Wednesday, January 9, 2008

In Praise of People Who Criticize Chris Matthews


"This Matthews guy is driving me crazy!"

If you're familiar with Chris Matthews and his MSNBC show Hardball, you already know that he's kind of a jerk. It's not like he does much to hide it, what with all of the tongue baths he has given the Bush administration over the years and his nonstop swiping at Bill and Hillary Clinton. You might have also noticed his tendency to lose interest in interview subjects who resist coaching, or the way he spits (sometimes literally, which might explain why so many of his guests appear via satellite) questions at his panel in a tone that suggests he cares less about their answers than about making his own not-so-subtle points with what he asks them. It is also hinted at in the way he sometimes says the word "gay" like he's saying "date rape" or "chlamydia," but that's a post for another day.

His agenda-pushing was certainly on full display during his Iowa caucus coverage, in the
language he used to describe Barack Obama. And for the last several weeks, it has been completely unavoidable when he talks about Hillary Rodham Clinton. Matthews attacks her so frequently, so viciously, with such unabashed glee, that it almost makes you wonder if his hatred isn't hiding something deeper. Something private. Very private. Fine, I'll come right out and say it. What if his invective is a decoy, partly borne of subconscious self-sabotage, that must be deployed with increased frequency as he desperately struggles to smother an illicit and all-consuming sexual passion for a powerful and unattainable woman? Seriously, consider the language he uses when he talks about Clinton possibly defeating Obama and tell me he hasn't dreamed of the senator from New York showing up at his dressing room with a riding crop in hand, ready to punish him for all the negative things he has said about her.

That is why I was thrilled to wake up this morning and see that Matthews, in the wake of Hillary's New Hampshire victory, is being called on his boorish, unprofessional behavior. And not just in sloppily written, ultimately meaningless blurbs by jackasses like me. If you haven't already, you might want to check out:

Do you get the idea I kind of liked the Rebecca Traister article? I'm not sure I was clear enough.

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