Howard Fineman Is Hopeless 

James Wolcott

Whenever Howard Fineman strays into the truth and says something negative about Bush, Zeitgeist sniffers jump to the conclusion that Dubya is stinking up the joint so bad that Even Howard Fineman Has Turned on Him. That maybe there's hope for Howard after all.

Forget it. Fineman will never obtain a lasting clue about anything. His translucent shell of professional narcissism is impregnable.

Monday morning I saw him on Chris Matthews' weekly show--the one where Matthews doesn't sound as if he's bouncing off the walls of his own brain--and Fineman was talking about the excitement on the Democratic side. He said that thousands were turning up at rallies all "pumped up."

"Are they pumped up about Kerry?" he asked. "No. His job is to come across as normal and acceptable to--"

At which point I changed channels.

First of all, how does Fineman know the crowds aren't pumped up for Kerry? Did he attend these rallies? Did he ask anyone? No, he's assuming, as most of the media elite do, that no one could possibly be "up" for a Kerry event because the media narrative is that Kerry is a stiff hunk of bark.

As reflected in Adam Nagorney telling Charlie Rose that heck he has more charisma than poor Kerry.

Really, Adam? You think you could hold the interest of 12,000 people, as Kerry did at a recent rally in Reno, Nevada?

You're the kind of putz people walk away from at cocktail parties!

Forgive me for shouting, but this stuff burns my waffles. It's the same junk we heard from Chris Matthews' crew and all the other clique queens in the press about Al Gore as Gore was wowing crowds and closing in for the kill in 2000.

That's why Jon Stewart's takedown of Tucker Carlson was greeted with gratitude and joy everlasting.


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