Chris Matthews Being Chris Matthews

Overtly biased. Unable to let a guest answer a question without interruption. Addicted to the sound of his own voice. Ahh, Chris Matthews in a nutshell — exhibit “A” in the downfall of American journalism.

Not much surprises me anymore when it comes to the mainstream press and obvious bias. At most, I’m surprised that these people have no problem whatsoever overtly abandoning their objectivity and, in turn, their credibility.

Take, for example, the recent interview by MSNBC’s Matthews of former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. Matthews actually came out and asked Fleischer about the economy and country left “in our hands,” as though he is already trying to make good on his election night promise to do anything he could to ensure that President Obama succeeds.

The transcript of the interview is extremely telling. For crying out loud, Matthews actually asks Fleischer about the “financial crisis which WE inherited.” Now, if he were to say the “financial crisis we are in” or something along those lines, perhaps it could be construed as though he were taking about the American people as a whole, but he wasn’t. He mentioned “inherited” and, in terms of politics, only one group really “inherited” anything — the Obama administration.

I guess Matthews associates himself with the administration now. How wonderfully objective.

Fleischer, on the other hand, was outstanding. He called Matthews out not only on his annoying habit of interrupting (did you hear the people in the studio snickering?). He got in a little jab about Matthews’ abandonment of journalistic standards. And he even made a valid point that, when we get attacked again, Matthews would likely contribute to those who blame it on George W. Bush while refusing to look at Bush’s predecessor when it comes to the attitude leading up to September 11, 2001.

This was my concern throughout the election, that the very same mainstream press who were so in the tank for Barack Obama would not cover him fairly should he win. And we’ve seen just that so far, with the way the Republicans were painted as obstructionists–yet there were almost no stories about the Democrats’ obstructionism, especially on judicial nominees, under Bush–and most recently with the media attention that a simple four-day market rally received.

I studied journalism in college. I still remember the first time I walked down the second floor hallway of Tichenor Hall at Auburn, looking at the main wall of the offices, covered in the text of the First Amendment. It just felt right. We’ve lost so many of those ideals even only in the past ten years or so, with 2008 being, for me, the year that American journalism died.

Not only are we fighting an uphill battle when it comes to fair coverage of the daily movements of the Obama administration, but we’ll be fighting that uphill battle in perpetuity, at least until the media has embarrassed itself to the point which it must return to its roots in order to regain trust and once again become relevant.

Funny, I thought that the conduct of Chris Matthews alone during this past election, between the tingle going up his [third] leg and his constant commenting as to the “romanticism” of Barack Obama’s rhetoric and more, would have provided that embarrassment. I guess not.

In the meantime, the Fleischer interview is worth a look in its entirety, even if for no other reason than to shake your head at the downfall of American journalism.

Rick Saunders, upon seeing this, suggested that we sell tickets to a Robert Gibbs – Ari Fleischer smackdown. What a great idea! We could sell out Madison Square Garden. We could serve popcorn and booze. Helen Thomas could parade around in a bikini between rounds with the Round Number card. Well, wait a moment … maybe that’s not such a good idea. In the meantime, while we work out the details, check back today for a great piece by Mr. Saunders.

– Jeff



  1. BlueWater says:

    Chris is an embarrassment, but he gets paid the big bucks to be that embarrassment. I can accept the fact that some people revel in their own swill, but I have a hard time with a “news (mewl?)” organization that pays for it. MSNBC should stand for Miasmal Socialist Network to Bolshevize the Country

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bravo, Ari…that is priceless and so indicative of the bias of the MSM but Matthews goes much further than simply being biased. He is a disgrace to the profession of journalism. He is so disgusting, I would never watch him if the clip had not been on this site but it was great seeing someone confront him and to watch him slobber all over himself when he gets backed against the wall with FACTS. I wish someone would interrogate him about how his ‘messiah’ is doing so far…that would be a hilarious exchange!

