Stay classy, Chris Matthews

posted at 11:45 am on June 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Chris Matthews had his opportunity to offer remembrances of his colleague, Tim Russert, on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night, and used it to give an anti-war screed. Even worse, he made Russert out to be a dupe bamboozled by the Bush administration while presenting himself as a superior journalist. Just watch it:

Even Keith Olbermann knew better than to go there, changing the subject quickly after Matthews’ rant. He provided a moment of irony later when the two most biased “journalists” on television heralded Russert’s objectivity as if they understood what the word meant. Neither Olbermann or Matthews could carry Russert’s shoes, and Matthews in particular proved why last night.

One might be tempted to give Matthews a pass, as the shock of his friend’s passing had to be hard on him, and one could see the pain. However, Matthews makes clear that he deliberately chose to make this point, leading with, “This might be tricky,” and later saying that he had spent two hours preparing for the delivery of this anecdote. The choice of casting Russert as a dupe within hours of his death was deliberate.

Scott Ott, the master satirist, notes that real life provides its own satire in this case:

The Hardball host’s live shot from Paris last night gave vivid illustration to the expression “like a belch in church.”

Asked by a justifiably teary-eyed Keith Olbermann to reflect on the sudden death, Mr. Matthews professed his love and admiration, calling Mr. Russert “everyman”, a “true patriot”, “Mr. America” — by which he meant that the Meet the Press moderator had supported the Iraq invasion because of the trumped-up threat of nukes. …

It’s hard to fathom a soul so craven that he would use a eulogy to resurrect his timeworn attack on the stagecraft of the Bush administration. But the overflow of Chris Matthews’ darkened heart also spilled onto the rest of us ‘patriotic Americans’ who were fooled by what Bush-Cheney Inc. was “selling.” In a nutshell, we’re all just a bunch of hard-working dopes like Tim Russert.

I think this illustrates the depth of NBC’s loss yesterday, and our own.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Has the infighting already begun?

d1carter on June 14, 2008 at 5:32 PM

I left this with Allah, but here’s more of the same:

http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/tim-russert-1950-2008.html

Donald Douglas on June 14, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Obo dreams about neutrality –wow. Who knew?

Brenda Walker on June 14, 2008 at 5:40 PM

I confess , I could watch only about 15 seconds of this before I could take no more. This person is just way too vile and disgusting for this construction worker/everyman. If Russert is an “everyman” to this Matthews twit, count me in as 1 of him!

Rick554 on June 14, 2008 at 6:05 PM

I was talking to this conspiracy theorist leftist friend of mine yesterday, young guy like me. We both agreed on something: Russert was a million times the journalist Matthews is( plus he isn’t a huge egomaniac and asshole).

Screw Matthews.

Dr. Manhattan on June 14, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Chris Matthews screws up all the time on TV.

If only he took his hand off his zipper.

Indy Conservative on June 14, 2008 at 6:28 PM

Unfreakinbelievable! There are not words for the depth of stupidity these two reach. With Tim’s passing, we can now close the door on nbc.

oakpack on June 14, 2008 at 6:36 PM

Mr Matthews needs to go to his place of worship, be it a leg tingle emporium or church, and ask for divine forgiveness for his salacious rant on Mr. Russert’s love of the United States. How dare Matthews even presume to even try to understand that love. Matthews is a selfish tool who only thinks of his face time on camera… NBC will show its colors should a slug of Matthew’s colors be heir apparent.

MNDavenotPC on June 14, 2008 at 6:39 PM

Chris Matthews: Living proof that even God has His off days.

ZK on June 14, 2008 at 6:52 PM

The eyes never lie: notice the difference between Matthew’s and Russert’s.

-

deesine on June 14, 2008 at 6:59 PM

“thats what a news man can do for the country” mathews said. i thought the job of a newsman was to research and report. the problem with mathews and olby is that they are trying to fit the news to there template.

custer on June 14, 2008 at 7:01 PM

embareassment

jerrytbg on June 14, 2008 at 7:02 PM

what a d**k

pleaseandthankyou on June 14, 2008 at 7:06 PM

I saw this piece last night on msnbc as well as a piece with Lawrence O’Donnel somehow bashing Bush and Cheney and trying to make that work in a tribute to Mr. Russert.

carbon_footprint on June 14, 2008 at 7:27 PM

As a practical matter, I’d give it to the new guys. I don’t think they have a prayer of survival otherwise.

