Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Outgoing Congressman and Soon-To-Be Felon Tom DeLay Talks to Chris Matthews, For Which Matthews is Disturbingly Grateful
This clip of a short conversation between Chris Matthews and Tom DeLay is fascinating and not a little revealing of the too-cozy relationship our press sometimes has with the powerful. (Just scroll down to the photo of Tom DeLay and, if you can hold down your gorge, click on his picture to watch.) HuffingtonPost put it up a little while ago.
It's a 30-second clip from the set of Hardball taped before the show's begun to air. They don't think what they're saying will be heard by the public, so this clip is them "just talking". There aren't any real bombshells in this clip (aside from a line about Hillary Clinton from DeLay), but what's interesting to me is how beholden and grateful Matthews feels to DeLay for giving him "the scoop" on DeLay's resignation announcement. (Matthews announced he was the first with the news and is clearly very proud of the fact.) "I owe you one," Matthews says to his bound-for-the-slammer guest, and then says, I guess figuring just "one" didn't go far enough to fully account for his gratitude, "I owe you two."
I wonder what Chris means by this. By owing him "two", does that mean he's going to help Tom paint his house one day, and then wash his car? Help him move? Or does he mean that he'll go easy on him on Hardball when the jury comes back with a guilty verdict for DeLay? Or that after Tom serves out his eventual slap-on-the-wrist prison term, Chris Matthews will talk up his re-election chances when he tries to return to Congress? Or maybe, if something really awful comes out of the trial, Hardball will either softpedal it, stay neutral on it, or ignore it altogether, you know, in deference to Tom. This kind of arrangement seems a little too clubby for me, and diminishes, I think, the role of the press as fair and independent critics of those in power. How can we be assured that Matthews (and others in the press) will be good-faith critics of government for the American people when it's obvious they'd give their first-born child for a good "scoop" or a big "get". I don't know. Maybe it's just Matthews. He's been saying increasingly weird things of late, things like Joe McCarthy was right about a Communist infiltration of our government and culture. Ann Coulter-type stuff. I'll keep an eye out.
Also, DeLay does reveal his own misogyny when Matthews starts talking about some focus group surveys regarding leading Democratic contenders for President in 2008. About Hillary Clinton the focus group said, "she's a know-it-all". In the clip, DeLay responds by saying, "Nothing worse than a woman know-it-all." Yikes. Aren't all "know-it-alls" equally annoying, male and female? I guess that Tom, (like most southern Republican politicians of the fundamentalist Christian variety), prefers that his women know "just enough and nothing more." Why do I get the sense that when DeLay says he doesn't like female "know-it-alls", he really means "smart women"?
Anyway. More tomorrow.