Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chris Matthews is a Thug

I’ve given up watching Chris Matthews’ show Hardball on MSNBC. But I do still watch Keith Olbermann, and I prefer watching MSNBC’s coverage of the various primaries and that, sadly for both me and Mr. Olbermann means a nearly toxic dose of Matthews. There are many reasons I don’t like Chris Matthews, not the least among them is all the fake macho symbolism—the name of the show, Hardball, screams “tough guy,” the graphics and sounds are too much, over the top, unnecessary, and an assault on the eyes and ears., and his little features like “The Big Number,” push some revulsion button in me I can’t quite identify. But what I hate most about Chris Matthews is the way he attacks and dismisses his guests. He’s even rude to guests he likes, often talking over than, not quite letting them answer a question before he jumps in with his own version, his own answer to his own question. Why does such a bore have his own one hour, prime time news show? And why is Pat Buchannon still a guest on anybody’s show? I’d expect to see Pat Buchannon on Fox, but what’s he doing on MSNBC night after night?

Last night during the post-primary coverage a State Senator from Texas (I think) came on the show to talk about his support for Senator Obama. I was barely paying attention, until I heard Chris Matthews say, “What are Senator Obama’s legislative achievements!!!??” The poor guy talking about his support for Obama started over, sticking to his point, which had nothing to do with Obama’s legislative record, and more to do with Senator Obama as a candidate, as someone who inspires and motivates, and with only a couple of words out of his mouth, Chris slammed him, stopped him again and said, “Sir, You have to give me Senator Obama’s specific legislative accomplishments!!!!!” He was barely under control. The anger and intolerance were not under control. Maybe Mr. Matthews had some prior contact with this unfortunate person, but his question was too aggressive, too angry. And what was the point? O’Rielly plays gotcha politics. Rush plays gotcha politics. I don’t watch MSNBC for that. Thank god Keith Olbermann was there to remind Chris Matthews that they weren’t doing Hardball, they were doing election coverage. But it was the last straw for me. I will not watch Chris Matthews again.

But here’s a thought for MSNBC. Since we seem to be ready for an African American President, Maybe we’re ready for an African American Prime Time News Pundit. I nominate Eugene Robinson.

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