  3. Gail B says:

    Jeff, while I worked at the newspaper in North Carolina, people said things to my face–as they probably did to you while you worked at the South Carolina newspaper–about the bias press and media. I didn’t write about political parties but about what I thought was a right or wrong direction taken by a party or government entity, no matter whose it was. That isn’t bias, folks. That’s journalism.

    Chris Matthews used to irk me to shreds, and I am ecstatic that someone stood in his face about cutting off remarks. How many times have I said to him/the TV screen, “Didn’t your mama teach you any MANNERS?!”

    Ari Fleischer put Matthews in his place more than once, and he did so with a smile. That’s class!

    Good clip. Good writeup. Good website. (Good coffee, too.) Thanks, Jeff! You’re the best!

  4. Anonymous says:

    1. i think Matthews is terribly rude

    2. i think he’s also either drunk or plain crazy.


  5. cher-pa says:

    Anyone interested in watching pennsylvania’s rally for the 10th ammendment.Watch it live at noon today go to
    Sam is a Pa. state representative that actually works for the people instead of his party.Pennsylvania could use more representatives like him!

  6. PJ says:

    Matthews is a total embarrassment to journalism! He is a complete moron and utterly low class. We don’t even get MSNBC on our cable anymore (it isn’t offered) and I don’t even see it on tv when I travel. Does anyone get that idiotic channel anymore?

  7. Claudia says:

    Every time I see Matthews in anything, I almost barf, but I watched this clip today to see if there was anything new in his character and demeanor and NO THERE WASN’T ANYTHING WORTH WATCHING EXCEPT ARI trying to do a good job at putting Matthews in his stinking little corner, where he should stay. IF I were Matthews’s mother, I would have had him in the corner every minute of his young life with a mouth like his and a pride that won’t even let anyone else speak.

  8. Gail B says:

    Thanks, cher-pa! Will spread this news to the networkers right now!

  9. ForMySons says:

    Its getting really boorish listening too the "inherited " excuse. Without even touching on the Dem leadership in Congress, and the obstruction of a Republican Presidents attempts to rein in Fannie and Freddie( the root of our current evil) ….I would like to remind the Inflated One that he BOUGHT this job, bought and paid for it with contributions from who knows ?
    It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great. ( Jimmy Dugan mgr, Rockford Peaches A League of Their Own)
    Suck it up, take the reins, or take the blame…..You wanted it, you own it, and no there aren't any money back guarentees.for any of us.
    I am of the mind that Teabags are poignant, and get a point across, but I would rather see the crowds outside the White House holding up mirrors, thousnads of mirrors, every time Our Unfaulted Leader infers that his predecessor did this to him. Hold them up during the Wed night parties with Earth Wind & Fire, so similar to the one John Kerry objected to held by AIG ( OHMy !)
    Can the rhetoric, shelve the politics, and DO the job you so desperatly wanted you had to beg , borrow and steal, lie and cover up to get.
    Welcome to the Big Leagues you sanctimonious, egomaniacal, favor owing out the crapper, MSM lip target
    Someone should paint Mathews name on the bottom his shoes, so if his Exalted One stops short we'll know who's feet they are dangling out of his a$$

  10. Anonymous says:

    O.K. You did it Jeff by your use of the word “third”.

    You put in writing the impression I had of Matthews when he made the comment about getting a “tingle up his leg”. I wanted to remind him of the commercial on TV about “If (it) lasts more than four hours, see you physician immediately or you could suffer permanent damage”.

    Of course, the TV commercial doesn’t specify what kind of damage it will be, but obviously, as Chris so clearly shows, it was brain damage that would result. But I figured that out all on my own simply by the actions of that dufus since Obama’s erecti — oh darn. Now I’ve done it. I meant to write “election”.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can’t watch the rally for the 10th Amendment today, I need my rest so I can stay up late enough to watch OUR President go on late night tv with Leno!

    How presidential?

    When is this man going to start seriously running this country rather than politicking? What a joke.

  12. Gail B says:

    Watched the rally–it was inspiring! Thanks for the heads-up!