JiangxiDad on June 14, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Yeah, you’re very probably right. NBC News hasn’t got any credibility to fall back on, they may as well go full steam ahead into Jerry Springer territory.

Gilda on June 14, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Sorry AP er Ed,

Ain’t gonna watch and let these two dorks ruin my
memory of a real good and decent man, Tim Russert.

Yea ! I know Tim was a lib but I liked the guy .
Thought he had a lot of class plus. . . . .

Texyank on June 14, 2008 at 7:51 PM

Just watch it:

No thanks, I’m trying to quit.

labrat on June 14, 2008 at 8:15 PM

Actually, Cap, maybe you should send this to Hissy Chrissy himself. Maybe he, more than any of us, needs to see how deep and dammaging his hatred has twisted him, so much so that even when a man he considered a close friend had just died, he could not seperate himself from that hate, and as such, he delivered not a testament to the nature of his departed friend, but rather, a testament to his own bitter pettiness, and hubris.

Maybe, if there’s a shred of humanity left in that pathetic, empty, shell of a man, he’ll see just how dispicable he comes off to the rest of us, and perhaps, take some time to re-examine just who he is.

SuperCool on June 14, 2008 at 8:33 PM

I refuse to watch also. Why? Three words. Olbermann and Matthews. What more needs to be said? Two of the sleaziest idiots on television today!

Vntnrse on June 14, 2008 at 8:50 PM

No one ever accused Matthews of having any “class”. He proved why.

GarandFan on June 14, 2008 at 9:10 PM

Olberdorf dreams of neutrality??? sick…

malkinmania on June 14, 2008 at 9:11 PM

For a brief moment, Chris Matthews feared that it wasn’t all about him. He soon remedied that moment!

alacrityfitzhugh on June 14, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Why is it when one of the enemy propagandists die, we are supposed to pretend we respected him? Neither one of these guys are/were classy.

My ode to Russert:

Tim, you were a hack,
To Moynahan and Cuomo you harkened back,
Now that you are gone,
who will come along,
to keep propaganda on track.

Spartacus on June 14, 2008 at 9:52 PM

Russert was the most fair of the mainstream media, Spartacus.

“Neither one of these guys are/were classy.”

Only one person died, Spartacus, and that was Russert.

wise_man on June 14, 2008 at 10:16 PM

That is why I I used “Are/were”, one is present tense, one is past tense.

Forum grammar checkers are the lamest.

Spartacus on June 14, 2008 at 10:25 PM

I’ve always been astounded by the fact that Chris Matthews has even made it to where he is today. That being said, I’ve always sort of LOVED to HATE him. After saying what he did about Russert, only the hate remains.
What a despicable A-hole! Beneath contempt.

Conservaboomer on June 14, 2008 at 10:48 PM

I heard similar stories on two different cable networks over the course of the last 36 hours. In each segment there was a younger journalist, an admirer of Russert, who went on about how much Tim cared about their careers and went out of his way to mentor them. What was striking about each segment was how the young wanna-be liberal journalist told identical stories, each saying that at a critical point in their career Russert took the time to call them personally and encouraged them by saying “Go get ‘em”. And in each instance the rookie journalist was about to enter the boxing arena better known as the White House Press Room, with their first encounter with President Bush.

I thought it odd to encourage one of these up-and-coming reporters by saying “Go get ‘em”. Why not “Good Luck” or “I know you’ll perform well”. But no, the words of advice were “Go get em”, clearly cheerleading them on to go on the offensive and put Bush’s feet to the fire. Such are the ways of liberal journalists, and as evidenced, the ways of Russert. He was just better at camouflaging his liberal agenda. But there is no question, that was the agenda he had. Anyone who watched his show for so many years couldn’t help noticing.

Was he a good father, a great father? Maybe he was, and from what I’ve heard of late most of his friends and colleagues say he was. But he’s not the only one.

Was he the greatest journalist of the past quarter century? No, not by a long shot. But a sudden death by heart attack at a relatively young age will bring on boatloads of embellishment, from both the left and the right, as I have taken note of this weekend.

Honor the man, celebrate his life, and be sorrowful for his untimely death. Have compassion for his loved ones, his wife, father and son.

But don’t make him out to be a saint, which is what I have seen taking place for hours on end since his passing.

We must always hold that title in reserve for someone far more deserving.

fogw on June 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM

fogw on June 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM

Pretty clear-headed comment there, and i’ve read every single one. I appreciated it, thanks.

surrounded on June 14, 2008 at 11:42 PM

But no, the words of advice were “Go get em”, clearly cheerleading them on to go on the offensive and put Bush’s feet to the fire.

