Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thank you...

...to nolalily and Jim Newell for writing this and this, respectively.

Newell does us the favor of including the footage of the interview, and nolalily links to hilzoy's spectacular overview of Obama's legislative record, which is as solid a refutation of this silly charge (that Obama doesn't have the experience or know-how to make laws) as I've seen.

But neither includes anything about the way in which, immediately after cutting back to the studio, Keith Olbermann (co-anchoring with Matthews) gently pulled the rug out from his pompous desk-mate by asking (I'm paraphrasing here): "To be fair to Senator Obama, can you name anything that Congress has accomplished in the last eight years?" At which point the real bluster began (Matthews responded with something to the effect that "That's too broad of a question to answer here"), and after a few more awkward exchanges, they were off to a commercial. I would've loved to have been on that set in the moments afterward, let me tell you.

(As I said, I'm paraphrasing the exchange -- YouTube it in a few days and I'm sure you'll find the clip.)

Anyway, so gracias to Olbermann too. I had been growing less and less fond of his reporting in recent weeks -- his stance on the Obama-Reagan thing and his seeming approval of Shuster's suspension were particularly annoying to me. But this is a welcome return-to-form.


Crooks and Liars has the clip.


hilzoy's response is beautiful. And the comments point toward Kirk Watson's own (pretty goddammed gracious and mature) take on what happened. (Watson is the guy Matthews grilled).


Kris Tiner said...

That was just tortuous to watch. But Olbermann nailed him. My favorite was the Matthews quip near the end: "That's why they call it Hardball", and then Olbermann again: "This isn't Hardball - this is primary coverage!" What a putz.

Speaking of nailing it, you'll be interested in this analysis of Obama's success v. Clinton. It's about time somebody listened to George Lakoff. Not that Obama doesn't have a stellar record (and thanks for those links) - but he realizes that talking endlessly about policy isn't the way to inspire folks to vote for you.

If Pensito is right about how the Dem candidates have defined themselves at this point it's going to make for a very interesting couple of debates, especially in seeing how Obama responds to this demand by the media for examples of his superiority in terms of policy. Hopefully he fares better than this Watson guy.

Andrew Durkin... said...

Yeah! Lakoff is a smart guy. Sort of the anti-Frank Luntz -- who is also a smart guy, but without an ethical bone in his body.

In fact, one of the early flags (for me, anyway) that this was going to go the way it has was when Luntz confessed (on Bill Maher's Real Time) that he wouldn't know how to beat Obama in the general.