    And, Jeff, that’s a beautiful picture of Auburn’s Tichenor Hall.

    Y’all have a good day!

  13. Laurie says:

    Jeff….sign me up for tickets to the “smackdown”….I will come up to NY from NC for that match…

    As usual, a great article and Ari was absolutely great!! I’d buy tickets to his smackdown too…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Nice piece, Rick. You are quickly becoming one of my favorite political writers.

    Matthews and his tingle! Hey, I’m an open minded guy, Mr. Matthews. Whatever flips your happy switch.

    I turned on the TV this morning and the POS (short for POTUS) was droning on about something. The usual empty rhetoric. I flipped him off (turned off the TV I mean) and put on some Jimmy Buffet instead while I cranked up the ol’ PC and went back to work.

    Ever have a day like that?


  15. Hal says:

    One of my favorite Chris Matthews interviews was the one at the RNC convention in 2004 with Zell Miller. Priceless. Just watched it again on Youtube…such a great treat seeing Matthews get put in his place!!!

  16. Dee says:

    It is sooo difficult for me to watch Chris Matthews and that Rachel Maddox (?sp) on MSNBC. Actually, I don’t watch that station. Ari did a class job on this video. Bush will be blamed, one way or another, for everything that goes wrong for the next 4 years.
    Thanks for a great article.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Matthews isn’t a journalist. He’s a propagandist.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Boo hoo. I keep forgetting that Chris Matthews and MSNBC are the entire national mainstream media. Let’s just forget about the competing voices of ignorance on the right at Fox News or the Washington Times.

  19. suek says:

    “He campaigned for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 4th congressional district in 1974, losing to incumbent Congressman Joshua Eilberg in the Democratic primary. Matthews received about 23% of the vote.[3] He was a presidential speechwriter during the Carter administration. Matthews later worked six years as a top aide to long-time Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O’Neill, playing a direct role in many key political battles with the Reagan administration.”

    Taken from Wikipedia on Chris Matthews.

    He’s a Democrat politician wannabe. Just helping the home team.

  20. goddessdivine says:

    I couldn’t even finish the clip, but enjoyed watching Ari just mop Chris on the floor with this ‘debate’. I also can’t help but be reminded of W’s ongoing class as he NEVER claimed ‘inheritance’ of shoddy Clinton policies as a contributing factor to our economic downturn. (Sup-prime mortgages anyone?) It just bugs me to no end how completely blind the left is about these failures.

    Great piece.

  21. Anonymous says:

    People who criticize President Bush really need to check out this article “Bush’s Big Victory.” Everyone should be thankful for President Bush’s “failed” tactics that the MSM has/is proclaiming…

  22. CAL says:

    Don’t lament too much about the death of journalism. America is waking up. The guys not covering Obama objectively are not getting ratings. Look at all the newspapers that are hurting – Seattle Post-Intelligence, the NY Times, the Chicago Tribune. Look at Matthews and Olberman’s ratings. Fox kills them in the ratings. Look how poorly the nightly news casts are doing compared to what they used to get. People are turning to internet and talk radio more and more. Unless NBC, ABC, CBS and the various newspapers start covering things fairly, they will continue to lose market share. Ever since the election, I have really turned to the internet for my news. I check your site and others everyday. I find I know about things before I hear it on talk radio and I learn things I never hear on TV. I feel more informed than ever. Thank you for that!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Can we ship the moron Matthews to the Middle East and put him in front of a firing squad??? He is a typical Liberal Looney who unfortunately wasn’t in the World Trade Center when it came tumbling down!!! All I can say is….get help Matthews for your Bush Derangement Syndrome idiot!!!

  24. CAL says:

    People need to start asking NBC when they are going to start curbing executive pay. NBC is owned by GE which took TARP money for its GE financing segment. Matthews and Olberman make millions of dollars. Way too much money I think for the kind of misinformation they disseminate. People should call into GE/NBC and ask them to cap Matthews and Olbermans’ salaries. We will see then if Matthews and Olberman will live by the words they preach.

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