Remember when Hillary Clinton supporters accused Chris Matthews and MS-NBC of sexism in their coverage of the Democratic primaries, as the network became the Barack Obama Channel in 2007? Matthews has apparently decided to pick an easier target — one a lot less likely to get defended by PUMAs after the election. In an exchange with Howard Fineman last night, Matthews (not seen) says that Sarah Palin was like a mail-order bride for John McCain during the general election:
MATTHEWS: What happened between those two?
FINEMAN: Uh, it was a lost weekend that didn’t go beyond the weekend. [LAUGHTER]
MATTHEWS: He thought she was something special [crosstalk] but she wasn’t the genuine article.
FINEMAN: You know what? He had no idea, with all due respect to the Senator, he had no idea what he was getting. They came into the convention, and I was covering it closely at the time —
MATTHEWS: Was she a mail order bride? [CROSSTALK]
FINEMAN: Practically! He really didn’t know who she was!
Matthews (and Fineman, too) actually take two shots at sexual analogies here. At first, they discuss Palin as a one-night stand from a bar, and then they switch to the mail-order bride meme. If Matthews had talked about Hillary in such terms … well, actually, he did, which is why Hillary’s supporters objected so much during the campaign. It’s not exactly a classy moment here, either, considering Palin’s status as Governor of Alaska. Just what does a woman have to do to get Matthews to stop thinking of her as a sex object, anyway? Marry him?
No one will be surprised to see Matthews do this, but having Newsweek’s Howard Fineman busting a gut and joining in the fun may be a bit of a surprise. I thought Fineman had a little more class than this.