|Pontius Pilate washes his hands, by the Master of Cappenberg, Liesborn Altarpiece, between 1500 and 1525, UK National Gallery.|
So yesterday I was in a car (not driving) following an extraordinary and enjoyable rant from someone called Matthew Chapman, starting somewhere around here:
They've done NOTHING to educate us on the candidates policy (especially Clinton's). They are only barely covering the candidates' records.— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) August 31, 2016
And AFTER inundating viewers with all this Clinton hate, they bombard Clinton with worthless questions like "Why do people not like you?"— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) August 31, 2016
Then they have the nerve to ask why Clinton is cagey about interviews, pressers, and so on, when they're the ones creating the narrative!— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) August 31, 2016
etc., when I caught wind of the presence of a somewhat famous person, ABC News analyst Matthew Dowd, former chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney ('04) campaign and now one of the high and mighty champions of Cokie's Village of the Totally Objective Media, taking personal offense at something Chapman was saying.
There's no reason to think he noticed any of the things I subsequently tweeted at him, in one of those helpless Twitter rages. It was hours after the original exchange, and he'd moved on to something else. But I think a selection of them reads like a kind of exchange anyway, and one in which Dowd really reveals a lot about who he is and how this stuff works:
That was just so remarkably false, you could see he hadn't actually read any of it, and was talking in fact about his own distorted understanding, in which of course whatever complaints Clinton voters make about the media must be the exact equivalent of the complaints Trump voters make, because "if both sides hate us we must be doing something right".@fawfulfan @Diversity2016 wow, Trump folks say exact same thing about media as regards their candidate.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) August 31, 2016
Bothsiderism is really a religion to this guy. Too upset to read the thread. Sacrilege!! https://t.co/M0hW6TylKC— (((Yastreblyansky))) (@Yastreblyansky) August 31, 2016
@matthewjdowd after endlessly being told by you and your fellows that this is the case. @fawfulfan @Diversity2016— (((Yastreblyansky))) (@Yastreblyansky) August 31, 2016
This, right here, is the exact sort of "both sides" pro-horse-race equivocation I'm calling out. @matthewjdowd @Diversity2016— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) August 31, 2016
@matthewjdowd @fawfulfan @Diversity2016 we have access to these only through your election, editing, and sometimes outright distortion.— (((Yastreblyansky))) (@Yastreblyansky) August 31, 2016
@fawfulfan @Diversity2016 by the way, I am an independent. Not a partisan. Better to take bias lens off to see the country.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) August 31, 2016
"By the way, little Mister Smartass, if you knew anything about me you'd know how totally unbiased I am." I.e., he got pissed off with his boss George W. Bush (probably for very good reasons, I should say, involving the Iraq War among other things) nine years ago and now hangs out with the kinder, gentler Democrat-haters who are also not totally comfortable with Republicans, like his constant tweep Ron Fournier.
Of course he's unbiased, as far as horserace preferences go, he doesn't think it especially matters who wins, because (a) they're all equally disappointing and (b) no one can ever do anything anyway, which suggests that they really don't do any genuine harm either, in spite of the Iraq War. He's as biased as hell, in fact, on behalf of the Bad Media and their business model, which builds compulsively watchable/clickable dramatic content out of false equivalency—we don't know who's better, we're in desperate suspense!—so that false equivalence is what he lives on, and he cherishes it like he cherishes the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.
@matthewjdowd you're an Orthodox Bothsiderist. To you one side can never be right. Both Sides Forever!@fawfulfan @Diversity2016— (((Yastreblyansky))) (@Yastreblyansky) August 31, 2016
Which is pretty much as far as it went, for my participation.
And his. But I thought it was fascinating to watch him washing his hands in public—"I have nothing to do with it!"—like that.