From what I’ve read, Russert has been telling young journalists to “Go get em” for almost two decades (he’s been the host of MTP since 1991 and he was Bureau Chief in D.C. since 1988). This is well before the Bush Administration came into power.

And I guess many of the reporters he was encouraging weren’t covering the White House or Administration. After all, younger reporters are given less prestigious beats.

I simply don’t read the same motives in his encouragement as you do.

SteveMG on June 14, 2008 at 11:57 PM

Was he a good father, a great father? Maybe he was, and from what I’ve heard of late most of his friends and colleagues say he was. But he’s not the only one.

Was he the greatest journalist of the past quarter century? No, not by a long shot. But a sudden death by heart attack at a relatively young age will bring on boatloads of embellishment, from both the left and the right, as I have taken note of this weekend.

Honor the man, celebrate his life, and be sorrowful for his untimely death. Have compassion for his loved ones, his wife, father and son.

But don’t make him out to be a saint, which is what I have seen taking place for hours on end since his passing.

We must always hold that title in reserve for someone far more deserving.

fogw on June 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM

thats the part i agree with

surrounded on June 15, 2008 at 12:01 AM

Was he a good father, a great father? Maybe he was, and from what I’ve heard of late most of his friends and colleagues say he was. But he’s not the only one.

Was he the greatest journalist of the past quarter century? No, not by a long shot. But a sudden death by heart attack at a relatively young age will bring on boatloads of embellishment, from both the left and the right, as I have taken note of this weekend.

Honor the man, celebrate his life, and be sorrowful for his untimely death. Have compassion for his loved ones, his wife, father and son.

But don’t make him out to be a saint, which is what I have seen taking place for hours on end since his passing.

We must always hold that title in reserve for someone far more deserving.

fogw on June 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM
thats the part i agree with

surrounded on June 15, 2008 at 12:01 AM

Ditto.

Glynn on June 15, 2008 at 12:04 AM

fogw on June 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM

I think the sympathy regarding Russert stems not from his being non-partisan, which he wasn’t, but from his being at least markedly less self-indulgent in terms of that partisanship than most other liberals in his position. More importantly, he was apparently a genuinely pleasant and likeable guy. I can’t think of any other liberal television personalities (hell, or just liberals in general) with whom I could actually imagine sitting through a dinner, let alone enjoy the company.

Blacklake on June 15, 2008 at 12:11 AM

What is your problem, Chrissie? Does it irk you that Tim was Pat Moynihan’s fave, while you, the erstwhile senatorial apple polisher, were sent out for coffee by Tip O’Neill? Are you upset that Barry Hussein hasn’t called yet to float the WH Communications Director job (um, Pravda on the Potomac)? How else to explain this obviously vindictive, backhanded, oxygen sucking, er, eulogy? I always thought Russert was the lead Sunday morning enabler of the Left, but apparently someone else has been auditioning in secret all these years.

Heeeeere’s Rupert Pupkin Matthews!

Western_Civ on June 15, 2008 at 12:16 AM

I simply don’t read the same motives in his encouragement as you do.

SteveMG on June 14, 2008 at 11:57 PM

Good post. I would add that I think BDS and the underlying consistent liberal bias had made Republicans hate the press and consequently attribute agenda accordingly. But we need a press that holds the feet of government to the fire.

Spirit of 1776 on June 15, 2008 at 12:22 AM

The thrill is gone. Eh Chris. You Moron.

Kini on June 15, 2008 at 12:32 AM

I thought it odd to encourage one of these up-and-coming reporters by saying “Go get ‘em”. Why not “Good Luck” or “I know you’ll perform well”.

fogw on June 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM

He probably meant it like a football coach encouraging one his players. There’s a competition between a political administration, or a corporation, and the press, both sides wanting to assert control over a narrative.

dedalus on June 15, 2008 at 12:46 AM

That’s almost unwatchable, it’s so uncomfortable. What an ass.

Mark Jaquith on June 15, 2008 at 1:15 AM

It’s well known how much I adore fogw. Today was an extra special day – he posted a looooong and exceptionally thoughtful and leveling comment. Lucky to know you. Thank you,

Entelechy on June 15, 2008 at 1:56 AM

Was a pile of garbage. That’s all that can really be said about Matthews. I didn’t agree with all of Russert’s politics, but at least he remained dignified and was willing to try to digest what the ‘other side’ was getting at unlike Hardhead, er, Hardball.

