Policy

"Matt Damon Is Suddenly The Hollywood Liberal That Conservatives Love to Hate"

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So headlines The Hollywood Reporter, in reference to reactions to this Reason.tv video:

Or more accurately, in reference to reactions to this Damon-tastic excerpt, which has 15 times the traffic of the original:

The Reporter catalogues responses from Rush Limbaugh, Larry Elder, Glenn Beck, Michael Graham, Kyle Smith, John Nolte, Alfonzo Rachel, and country music's Larry Gatlin, not necessarily in that order. One might also include Michelle Malkin and non-conservative Jonathan Chait.

Larry OD bulges his neck veins at the late, great Cathy Seipp for daring to suggest public school teachers weren't always great (really, it was about the same subject).

Witnesses for the defense include not only the aforementioned Lawrence O'Donnell (for whom rage-a-holicism in the defense of public school teachers is no rarity), but also Anderson Cooper, Gawker's Richard Lawson, The Nation's Dana Goldstein, and the L.A. Times' Alexandra Le Tellier, among many others (on all sides).

What about Matt Damon's young Reason.tv antagonist, freelancer Michelle Fields? Aside from some hubba-hubbas at FishbowlDC, The Washington Post's Reliable Source has more:

ATTN: Casting directors! Guaranteed tension with Matt Damon!

"I feel like I woke up to learn that half the Internet hates me," Fields told us, "and half the Internet thinks I'm a hero."

She told us her "inbox has been flooded" with e-mail from teachers, some of it "very vulgar and almost inappropriate."

If Fields isn't familiar to Internet politics wonks, it's because she's a brand-new graduate of Pepperdine; this video was her first on-the-scene reporting job for Reason. […]

Her boss at Reason.TV, editor Nick Gillespie said he thought she handled herself well in "a real baptism of fire." He responded to the dustup with a blog post of his own quarrelling with Damon's assertion that teachers are poorly paid — and in general, he's happy with the discussion he says it's provoked.

"I'm happy to have people pick up [the video], and saying, 'Here's Matt Damon pwning somebody. […] If they follow up by coming to our site, it complicates their easy glib dismissals."

Whole thing here.

Read Reason's vast archive on education beginning here. Then check out Tim Cavanaugh's interview with none other than Michelle Fields, back in a simpler age.