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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Egomaniac in His Element

posted by on April 9 at 16:20 PM

Lots of chatter today about the long Chris Matthews profile that’s coming out in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.

It’s a great piece, and well worth getting lost in while pretending to work. Perhaps of particular interest to Slog readers will be passages, such as this one, that touch on “the sexist thing”:

The conversation moved to what Matthews calls “the sexist thing,” or what Media Matters calls Matthews’s “history of degrading comments about women, in which he focuses on the physical appearances of his female guests and of other women discussed on his program.” This would include Matthews loudly admiring the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham (“You’re great looking, obviously — one of God’s gifts to men in this country”), Elizabeth Edwards (“You’ve got a great face”), Jane Fonda (“You also dazzle us with your beauty and all the good things”), CNBC’s Margaret Brennan (“You’re gorgeous”) and Erin Burnett (“You’re beautiful… . You’re a knockout”), among others. The Burnett episode was especially remarked upon. In the video Matthews instructed Burnett to “get a little closer to the camera.” As Burnett became confused, Matthews persisted: “Come on in closer. No, come in — come in further — come in closer. Really close.” It was, at the minimum, uncomfortable to watch.

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Does Chris Matthews actually have any fans, anywhere? He offers something to annoy everyone, and not in a particularly interesting way.

Posted by tsm | April 9, 2008 4:30 PM

"Erin Burnett" is really close to "Erica Barnett". like 3 letters. too close for a mere coincidence.

Posted by max solomon | April 9, 2008 4:37 PM

@2: Just a different version of the same cyborg. The Erin Burnett model has the upgraded chip set and the higher end accessories. (And comes with an actual audience!)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | April 9, 2008 4:43 PM

Still has the inferior genitalia and processor though...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | April 9, 2008 4:45 PM

Don't joke about cyborgification, the matter is far to serious!

Posted by nbc | April 9, 2008 4:46 PM

Christ, he is such a creepy boob.

Posted by laterite | April 9, 2008 4:49 PM

The Eric Barnett, on the other hand, comes fully equipped with the upgraded genitalia & Processor, but, unfortunately, only appears to be available with red upholstery, (which is a disappointing design choice). Chip set may be a little buggy in this model though...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | April 9, 2008 4:54 PM

Chris Matthews will join the neocons and the deadenders in their trek into the wilderness for forty years.

This is their fate.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 9, 2008 5:03 PM

Matthews is the most perspicacious analyst of politics on national television today, and I (and so many I know) applaud his many astute insights and wonderful humor. His team is a nice antidote to the weak, contextless opining on CNN & Fox. The NYTimes hatchet job was unfortunate- could he have struck a nerve with the Hillary and McCain supporters? He would make an excellent senator, campaigning for human dignity and hope. You go Chris!
Peace, Ken

Posted by Ken | April 9, 2008 5:24 PM

like most of them he's got his problems.

sexism being an obvious one. favoring a bunch of catholic boys from big cities being another, when it's him Barnicle and Buchanan watch out.

But mostly they all seem to fall into certain "narratives" a/k/a media spawned lies then repeat ad infinitum. Then they'll say things like "well it doesn't matter if this particular incident is true, becuase it will be perceived as true, becuase it fits into a pattern."

They abnegate their own agency and motive force in the political system and never take responsibility for being biased which from time to time, they are.


Posted by unPC | April 9, 2008 5:35 PM

It's not a great piece, it's a hatchet job. Matthews isn't liked by the liberal establishment because of his old-school view of gender relations and his refusal to toe the politically correct line. Oh my God! A television personality is a self-promoting blowhard in real life? The same unflattering portrayal could undoubtedly be written about any of the on-air personalities. At least he, unlike Keith Olberman, doesn't simultaneously talk down to his audience and reveal a startling lack of insight. Matthews brings something to the conversation.

Posted by Adam | April 9, 2008 7:05 PM

Does any real human not hate Chris Matthews? He's like that guy in 1984 that you would all, like, hate on together. He's that guy. He has no fans and if everybody didn't enjoy hating him so much he wouldn't have a job.

I tried to read that article but felt sick on the first page and stopped. Dude is gross and disgusting.

Posted by elenchos | April 9, 2008 8:21 PM

Hate Chris Matthews, of course. What a silly man.

Just to keep it real:
Margaret Brennan -- MMM MMM!

Posted by S | April 9, 2008 9:50 PM

maybe Jane Fonda isn't such a great example, though. It doesn't seem sexist for a host to mention the beauty of a movie star; George Clooney gets the same treatment on talk shows.

Posted by yuiop | April 10, 2008 1:01 AM

For some reason, despite everything - and I get it, really - I still like him. I can't help it. It's his nutty glee. But the best part of this article was this:

(An MSNBC spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, tried, after the fact, to declare Russert’s outfit “off the record.”)

to quote Crazypants,

Posted by Phoebe | April 12, 2008 3:39 AM

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