Chris Mathew's New Book Ripped by Jon Stewart
Chris Mathews is a very powerful, well-connected pol (worked for Tip O'Neal when he was Majority Leader of the House) turned broadcaster with two or more TV shows. I have seen him time after time harass guests by interrupting answers to his questions or putting wholly new questions to guests while the poor slob being interviewed is trying to finish an answer to the previous question. It is not how hosts ought to act in my opinion. Matthews got a taste of what being on his show is like when he appeared recently on Jon Stewart's Daily Report to promote his new book Life's a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation, and Success. He made a serious blunder by equating success in political campaigns and achieving our goals and then coming on Jon Stewart's show. He could have picked another word besides 'campaign."
Stewart eviscerated him right in front of my eyes. Matthews' book seems to be about what we can learn from how politicians manage to rise to the top. One of the most important things, he says, is that politicians, to be successful, must listen to others. He cited Bill Clinton as an exemplar of that. He then went on to say that Clinton said that it worked for him in school in gettinbg girls. You can imagine what Stewart did with that. Think, "Monica."
When Matthews asked Stewart what he thought of the book, he replied that it seemed like a recipe for sadness, not success. He was also distressed that Mathews didn't mention being honest as a way toward being successful. Matthews replied that a book has already been written on that sort of thing, namely the Bible. At this point Steward said that Chris's book has also been written already, namely The Prince.
There is still another book that has been written that, along with The Prince, covers the content of Matthews' book, namely How to Win Friends and Influence People. Right now I don't have time to take another look Dale Carnegie's and Machiavelli's books or Matthews' book to see if the former cover the material in the latter. So, maybe Stewart and I are a bit off base. Still, Stewart performed a public service I hope he has learned from. Namely, hosts should be polite to guests and let them speak.
I wonder if Stewart was as annoyed as I am with Mathews' “interrogation” style of interviewing where his agenda rather than the guest's is promoted or that Mathews simply has laid himself open to the best comedian in the country, at least insofar is intelligence, knowledge, wit, and quickness of thought are concerned. What was funny was seeing Mathews, who is seen by many as a big mover and shaker, turned into a totally flustered, helpless man. Mathews got what he deserved to have the chutzpah to write a “self help” book predicated on how politicians, some of the least admired people in the country, behave in order to be selected to run for office. If I write a book like that you are allowed to put me in the stocks for a day. Check out the Comedy Central site.