I’m as surprised as you are.
Fun Friday evening shinola-stirring from BuzzFeed, especially if you’re a fan of the boss emeritus who remembers this old post. (“Are you sure you are old enough to be on the show? What are you? 28?”) First, the chitchat before Buono’s “Hardball” segment began:
“Can I say you’re attractive?” Matthews asks.
“No, you can’t,” Buono remembers responding.
Then the interview itself:
Matthews interrupts Buono mid-sentence 14 times, spends a hefty chunk of the five-minute segment on a nasty political ad that then-governor Jon Corzine ran against m in 2009 (“Didja like that ad?”), and when it comes time for a commercial break — Matthews extends a hand across the anchor desk. “You’re very nice, senator.”
Off the air, the host makes a sort of peace offering: “Oh, I was tough on you.”
Buono disagreed. “I wasn’t gonna give him the satisfaction,” she later recalled, two weeks after the April interview. “I said, ‘No you weren’t.’ And he said, ‘But don’t worry, people will all just be talking about how you were on Hardball.'”
“That’s what this ass said,” Buono added, standing outside a campaign event in Bayonne, N.J., just about six months out from Election Day.
I went back and watched. In a five-and-a-half-minute segment, she gets to speak for something like a minute and 51 seconds. The whole point of her doing this was to get a crack at a mic that isn’t being monopolized by Christie, yet Matthews ends up talking or showing ads for roughly two-thirds of it and a chunk of other third is spent pressing Buono on Christie’s bipartisanship, Christie’s 2016 chances, etc etc. Even when she does get a second to critique Christie on policy, Matthews interrupts so often to change the subject that she can’t get a coherent answer out. The longest stretch of Buono talking is something like 20 seconds. If for no other reason, watch it to see the stinkface she makes at the end when he’s bidding her farewell. That’s what the interview equivalent of a fart looks like. But she did end up proving him right: Thanks to the BuzzFeed piece, people will now be talking about how she was on “Hardball.”