Monday, February 21, 2011

Ownage? Chauncey DeVega's Appearance on Ambush "Journalist" Jason Mattera's Radio Show to Discuss the Herman Cain is a Race Minstrel Affair

Sunday was the climax of the Herman Cain Race Minstrel Affair. After declining to appear on Fox News, I decided that if given an opportunity to go on a popular Right-wing radio show to discuss my views on black conservatives, I would accept such an invitation. Fate is indeed a trickster, as the next day I was invited to appear on the Jason Mattera Show on WABC 770 AM in New York City.

For those not in the know, this douche bag Right-wing personality has made a career as an "ambush" journalist whose claim to fame is a series of sophomoric "interviews" with Al Franken, John Murtha, and Charlie Rangel among other notable figures. Mattera, an unapologetic homophobe and bigot, is so unprofessional that even Bill O'Reilly schooled him on the importance of civility in journalism.

Thus, all subtlety would be thrown out of the window when/if I appeared on his show. I made a simple calculus: 770 AM is a huge station with great reach which I could play to my advantage; two, an appearance on a cookie cutter Right-wing radio show would be a chance to conduct a long-planned experiment.

The Right-wing echo chamber is not based on reasoned discourse because its premise is anti-intellectualism. Consequently, those not of the Right-wing tribe often lose in "debates" when on their turf because the tendency of progressives/Leftists/centrists/reasonable Conservatives is to want to talk and exchange ideas. Popular Conservatism is based on the opposite--scream, talk in bullet points, and recite talking points. The only way to win is to either play for a stalemate, or alternatively to deploy the rhetorical strategies of mouth-breathing Populist Conservatism against them.

In my appearance on The Jason Mattera Show I decided for a combination of both approaches. Mattera is a bully. Mattera is also someone who must control the situation in order to make his points because he is so utterly and totally bereft of substantive ideas. How do you beat a bully? You bully them back. How do you defeat an ambush? You ambush your attackers.

The Mattera Show did a good deal of subtle post-editing in their podcast of my appearance on Sunday (note to self: always record your own appearances for posterity sake) . In my live appearance, Mattera was noticeably flustered and could not answer basic questions: are black people who vote for the Democratic Party children or stupid? Are poor whites who vote for the Republican Party on a "plantation" of sorts?

He conveniently edited these out with repeated inserts of "lower his mic." During the live broadcast Mattera had no answer and fell all over himself evading the question.

I had some contacts listening to the show live. That group included neutral folks so that I could get some unbiased feedback. The consensus on their end was that I owned Mr. Mattera from step one. In the version which Jason Mattera did not throw down the memory well, I think I fought him to a standstill and won on points (especially given the fact that kicked me off the show in consternation and resorted to profanity and calling me a "kook" when he could not make his "logic" stick). There is also a caller--now edited out--who further angered Mattera when she seconded everything that I said.

The Right-wing shock jock class is not one that I want to be associated with on a repeated basis. As I told a friend, I felt as though I lost a few I.Q. points from merely being a "guest" in such a venue. I can only imagine the damage which Right-wing media does to its listeners. As always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated.

The segment starts at about minute 57.


Plane Ideas said...


It was almost a waste of time for you to appear on this idiot's show except for the value of doing live radio with a yoyo that controls the volume etc..

It was obvious he could not handle any of your talking points and your rapid wit and delivery. I agree with your approach of dominating the bully especially for this clown who is an angry white male full of rage..

In the future I would do a short narrative with a series of quick bulletin points about you and your platform etc...Then when you engage a host of this shallow texture you can pivot from your narrative you left in the minds of those who listen to the show and who are visualizing your talking points..

I am a TV Host and a former radio talk show host..You have more power and control when you do TV appearances ..At a later date I will share the pro-cons of each venue..

In summary you won this round and I encourage you to do more interviews before you go visual live and in color...

chaunceydevega said...

Thanks for the advice Thrasher. We do not to chat on these things as I can benefit from your experience.

I am learning with these types of characters that quickness is key, no compound statements, simple points...precisely because they may cut you off and edit it. But, with a bully you can't let him monologue or you will have no time to rebut them and they will clown their guests.

When he did the name calling and silliness I just ignored it as he was trying to bait me.

Henri B. said...

Hometown dialect? Is that like Ebonics?

Oh Crap said...

I love all these professional homo-haters and states' righters, clutching their pearls over "racism".

Fucking asshole got booed off the stage for homo-hate, even at last year's CPAC.

Plantsmantx said...

"Hometown dialect? Is that like Ebonics?"

Yeah, I think Mattera was projecting there.

I've noticed that part of the right-wing response to this has been to willfully overlook the fact that Chauncey specifically referred to Cain "quoting" his grandfather saying "I does", and pretending that Chauncey was putting down the way Cain himself speaks. Of course, there's nothing wrong with the way Cain talks (as opposed to what he says when he talks, but these white rightists do believe there's something wrong with the way he talks.

Jelperman said...

This is the same Jason Mattera who tried to badger John Kerry into saying that there were no American atrocities in the Vietnam War.

On the 40th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre:

Batocchio said...

It sounds like Thrasher has some good tips. You did a nice job, especially considering that Mattera had his script and he was going to stick with it, regardless – but wisely, you didn't play along. Any right-wingers listening wouldn't have their minds changed, either. However, anyone listening to this fourth-rate Limbaugh who didn't have their mind made up already could hear that he couldn't handle you – turning down the volume multiple times read as pathetic, bullying, and ineffective bullying at that. It's one thing to cut you off when he's speaking and it's not a dialogue situation, but even some of the right-wing hosts out there will let their guests have their say, if briefly. (Then there's the O'Reilly-Mattera approach of selective editing.) Anyway, I hope you had fun!

Anonymous said...

Sir, I don't think your appearance on the show was very conducive. You certainly outwitted him and combated him excellently, but as Battochio said, the loyal listeners of that show don't give a shit about anything you said. I doubt that any of them will even come to your website. Nevertheless, maybe it was still a good decision. I definitely got a deeper look into how public "debates" work.

Incidentally, I can't believe how many times he turned your mic off. "This is my show." Conservatives and their power trips. Sheesh.