The idea that the Matthews live-mic "Oh God" utterance should be pounced on as an "aha" moment for the unprofessional press corps is absurd. Not when Rick Santelli, a reporter for CNBC, went on live TV and uncorked an anti-Obama rant and then paraded around on right-wing radio shows for days while concocting stories about being targeted by the White House.
Despite crossing all normal bounds of journalism, Santelli was celebrated in the press as a populist. (Y'know, the Drexel Burnham Lambert kind.) And CNBC seemed to do everything it could to market and hype the rant. (Imagine if MSNBC replayed Matthews' "Oh God" clip incessantly, bragging about how Matthews had "touched a nerve" with Americans.)
In terms of revealing deep truths about the corporate media, I'd suggest Santelli's off-kilter tirade, followed by his puffed-up prancing around, and the press corps that cheered him on, told us a helluva lot more abut the press than did Matthews' split-second "Oh God" utterance.
Indeed, why did the press dub Matthews' remark a "blooper," yet Santellli's rant was crowned a "populist" "shot heard around the world?" How was it that Matthews' split-second lapse of judgment supposedly provided us with all kinds of insight into the mindset of the Beltway media (i.e. they're liberal), yet Santelli's right-wing, anti-Obama, anti-working class rant did not? Matthews made a regrettable on-air mistake, but Santelli spoke the unvarnished truth of the masses? Please.
Read the entire Media Matters column here.