Friday, August 20, 2004

Regarding Chris Mathews

As an aside to the whole Mathews/Malkin incident: I applaud Mathews for acting like a journalist, but I think to many in the blogosphere are taking his performance last night as some kind of indication that he has "turned from the dark side".

Mathews has hot buttons and when someone pushes those hot buttons he does righteous outrage like no ones business. Clinton pushed his hot button with respect to sexual fidelity and Mathews' obvious disgust with Clinton's personal behavior forever tinged his coverage of other Clinton era scandals (aside: I am not discounting the idea that being anti-Clinton also helped Mathew's bottom line). Malkin and the Swifties pushed his hot button with respect to honoring military service and he has reacted with outrage in this case as well. It remains to be seen whether that outrage will seep into his general assessment of the Bush administration in the same way it affected his assessment of Clinton.

There is no "turning from the dark side". Mathews isn't doing this because he likes Kerry more than Bush. I suspect that Mathews still likes Bush more than Kerry as a man, but he may be coming over to the belief that, as a President, Kerry might be the better choice.

There are plenty in the establishment media who are driven by their partisanship. Mathew's psychological makeup is much more complicated than that.


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