Big Tim, the big-shouldered Buffalo brawler apparently has revealed his inner big baby over Arianna Huffington calling him a “conventional wisdom zombie” in her latest book. The result is that her book tour seems to have been black listed by NBC. Looking at Russert’s specialty, “zombie” is letting him off the hook rather lightly. Zombies are unwillingly made to do the bidding of those who animate them, Russert doesn’t have to be told what to do, he knows exactly what satisfies his masters and makes him millions. He’s quite a few steps down from being a zombi to being a willing servant and oligarchic wannabee.
David Sirota also has things to say about Chris Matthews, another of NBC’s phony voices of blue collar America.
A recent New York Times Magazine profile of Matthews describes a name-dropping dilettante floating between television studios and cocktail parties. The article documents the MSNBC host’s $5 million salary, three Mercedes and house in lavish Chevy Chase, Md. Yet Matthews said, “Am I part of the winner’s circle in American life? I don’t think so.”
That stupefying comment sums up a pervasive worldview in Washington that is hostile to any discussion of class divides. Call it Matthews-ism an ideology most recently seen in the brouhaha over Barack Obama’s statement about economic dislocation.
The Illinois senator said that when folks feel economically shafted, they get “bitter.” Matthews-ism spun the truism into a scandal.
The Washington Post labeled Obama’s statements “Bittergate.” Tim Russert invited affluent political consultants on “Meet the Press” to analyze the “controversy,” with millionaire James Carville saying, “I’m hardly bitter about things.”*
Living in blue collar America full time, we are bitter and if the wealthy media can’t taste the wormwood yet just wait for the combination of gas and food prices, credit debt, destroyed social and governmental support and the bottomless pit of welfare reform. You haven’t experienced bitter until you see conservatives who find they’ve joined the people they hate in the underclass. Instant Jacobins all. And they'll be a lot harder to reason with than the real, full-time left.
* Sirota is pretty hard on Hillary Clinton’s use of the phony “bitter” scandal. Though I’d point out that she’s a politician running for office, she’s not pretending to be an impartial journalist supposedly restrained by requirements of accuracy and impartiality. I do think she shouldn’t have touched the “bitter” stuff. My biggest complaints about Hillary Clinton’s nomination campaign come mostly in the form of the idiots who have been running it and jerks like Carville speaking on her behalf in the media. Obama’s campaign has done some stupid stuff too and a big part of his online support is openly and disgustingly sexist, but I don’t think he hasn’t been as prone to doing that kind of damage to the democratic party.