Powerline sums up Chris Matthews’ questioning of a Swift boat vet:
Matthews’ main arguments were that the Navy gave Kerry medals, the people on his boat backed Kerry, and Kerry showed more courage than most. The first argument was not responsive to O’Neill’s central thesis that Kerry obtained the medals fraudulently by making false claims. The second argument was irrelevant with respect to those medals awarded to Kerry based on events that did not occur on his swift boat. The third argument was irrelevant to the central issue of Kerry’s credibility, a point that Matthews willingfully refused to grasp. Matthews seemed to become particularly upset when, in response to his browbeating style questions, O’Neill calmly conceded that Kerry had shown some courage in shooting “the Viet Cong kid in the back,” but not enough to deserve a medal. At that point, Matthews resorted to accusing O’Neill of being a Republican. But he couldn’t even make that stick. In response to questions about his past voting, O’Neill said he voted for Perot in 1992 and 1996 and Gore in 2000, and supported a Democrat for mayor of Houston, Texas, his hometown.
How stupid do you have to be to make an assumption about someone with whom you are going to be arguing on national television when it’s a matter of asking a simple question before taking the risk of making an ass of yourself. One of the reasons that the media is so bad is that people continue to watch, follow and believe them even after they’ve repeatedly demonstrated that they can’t be trusted in any way, shape or form. This summation of Hardball also summarizes why I don’t watch the mainstream news anymore, as it simply has no credibility with me.
The bulldozer style of debate is so difficult to defend against; I had it ground into my brain from years of living with two devil’s advocates, Big Chilly and the White Buffalo. Seriously, you couldn’t say that the sky is blue without finding yourself launched into a discussion of light, color, perception and ancient linguistics. As a result, I will seldom open my mouth to express an opinion on a subject without having at least a few solid supporting facts or intellectual references at my immediate recall. Assumptions and tangential hypotheses only get you in trouble. This doesn’t mean you’ll always be right, of course, as there may be facts of which you are unaware or complications you cannot unravel, but you’ll seldom make a fool out of yourself and your case will always be perceived as reasonable and defensible, even if other’s privately consider it to be outrageous.
I think at this point, I can safely say that Kerry is the worst candidate I’ve seen in my lifetime. The real race now is between John Kerry and the stock market, and the fate of the president’s reelection will rest upon whether Kerry or the social mood self-destruct faster.