“thats what a news man can do for the country” mathews said. i thought the job of a newsman was to research and report. the problem with mathews and olby is that they are trying to fit the news to there template.

custer on June 14, 2008 at 7:01 PM

No, didn’t you know a newsman’s job is to find facts…then omit those that go counter to your agenda or your companies agenda and twist and skew anything and everything possible to make your case truth be damned?

MannyT-vA on June 15, 2008 at 2:12 AM

Chris Matthews: Living proof that even God has His off days.

ZK on June 14, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Maybe God wanted to provide a cautionary example to the rest of us?

misterpeasea on June 15, 2008 at 3:01 AM

I am reminded of the parable about the scorpion and the turtle or horse or whatever creature was stung crossing the river with a scorpion on its back.

Why would we expect any more of Chris Matthews now than at any other time? The man is clearly infatuated with himself. Chris Matthews is the focus of Chris Matthews; there was no possible way for him, even as a journalist to keep his focus on the story…because HE IS NOT THE STORY.

I heard Matthews reference the “nut graf” one day last week. A nut graf is the introductory summary or paragraph of an feature style news article. It’s the kernel, the nut…the thing you’re getting at. In Chris’ case, it’s just about a nut.

***

Neither one of these guys are/were classy.

That is why I I used “Are/were”, one is present tense, one is past tense.

Forum grammar checkers are the lamest.

Spartacus on June 14, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Just so we are clear here. The presumed language which we are all attempting to use correctly is English. Right?

Keeping that in mind, I’m going to recommend that you remember the letters S, V and O. Those letters correspond to the first letters in the phrase subject verb agreement.

Neither of your comments is correct in this regard. The word neither is singular and requires a corresponding singular verb. None of the verbs you selected and repeated meets this requirement.

Ironically, or mischieviously, two of the sentences in the previous paragraph serve as accurate examples of SVO agreement.

No matter how lame you find that lesson, I hope you find it informative. You have been given a gift, the gift of grammar. You’re welcome.

Funny thing about those forum grammar Nazis.

The Race Card on June 15, 2008 at 3:07 AM

The word “neither” is singular

Smooth move grammar dude.

The Race Card on June 15, 2008 at 3:08 AM

The Race Card on June 15, 2008 at 3:07 AM

I understood the “are/were” thing…chris is the “are”, russert, may he RIP, is the “were”.

surrounded on June 15, 2008 at 3:10 AM

Russert never forgot where he came from: working class South Buffalo. And he was proud of where he came from. He knew his father and his father’s friends would be watching, and wanted the straight answers from politicians that those guys would want. He didn’t condescend to his own people. Those were the pople he wanted to please.

Chrissy Matthews has been trying to please, imitate and suck up to upper-middle class liberals ever since he left Philly.

Wethal on June 15, 2008 at 8:43 AM

Funny thing about those forum grammar Nazis.

The Race Card on June 15, 2008 at 3:07 AM

Even more funny is your assumption that people come to this particular forum to get the grammar corrected.

Funnier still is your sense of self importance that YOU are the person to do it.

Are you a Scientologist? Do you correct the grammar of strangers because you know YOU are the only one who can?

EJDolbow on June 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Are you a Scientologist? Do you correct the grammar of strangers because you know YOU are the only one who can?

BEST LINE EVAH!

gradyman on June 15, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Earlier post mentioned these two go into Jerry Springer territory. They have been there for quite some time. Olbergoebbels truly is the Jerry Springer of CableNews…..

adamsmith on June 15, 2008 at 1:02 PM

The body wasn’t even cold, and yet he did that…

There’s only one word to describe Chris Matthews: “Vulture.”

newton on June 15, 2008 at 1:29 PM

They decided to sell entertainment spittle flecked hate rather than journalism. I’ll bet I’m the only one here who remembers Lawrence Spivak from back in the day.

a capella on June 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM

soundingboard on June 15, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Other than the fact that he is jerk, Chris Matthews just proved that with the passing of Tim Russert, the inmates have indeed taken over the asylum.

pilamaye on June 15, 2008 at 3:11 PM

I watched this garbage live, and three words came to mind:

Paul Wellstone’s funeral.

And, yes, Matthews is panting for the promotion, but he isn’t a serious journalist.

