Friday, November 11, 2005

Ted Koppel Vs. Chris Matthews (A Contrast In Journalistic Approach)

I have always liked and respected Ted Koppel from ABC's Nightline, in spite of the fact that he is just another MSM biased news man. His work ethic has always been top notch, he is educated and a highly intelligent man. And although I didn't always agree with his opinions and his slants, he knows his subject matter very well. He is a very well read man. He reads several newspapers everyday before he leaves the house for work. (He does even more in depth research once he gets to work.)

He will by missed greatly when he leaves the show for good, on Nov.22. At the time of his departure, he will be the last of the news show hosts that took what they did seriously and approached it with much more class and integrity than today's crop of anchors/commentators.

He may have tried to dig for dirt, he had the usual MSM agenda, but he wanted the information to be right. Unless there is an issue I am forgetting, to the best of my knowledge, he never purposely or knowingly ran with a story that was falsified. He, like many others, presented his news in the usual MSM way. Leave a little out here, focus on that a lttle too much there. But, in short, trust was never an issue.

Bias, yes. Trust, no.

But how can we trust the hacks we are left with today. There are several I could get wound up about, the one that riles me the most is MSNBC Hardball host, Chris Matthews.

I happened onto his TV interview with Gen. Wayne Downing on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and have been waiting to write on this; waiting for them to post the transcripts, so I could link to them. Here's how the over-inflated egotist starts the interview:
MATTHEWS: Tell me about al-Zarqawi. What kind of power does he have within Jordan? We know he operates now out of Iraq. He moved his operation there. Is he still running the show in terms of al Qaeda in Jordan?

DOWNING: Chris, you know al-Zarqawi is a Jordanian.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know that.

DOWNING: That‘s where he comes in.

MATTHEWS: Well, I have learned that tonight, but I am not an expert, but go ahead.

DOWNING: He has great influence over this area.


Here he tries to demonstrate he knows things, but easily contradicts himself by admitting that he is not the expert, albeit in a sarcastic tone.

There's more:
MATTHEWS: What is the goal?

DOWNING: The goal is to destabilize it and eventually take it over. And remember, Chris, it‘s a little bit different from where you were talking with Senator McCain here in the previous segment. This is about political power.

You know, that‘s why we cannot afford for Iraq to fall apart on us, because if they took the Sunni Triangle and made that a Salafist—read Taliban—state, that would be the base which they could destabilize an entire ...

MATTHEWS: Give me examples of this kind of terrorism we are seeing in Amman tonight, blowing up three hotels, killing perhaps maybe—we will see, over 50 so far, injuring 200. How does that lead to control of a country? Give me an example of where that kind of terrorism has led to control of an Arab country?

DOWNING: Well, that‘s their plan.

MATTHEWS: No, where has it worked?

DOWNING: That‘s the weapon ...

MATTHEWS: But where has it worked, general?

DOWNING: ... that they are using right now. They are trying to make it work in Iraq. They are trying on another scale ...

MATTHEWS: But we knocked off that government. We created a new interim situation over there.

Mr. Interruptus Maximus will not be denied a chance to cut in and attempt to make someone else he may disagree with look like a fool (all the while trying to make himself look like the smart one in the room), will he? Notice how he can't help trying to browbeat the General, using the constant interruption interview model, made famous by Bryant Gumbel and Dan Rather.

But here's the clincher:
DOWNING: Absolutely. Absolutely it is. That‘s a way to escalate the irritation. That‘s why terrorists in many cases do what they are doing. The other thing that Salafists want us to do ...

MATTHEWS: What is a Salafist?

DOWNING: A Salafist is an extreme Islamist who believes in returning to the old ways of the Koran of the 7th, 8th, 9th century. And there was something they called back there, Chris, called the caliphate. They want to return to that, they want the concept.

MATTHEWS: Do they want to go back to Andalusia? They want to get Spain back?

DOWNING: Sure, they do.

MATTHEWS: They do?

LASUNSETT: No dumbass, he is just saying that for some kind of comedic relief. Of course they do, did you even listen to his answer the first time. (Not on official transcripts, but was overheard in the Sunsett living room)

You see?

He didn't even know what the hell, a Salafist is. Can you imagine Ted Koppel being so ignorant? Koppel like most in the business had an arrogance about him, but it was an arrogance that he backed up with hard work and brilliant preparation. This clown Matthews is nothing more than a Democratic hack, pretending to be smart when he clearly is not. He has a set agenda and he demonstrates it over and over, night in, night out.

Ask Ted what a salafist is, and you would most likely get a very thorough lesson in the history of Salafism and the course it's on today. Matthews could stand to repeat some classes he may have slept through, in school. The biggest lesson he could learn is to drop the hack attitude and take a lesson, out of the Ted Koppel book of journalism.


(((Thought Criminal))) said...

American journalism has been virtually non-existent since 1898. Ted Koppel and Chris Matthews are a study in two different forms of stupidity mislabeled "journalism."

But you're correct. The guy that hired the guy that hired Chris Matthews should be fired for not fulfilling his obligations to find quality personnel for their network.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

Chris Matthews is very irritating with his interruption tactics. Why ask a question if you don't wait for the answer? He might as well go on with pictures of guests and then just say what he wants to say. It would accomplish the same thing, and be less frustrating. Of course nobody is interested in what he has to say which explains his low ratings.

Koppel has been pretty respectable. Lately his bias has been very obvious to a point that has surprised me. He is informed about his topics though.

LA Sunset said...

Mr. Beamish,

Your point is well-stated and well taken.

Koppel's brand of journalism was not all golden. He was biased, but he was knowledgeable. He usually had the right facts, he just grossly misinterpreted them.

Unlike Matthews, where he just throws stuff together, without any substantial credible data or knowledge on just about any given subject.

Where I think the media became the out of control entity it has become today, started with the coverage of the Vietnam War and ended with Watergate. Bringing down a sitting President did wonders for the media's collective ego. (SEE: Dan Rather)

They have been overly empowered since.

LA Sunset said...


He is becoming the Rush Limbaugh of the left. Why have a guest on if all you want to do is hear yourself talk? At least Rush doen't have many guests, so he can pontificate uninterrupted, at will. If you want to hear interviews, you avoid Rush.

But Matthews pretends to conduct an interview show, but doesn't want to hear what the interviewee has to say. When someone turns on Hardball, thinking it is an interview show, they find out very quickly they got screwed.

Bill O'Reilly is getting to be the same way. I have found myself not watching his show as often, because of it. He asks the questions and doesn't let the interviewee finish his/her answer the majority of the time. Koppel would let the person finish his/her answer and then proceed to try and refute whatever statement he/she made.

But unlike Matthews, O'Reilly is usually knowledgeable on the subject matter. He sometime gets it right, but sometimes he gets it very wrong.