By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Chris Matthews chills out

In my latest for the Guardian, I describe my evening with in front of the TV set with Chris Matthews, the MSNBC blowhard who jumped the shark with his over-the-top anti-Hillary Clinton tirades following Iowa and New Hampshire. The new Matthews seems slightly diminished, but his political knowledge and enthusiasm are unflagging.

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  1. Anonymous

    nominal liberal leanings? Chris Matthews? Wow!!!!

  2. Rick in Duxbury

    Ted Kaczinski and David Koresh had “unflagging.. knowledge and enthusiasm” too. Tip must be spinning like a lathe.

  3. Peter Porcupine

    Chris Matthews provokes sympathy in me towards Hillary Clinton.’Nuff said,

  4. Anonymous

    Chris’s model was John McLaughlin. Get your hair done blond, speak loudly, move quickly and most importantly connect with VIP’s. I think he’s just like all DC based media. Talk amongst yourselfs, get rich, have a lengthy career.

  5. Anonymous

    Matthews is a bit of a cartoon character, and Olbermann takes himself too seriosly and is much too obsessed with Oreilly. Still,as a left leaning political junky, i find msnbc highly entertaining and informative, and really the only option. Fox isn’t even a consideration, and CNN is a joke most of the time. I even enjoy scarborough & buchanan on msnbc. Could live without dan abrams.

  6. Stella

    Matthews’ voice grates!

  7. jvwalt

    Dan: Not to nitpick your Guardian article, but… (a) Keith Olbermann has now been an MSNBC news anchor longer than he was at ESPN, so it’s unfair to dismiss him as a “sports guy”… (b) he’s not doing a Bela Lugosi impression at the end of the “Worst Person” segment… and (c) that “spooky music” happens to be the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, one of Bach’s best-known compositions. You wonder if it irks Matthews to be co-anchor with Olbermann? I wonder how Olbermann puts up with the antics of Matthews. Chris does know his politics, but his mannerisms and constant interruptions are extremely annoying.

  8. Dan Kennedy

    JV: Olbermann continues to do sports part-time, and it’s where he has actual expertise. Yes, he’s been hosting “Countdown” for a long time, but to the best of my knowledge he has no experience in either politics or non-sports journalism other than hosting his show. He is very smart and good at what he does. But Matthews, for all his faults, has a wealth of knowledge about politics that he displays whenever he interviews someone. And hey, are you saying that Bach never wrote spooky music?

  9. jvwalt

    Dan: Well, Olbermann may not have Matthews’ level of personal immersion in politics, but he seems to know politics and history better than most network anchors. And he hadn’t done sports in several years until NBC brought him onto their Sunday Night Football team last year. Aside from the very part-time SNF gig, he’s been doing nothing but news since 1997, as far as I can tell. So I think it’s unfair to characterize him as a “sports guy.” And Matthews’ personal involvement in politics brings a cost with it: he also brings the personal baggage — the grudges and all that — born of a lifetime in politics. I remember when a former political hack would have had a great deal of difficulty being taken seriously as a journalist. Ah, but that was before Stephanopoulos, Buchanan, Gergen, et al. Now, it’s a revolving door between politics and news. And I think it contributes to the “inside baseball” coverage that dominates political journalism today. These guys are more interested in tactics and personalities than in issues.

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