Both his and Olby’s ratings are usually circling the drain, but, NBC nonetheless loves these chimps and trots them out quite frequently.

And why isn’t anyone considering the horrible notion that NBC would elevate David Gregory to MTP.

He is as deplorable as Matthews and Olby.

I wish that Zell Miller had whipped Matthews arse after the 2004 RNC convention, when he b****slapped Matthews for beating up on Michell Malkin.

molonlabe28 on June 15, 2008 at 6:28 PM

I wonder if Olbermann threatens to walk if he doesn’t get the MTP gig.

I sure hope so.

drjohn on June 15, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Sorry but I do not want to watch slime of a humans death. GB Tim Russert.

allrsn on June 15, 2008 at 11:58 PM

Mathews is “one of the two most biased journalists on television”? :) How liberal is AP supposed to be regarded as that he’s been balanced out by a nutcase?

freevillage on June 16, 2008 at 12:38 AM

Chris Matthews: consumate moron for life.

As for Russert’s MTP replacement?

Brit Hume is probably the only person remotely sensible enough to do it, but of course NBC’s wacko left viewers would go insane over it.

Russert was a great man that these two clowns don’t deserve to mention in third person.

BKennedy on June 16, 2008 at 6:58 AM

Hardfall has finally hit bottom. I bet Mr. Matthews is unable to recognize his @$$hole as his hear races by it on the way down.

MSGTAS on June 16, 2008 at 10:08 AM

What a dumb @ss — and whats worse, he’s a dumb @ss with an inflated sense of self worth. Obly is actually classy by comparison.

Two moments of unintended honesty: Matthews, “The unbiased journalist isn’t necessarily the purest.”

Olbermann: “It’s not going to be the same without being able to turn to someone who knows what he’s talking about.”

srhoades on June 16, 2008 at 10:26 AM

If there was any real fairness and justice in the world, it would have been Matthews and not Russert.

JeffB. on June 16, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Funny thing about those forum grammar Nazis.

The Race Card on June 15, 2008 at 3:07 AM

On a fast paced (and often done while working on something else) blog, grammar is secondary to idea.
Let me give you an example of how an idea is more important then grammar. You will understand exactly what is said, yet with incorrect grammar.
You ain’t nothin but one of them arrogent psuedo intellects, whom thinks them knows better. You am more stupid then who you are trying to corrects.
See how easy that was? We know you are arrogant, want to desperately (to the point of dissing someone to make you look better) be known as intelligent, , and you have shown yourself to be more stupid then the one you are correcting.

The last two paragraphs say basically the same thing…which one do you understand better?

right2bright on June 16, 2008 at 12:30 PM

They call Wash DC the Beltway for a reason. These are 2 of the worst in the “TOOL-belt”.

roninacreage on June 16, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Even more funny is your assumption that people come to this particular forum to get the grammar corrected.

Funnier still is your sense of self importance that YOU are the person to do it.

Are you a Scientologist? Do you correct the grammar of strangers because you know YOU are the only one who can?

EJDolbow on June 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

I am important to myself and apparently so important to you that you invest your valuable time with a personalized response. I find that odd and amusing.

No worries Sweetheart. I will continue to highlight those points that I find humorous, annoying, inspiring, insipid, amazing, unbelievable, important, informative, etc as long as my fingers, particularly the middle one, can stroke these keys.

You read what I wrote and seemed entertained by my mere presence. So sounds like you got your money’s worth.

Here’s a tip. I don’t care if you come here to get corrected on grammar or not. I call it like I see it. My native language is English. I think it’s sad that it is not held in higher regard.

I call myself on my own errors too. You no like? Skip my comments and go ride someone else’s ****.

The Race Card on June 16, 2008 at 3:21 PM

As appalling as Matthews’s comments were, that’s Matthews, as TRC said. He’s an appalling, self-interested dirtball.

But the comments were also quite revealing, in that he referred to Russert – specifically because of his argument in favor of military action against Iraq – as “a true American Patriot”.

The reason I find this so telling is that Matthews had already asserted that no one was better prepared or harder working than Russert, and that he looked up to him as an outstanding journalist and was “amazed” by his effort and performance “Sunday after Sunday”.

So, once again, we have the best informed people in the arena, including virtually every relevant Democrat and leaders of any number of our foreign allies all in agreement with the administration about the threat and the responsible course of action, and then we have the American left.

Thanks for the clarity, Chris.

Jaibones on June 20, 2008 at 10:01 AM

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