On April 20, 2008, I read the New York Times Magazine article, “The Aria of Chris Matthews,” a lengthy exposé about the egocentric MSNBC host and his behind-the-scenes feud with some of the cable network’s “lights.” LINK
Matthews, writer Mark Leibovich claims, is absolutely paranoid that NBC/MSNBC is grooming David Gregory to replace him as the network’s main mouth. (Gregory, NBC’s longtime White House correspondent, hosted “The Race for the White House,” which has morphed into “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” on MSNBC’s nightly lineup.)
During the Democratic primaries you didn’t have to be a close observer to note Matthews’ on-camera tit-for-tat with fellow MSNBC star Keith Olbermann.
It’s hard to ignore that in the midst of all this in-house fussing and fuming, fighting and feuding, these guys’ boss Tim Russert dropped dead of a heart attack on 13 June.
Eric Boehlert at the media watchdog site, Media Matters, had this to say about the article, which reads like the stuff of an HBO mini-series script:
“Tongues are still wagging over The New York Times Magazine's cringe-inducing cover story about MSNBC talker Chris Matthews. The cringes came courtesy of the name-dropping Matthews, whose raging insecurities danced across nearly every page of the piece. As (standout political blogger) Digby noted after reading the opus, ‘He fulfills every single Village media cliché: obsessive social climbing, deep personal insecurity, primitively sexist and racist and just plain dumb.’ " LINK
My regular readers know I raised hell throughtout the Democratic primaries over Matthews’ overt sexism toward Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Despite my own negative feelings about Republican veep wannabe Sarah Palin, I noted that she, too, was a target of Matthews’ propensity for blatant sexist banter.)
Fast forward to yesterday and a conversation CNN’s Wolf Blitzer had with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) Blitzer, a no-nonsense newman, would not report a rumor unless it had some pretty substantial merit. He asked Specter what he thought about the scuttlebutt that Matthews is going to run against him as a Democrat in 2010.
The acerbic Specter replied, “I long ago adopted the philosophy of Satchel Paige, the old pitcher, and that is: I never look over my shoulder, never look behind. Somebody may be gaining on me. I run with blinders. Wolf, I'll be prepared, whoever my opponents are.” LINK
Nothing in prime-time equals Matthews’ on-air orgasms over politics and patriotism. Can it be that MSNBC’s big guy would give up his night job to sate his passion for such?
Or, does he know something we don’t?
If so, that would be a first.