Zell's reference to spitballs was a rhetorical device, not meant to be taken literally, but--strangely--something tells me he already knew that. People can say what they want about O'Reilly, but he's got nothing on Chris Matthews in the gotcha journalism department.


At 12:34 PM, Blogger Bo said...

MitchellR, nice post. I have quit watching MSNBC altogether in the last couple of weeks. Scarborough has been rendered impotent, either by his own choosing or by the studio bosses, thus making the whole point of having a Republican Congressman on there moot. RR2, in contrast, is allowed to join in the free-fire as an unabashed liberal.

And yes, there's no question that RR2 is a political amateur next to the others. It'd be like if you or I got up there and tried to debate Joe Trippi or Zell Miller - actually, we'd do a lot better than RR2, but you get the point: it's amateur hour. Key example of this:
Asked to compare the war on terror with the Cold War, RR2 offered this contrast in styles: "Well, one thing Republicans forget is that my dad negotiated with the Soviets and that was a crucial factor in winning the war."

Ron, the massive defense spending by your dad won the war by bankrupting the Soviets. If he had just gone over and asked them to pretty please stop making nukes, then we'd probably still be squared off against them today.

By the way, if anyone can point to something substantive RR2 has done to qualify him as a host on MSNBC, I'm still happy to listen. I googled his name yesterday, and came up with a bunch of stories on his stem cell activism, but even these stories don't mention his biography.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Tortfeasor said...

Much as I love the Tider, Scarborough, all you need to know about him regarding this election: he is a plaintiffs' attorney. I was shocked to learn this over the summer, but it's true.


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