Nov
01
2011

Generation's Greatest Reporter Drops Bombshell Exclusive

NBC's Chris Matthews Show (10/30/11): CHRIS MATTHEWS: Welcome back. Bob, tell me something I don't know. BOB WOODWARD: That the White House has a secret plan to win the election and it's complex and it's secret, but it–look, Barack Obama wants to win so badly, as I understand it, everything in the White House is driven by the election and that level of commitment will take them to a point where he's going to show some leg in a way that people are going to say, wow, he really wants the job and this emotional connection could take place. MATTHEWS: […]

Apr
05
2011

The Bob Woodward School of Journalism

On Sunday's episode of NBC's Chris Matthews Show (4/3/11), the panel actually talked about criticism of the mainstream media, with some citing the media's Iraq War debacle as a major factor in the rise of blogosphere-based media criticism. The discussion got somewhat confused along the way, as this segued into a discussion of the entirely unrelated phenomenon of Republican political candidates who do not like to speak to journalists. Then the Washington Post's Bob Woodward weighed in with a solution. He explained that you can get in good with politicians–I mean, do investigative journalism–if you follow his simple advice: Tell […]

Feb
07
2011

The Right Way to Support a Friendly Dictator…er, 'Strongman'

From the Friday broadcast of the PBS NewsHour (2/4/11) came a discussion about how the U.S. supports dictators–which elicited some chuckles. Remember, Mark Shields is the one who plays the "left" on the program. MARK SHIELDS: Just one little point of personal privilege on Joe Biden, who did take a hit for not being able to say dictator, but in United States politics, I mean, it's always been, if someone is on our side, he is a strongman. (LAUGHTER) MARK SHIELDS: If he is on the other side, he is a dictator. I mean, that has sort of been the […]

Dec
13
2010

Obama's Best Week Ever?

On yesterday's Chris Matthews show on NBC, the assembled journalists all seem to agree that Barack Obama's decision to cut a tax deal with Republicans and come out swinging against the left was great news. Time's Mike Duffy: "These liberals may scream, but they've been screaming about Barack Obama since the beginning. This isn't anything new." Chris Matthews and NBC's Andrea Mitchell went back and forth about whether this was an actual "Sister Souljah moment" or a "mini moment." But Helene Cooper of the New York Times summed up the conventional wisdom best: I think President Obama just had a […]

Oct
08
2010

Chris Matthews' Role in MSNBC's Donahue Firing

Gabriel Sherman's piece in New York magazine (10/3/10) on the cable news wars includes a bit of history on MSNBC's firing of progressive host Phil Donahue in 2003; an internal memo at the timeworried that the showwould be "a home for the liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." Sherman focuses on MSNBC personality Chris Matthews–who sometimes claimshe was opposed to the Iraq War–and his desire to get Donahue fired: Donahue's problems only increased when Chris Matthews let it be known that he wanted Donahue off the air. Matthews was […]

May
07
2010

Chris Matthews, Iraq Truth-Teller

On May 4, 2010: What killed President Bush's credibility? His utter claim that the reason we went to war in Iraq was to search for nuclear weapons. Because he and his people were dishonest enough to make that claim, he ended up looking like an incompetent when we fought our way into that country and are still fighting our way out, only to find there were no nuclear weapons on hand. The incompetence became downright staggering when the commander in chief pranced on to an aircraft carrier with that "Mission Accomplished" banner flying overhead. The bozos couldn't even get the […]

Mar
22
2010

If Chris Matthews Were Capable of Embarrassment

…he would have to take a leave of absence to recover from the shame of having heaped ridicule on a guest who tried to explain to him how Congress could and would pass a healthcare reform bill. Daily Kos (3/22/10) recalled the January 22 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, in which guest Rep. Alan Grayson (D.-Fla.) pointed out that the Senate had already passed a healthcare bill, and that the House could approve it and then pass amendments that the Senate could accept via reconciliation. Matthews' response: "OK, OK. OK, you know, this show is about reality." Matthews continually mocked Grayson […]

Mar
16
2010

11 Out of 12 Pundits Agree: Obama Must Move to the Right

On his weekend NBC show, Chris Matthews regularly posts a question to 12 regular pundit/journalists–what he calls "The Matthews Meter." This Sunday (3/14/10), the question was: "Should Obama Move to the Center Instead of the Left as a Reelection Strategy?" Matthews explained it on the show: Let's go to the bottom line. We took it to The Matthews Meter, 12 of our regulars. What's the smartest political route for Obama right now, play to the center or to the left? Well, no contest here. Eleven say play to the center; just one says go left. That's about asclear a statement […]

Dec
01
2009

Still Upset About Obama's Dithering

A meeting of the minds between NBC host Chris Matthews and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius (Chris Matthews Show, 11/29/09): IGNATIUS: The long period of analysis, very deliberative, robs this of passion. This is–he was going to be a wartime president now, and he has to sell the country on the idea that our young men and women are going to go there, fight and get killed. MITCHELL: Yes. IGNATIUS: And, you know, I think this, you know, this is not going to…. MATTHEWS: So too much Chamberlain, not enough Churchill. IGNATIUS: Well, too much–too much college professor.

Oct
21
2009

Conservatives 'Work the Refs,' Chapter Eleventy Billion

Following the 1992 GOP convention, FAIR's magazine Extra! (11/92) highlighted remarks made by Rich Bond in which the then-Republican national chair explained the strategy behind the right's relentless charges of liberal media bias: There's some strategy to it. I'm the coach of a kids' basketball team and Little League Teams. If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is "work the refs." Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack next time. In a recent appearance on MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews (10/19/09), Pat Buchanan gave a first-hand account of how the strategy paid off for […]

Sep
14
2009

Yes, It Is Possible to Exaggerate How Hated Obama Is

"It is difficult to overstate President Obama's unpopularity in most of Louisiana," writes Campbell Robertson in a front-page New York Times article (9/11/09). Yet Robertson managed to pull it off. Robertson continues: "He lost handily to Senator John McCain here, picking up only 14 percent of the white vote. (The state is roughly two-thirds white.)" Fourteen percent? Wow, that is unpopular! But given that black and other non-white people have been able to vote in Louisiana for several decades now, wouldn't it make sense to give the actual share of the vote Obama received? That would be 40 percent, which […]

Mar
03
2009

David Gregory Mistakes Dow for Opinion Poll

David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press (3/1/09): The Obama stimulus package, $787 billion. The housing plan, $75 billion. That's $2.3 trillion. Seven hundred and fifty billion dollars additional in this document for additional bailout money for the banks. Meantime, what metric do we have to see how people–what people think of that government intervention? The Dow is one metric. It closed on Friday at its lowest level since 1997, just over 7,000. The Dow is not a measure about what "people" think about government policies. It's a measure of what the tiny, elite group of people who trade […]

Jan
24
2009

25 Most Influential (or Not) Liberals (or Not)

Leave it to Forbes to get someone from the Hoover Institution to do an "in-depth" feature on "The 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media" (1/22/09). The results are about as bogus as you might imagine, including a number of people who are not only not liberals, but who are actively loathed by the actual left end of the media spectrum–and the feeling is generally mutual: folks like Fred Hiatt, Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, Christopher Hitchens (did their Nation sub lapse in 1998?), Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan. Then there are some corporate journalists whose "liberalism" seems […]