Monday, January 30, 2006

Sending Tweety Back to School

In case you didn't know, "Tweety" is what many in the blogosphere call Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, although given how Matthews spits when he gets excited, "Sylvester" might have been a more accurate and understandable nickname.

All sides of the political spectrum do it (give nicknames to the object of their affection or ire), but I find it can be very confusing when I'm reading a blog if I'm not up on the latest nickname coined for some new person in the news. I swore that if I ever had a blog, I wouldn't do it. So this is the first and last time you'll see me doing it. It won't prevent me, however, from calling Matthews (or anybody else) a whore, or an ass, or any other derogatory expletive that leaps into my mind as I witness the dismantling of America's democratic republic.

Chris Matthews (and just about every mainstream media journalist and on-air personality I can think of) is an ass. When he isn't being a whore. Then there are the days when he's both an ass and a whore.

Whew. I've spoken my mind and the republic is still standing.

Free expression is good, I think it's healthy and necessary in a functioning democracy, and I support and encourage it. But it's not enough to just carp and complain about the sorry state of corporate media's news and political reporting. Criticizing on-air personalities isn't going to change anything: We have to show them what it is that we want and teach them how to do it.

The Norman Lear Center at USC's Annenberg Center for Communication has a website, "to develop and distribute tools to help local and network television provide informative and creative political coverage."

They've got a tip sheet for political reporters and news managers on How to Improve Television Political Coverage - Tips on making your political coverage more engaging and meaningful.

Send a copy to Chris Matthews at Hardball today. Send one to Tucker, too. And Joe Scarborough. Oh, and don't forget Russert.

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