Say no more …

Kevin James. Career. Over.


  1. #1 Kent Sharkey
    May 16, 2008

    Sadly, I’d bet not. Knowledge of history doesn’t seem to be a requirement to be a pundit, especially of his “caliber” and orientation.

  2. #2 Joel
    May 16, 2008

    Yes Kent, I think you are right. Most people don’t even know who Neville Chamberlain was, or what role Czechoslovakia played in World War II, so they feel sorry for the guy.

    I would like to think that Bush is counting on this ignorance when he spouts his rhetorical statments, but I’d bet Bush himself doesn’t know anything about Chamberlain and Czechoslovakia.

  3. #3 J-Dog
    May 16, 2008

    Bush knows a lot about Chamberlain. For example, he scored 100 points in a game once, and was terrible at foul shots.

  4. #4 Douglas Barnes
    May 16, 2008

    Kevin James, sanity, gone.

  5. #5 JanieBelle
    May 17, 2008

    This was pretty standard fair for the right wing on any subject. They have no clue whatsoever about what they’re spouting. Whether it’s history, politics, biology, physics, the law, or common human decency, the most common strategy seems to be argumentum ad repeatwhatevermypastorsaid. It takes only a very gentle poke with a logic stick to uncover, at which time it usually turns into argumentum ad screamingJesushissyfit with a side of U.S.A. and fries.

    Kevin James could have easily uttered, “Do you understand the words that somebody put into my mouth?” in that exchange. “You’re an idiot,” would have been an entirely appropriate rejoinder here, but Matthews’ approach was an effective demonstration of just that.

    I’ve never really cared much for Matthews’ delivery, and thus have no honest comment on his content to offer in general. I’ve simply never been able to listen to him for more than about thirty seconds.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    May 17, 2008

    Matthews is a bit enigmatic to me. He is not especially conservative (or liberal). He is one of the first mainstream talking heads to openly criticize the war in Iraq. He is an old time East Coast machine Democrat who worked for Jimmy Carter (which means he was a bit of a bridge-builder as Carter was initially shunned by the machine) and his trips down old time political memory lane brings back personal memories for me, having grown up in a machine family/neighborhood/family.

    On the down side, he has some conservative views and lately can’t stop mentioning how Catholic he things he is. He’ll pick up a point or two, sometimes an annoying point, and constantly bring it up. During the Obama/Wright thing, he he kept pointing out that Mrs. Obama would be the most affected by all of this because “it is usually the wife … the woman in the family … who is more committed to the church, and the guy just goes along,” which might or might not be an astute/dumb observation. At one point, one of his regular commenters, seeing that point coming one more time, said “You know Chris, this Reverend Wright denouncement may well have been a bigger problem for Michelle Obama … it’s often the woman of the family who is more involved in the church…” I don’t think Matthews noticed the dig, but I was ROFL.

    On balance I think he’s better than the average mainstream news guy, but I do find myself wincing a lot.

  7. #7 JanieBelle
    May 17, 2008

    I get the overwhelming majority of my news fix from NPR and blogs. Our local paper has a noticeable bent but that’s really to be expected, given the demographics. I don’t bother at all with the print edition, though I read one column online religiously (heh). The Letters to the Editor are fun whenever I need an excuse to smash my face with a hammer. “Knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers” is not an unfair assessment of many of the authors, though lately the paper’s taken to printing letters from the sane from time to time.

    On the rare occasion that I catch one of the talking heads on TV, it’s usually “News-Lite” – Morning Express. Robin Meade caught my eye (how could she not?) once, and I like the delivery and general tone of the show in addition to all the pretty people. I only wish the stories were covered in more depth, but that of course is antithetical to the whole premise, and would probably deep-six all the things I like about it.

    On your quasi-recommendation, I might take Hardball out for another spin next week and see what happens.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    May 17, 2008


    OK, but don’t hate the messenger if he turns out to be especially obnoxious!!


  9. #9 Brian X
    May 17, 2008

    Chris Matthews reminds me of Ric Flair with a brain — loves to yell, sometimes you need earplugs to deal with him.

    But Kevin “Not The King Of Queens” James? I’d never heard of this guy, and I’m rather glad, because there’s nothing original about him. It just goes to the typical conservative knee-jerk equivalence that talking about something equals condoning it — it seems to me that this guy is espousing exactly the same approach to diplomacy as conservatives in general do towards drugs and sex education.

    Given how many denialists do the exact same things no matter what subject they’re railing against, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised — denialists and propagandists are cut from the same cloth.

    (Coincidentally, I was discussing Chamberlain briefly with my dad the other night, and found myself wondering — what do we know now that Chamberlain didn’t at the time that might have made it seem like a sensible decision to let Hitler have the Sudetenland?)

  10. #10 natural cynic
    May 17, 2008

    Actually, it was a fairly sensible solution. The Sudetenland was predominantly German, wanted to be annexed into either Germany or Austria [already united with Germany] and subject to discrimination by the Czechs. Perhaps the critical issue with appeasement is the additional demand by Hitler that the Sudetenland could be occupied by the German Army. This allowed an easy invasion and occupation of the rest of Czechoslovakia less than 6 months later. This occupation preceded the invasion of Poland by another 6 months.

    Chamberlain and Daladier [French PM] knew that the joining of Sudetenland with Germany was justified. Unfortunately, that was with the assumption that Hitler would be satisfied and reasonable – something that Chamberlain apparently expected but Daladier did not. Chamberlain and Daladier also knew that any military defense of Czechoslovakia was hopeless, so starting WWII a year early over the matter was a gamble that they didn’t want to take.

    As is usual with this kind of ethnic conflict, the previously oppressed German speakers of the Sudetenland became the oppressors of the Czechs and Slovaks during the German occupation. And as punishment, they were ethnically cleansed from their former lands after the end of the war.

  11. #11 Xavier
    May 17, 2008

    This allowed an easy invasion and occupation of the rest of Czechoslovakia less than 6 months later. This occupation preceded the invasion of Poland by another 6 months.

    Sooo, tell me again why this appeasement thing was actually a good idea at the time???