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Explanation

John Cole [1] states that,  “Frank Gaffney is an insane crazy person. He has proven it on any number of occasions, but he quite clearly demonstrated that he is a lunatic in the above clip, right there on Hardball.” He then asks,  “So why, exactly, are Matthews and his producers inviting him back on the show to babble?”

I think I can handle that one. Pretty much all cable news is terrible—broadcast isn’t much better—and Chris Matthews is one of the worst. I’d love to turn on the TV and see an anchor interviewing Bill McKibben or Andrew Bacevich, or anybody with something to say; instead of tiresome hacks such as Carville, Coulter, Gingrich, Gaffney, ad nauseum. A good rule of thumb is, if the interviewer isn’t Brian Lamb then turn it off.

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#1 Comment By MattSwartz On September 23, 2009 @ 5:08 am

Lamb on CSPAN is the best, but I’ve also spent a few informative, funny minutes watching This Week with George Stephanopoulos and whichever similar PBS show has Pat Buchanan on it. Those two shows seem to at least have enough smart people and a high enough level of civility to be worth watching sometimes.

Side note: was Crossfire really as good as I remember? I’m too young to place any confidence in my fond memories of it, but I do have some.

#2 Comment By Jim On September 23, 2009 @ 6:55 am

Matt, as far as PBS is concerned, I think you’re thinking of The McLaughlin Group.

#3 Comment By Jack Ross On September 23, 2009 @ 7:37 am

Gaffney is a perfect foil, just like Bill Kristol was a perfect foil for the New York Times during the last election. We can be grateful that The Times decided not to go on with that game forever and give that space to Ross Douthat, let us hope that when this particular crazy season passes MSNBC can stop fanning the flames.

#4 Comment By Lee On September 23, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

Bill Moyers’ show on PBS is pretty consistently excellent. In fact, here’s his interview with Andrew Bacevich:

[2]

#5 Comment By WRW On September 24, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

Clark,
PBS’s Newshour interviewed Andrew Bacevich as part of discussion of Afghanistan recently.

I know, admitting to watching PBS will no doubt cause “Jack Tracey” and “Jack Bailey” (or whatever pseudonym is in vogue that day) to scream “commie” at me.

#6 Comment By charlie On September 24, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

Another rule of thumb is that the person being interviewed does most of the talking. True for Lamb and Moyers and makes Matthews, who can’t shut up, the worst.

#7 Comment By Dennis Dale On September 24, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

“Frank Gaffney is an insane crazy person. He has proven it on any number of occasions, but he quite clearly demonstrated that he is a lunatic in the above clip, right there on Hardball.” He then asks, “So why, exactly, are Matthews and his producers inviting him back on the show to babble?”

Talk about answering your own question. This reminds of the time Manspews embarrassed that radio hack who was promulgating the “appeasement” argument by citing Munich, but then could not answer the question, even vaguely, as to what happened there. It was like watching a seal cub beaten not quite to death before being tossed into the sea.

After this, Matthews closed by praising the guy’s otherwise sound knowledge and intellect, and ensuring us he’d be back on the show. Why, on earth, would he be back? Is there such a dearth of the politically engaged? No; the public humiliation (and political score for one side of the debate) was just too good as television.