Frequent readers of my blog know I’m in love with most things related to MSNBC, but I felt a twinge of regret for my allegiance when I saw Chris Matthews beat the hell out of Senator Kirk Watson during Tuesday night’s primary coverage.
I’m not saying that Senator Watson was the most eloquent Obama surrogate, but Chris Matthews acted like a schoolyard bully. There is hardball and then there is mercilessness.
I’m not surprised that I’m faced, yet again, with my own conflicting love of Chris Matthews. While highly entertaining and often correct in his political observations, Matthews is a classic alpha-male who talks first and thinks later. He’s all reaction and defensiveness.
At his worst — when he’s a little tired and overworked — Matthews can’t get past his own ego. When accused of being anti-Hillary, he apologizes on the air but also stupidly pinches her cheek. When accused of having a man-crush on Obama, Matthews responds with classic alpha-male-tactics by attacking a random surrogate from the Obama campaign.
- Look at how fair I am, you can hear Matthews tell himself. I just gave this random congressman the shlacking of his life.
It’s times like these when I struggle with the distinction between Chris Matthews and Bill O’Reilly. If this is the liberal media, I’d like to look for a new media outlet.
Now here comes the HR part:
I just wonder when Chris Matthews will stop reading his own press and start doing his job — the one where he earns roughly $5 million/year. If I were the SVP of Human Resources for MSNBC, I might suggest some kind of performance improvement plan. I’d take him out to lunch, remind him that he (& the ‘fall guy’ David Shuster) almost lost the Democratic debate with their loose lips, and make it very clear to Matthews that he is expected to play hardball and contribute credible, thoughtful, and calm commentary to the MSNBC election night coverage.