Christopher Matthews, beloved again!


Learning where love comes from: The analysts are all back on their feet after Monday night’s shock to the system.

Several had to be hospitalized after viewing Rachel Maddow introduce Chris Matthews this way:
MADDOW (10/14/13): My beloved colleague and pal, Chris Matthews, has just published the best-timed book ever about the real legacy of Ronald Reagan’s approach to governance, specifically his contentious but civil working relationship with the legendary Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill.

Joining us for an interview with the host of MSNBC’s Hardball, author of the new book Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, Mr. Chris Matthews. It is great to have you here tonight. Congratulations on the success of this book.
“Where did that come from?” we incomparably asked. Today, we may have received our answer.

Last night, the suits honored Chris at a DC fete. Politico reports some remarks by the number one suit:
GAVIN (10/16/13): If you take MSNBC President Phil Griffin at his word, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews is the cable network’s top employee.

“Everything he does, especially as he gets older and succeeds, is really impressive,” Griffin told a crowd at Washington, D.C.’s P.J. Clarke’s restaurant Tuesday night gathered to celebrate Matthews new book, “Tip and the Gipper: When politics worked.”

“Chris is now either the No. 1 or 2 guy every night since we moved him to 7 p.m.,” said Griffin, referring to Matthews new time slot at the network. “He also beats everybody in the competition—meaning Fox, our big challenger—one out of three nights. And we hope to do that regularly. It’s impressive what he’s done. We call him a national treasure at MSNBC. If you’ve ever seen Chris at an airport, you know what that means. Everyone comes up to him.”

Griffin didn’t stop there with the praise.

“We asked everybody who’s on air at MSNBC to tell us what was the most impressive thing about your first day at MSNBC. By far the leading person to be talked about—by over a third of the persons—was joining a network with Chris Matthews. He’s beloved at MSNBC and around politics.”
We understand why Griffin is stressing Chris’ work since he got a bit older. Back when he was still in his 50s and serving the interests of owner Jack Welch, his work was scandalously bad, utterly inexcusable.

Except to David and Joan! Moving right along:

For the record, Fox isn’t exactly MSNBC’s “big challenger.” Fox swamps MSNBC in the ratings, although the shutdown seems to have helped MSNBC.

Beyond that, Matthews doesn’t beat Fox one out of three nights. Here’s his head-to-head with Greta over the last six nights, total viewers in millions:
Monday, October 14: Greta 1.915, Chris 1.264
Friday, October 11: Greta 1.662, Chris 0.985
Thursday, October 10: Greta 1.783, Chris 1.172
Wednesday, October 9: Greta 1.944, Chris 1.271
Tuesday, October 8: Greta 1.814, Chris 1.035
Monday, October 7: Greta 1.929, Chris 1.197
Those numbers for Chris are surprisingly good. But as many people can see, Greta’s numbers are—what’s the word we’re after?—bigger. (On a few occasions in recent weeks, Chris has prevailed “in the demo.”)

You can hardly expect a cable news boss to restrict himself to the facts. With that, we reach our key point. There you see that word again:

Chris Matthews is “beloved!” Someone seems to be copying off somebody else’s paper.

For the record, Chris is a perfectly decent guy, if you can overlook his past work. But have we told you that these people are trying to sell you a product?

Final point: That “over a third of the persons said it” falls a bit short of a rave.


  1. What's new except that Chris is now live at 7 EDT? How's Ed doing at the 5 EDT spot? Has he held up Chris's old numbers? Has it made a bit of difference? Couldn't they let Joe Madison take Al Sharpton's show?

    Does Chris's apotheosis mean Rachel is no longer the darling of the network? Hasn't she got new competition to contend with? How's it going to be going up against Megyn "Legs" Kelly? FOX must have put her at 9 EDT for some reason.

    I caught the tail-end of Alec Baldwin's new show Friday. Say what you will about Bloomingberg, he was never boring. Is it possible del Blasio will be the most boring mayor ever? Or has Baldwin simply not learned how to interview? Remember CNBC's Charles Grodin show of the 90s? Fading actor gets a platform for reminiscing about his glory days, but then fate decrees that it become a nightly rant about OJ? One could see the bitterness in his face as he riffed on bloody gloves. How will events cause Alec to lose control of his talkfest?

    Stay tuned. Or go out and meet somebody, loser liberals.

  2. Apart from any bias, Chris is a colossal buffoon. He eats, lives, and breathes politics every second of his life for decade after decade yet still knows less than your neighbor.

    1. “It makes me happy because you’re always a little notch beyond me. It always makes me feel in a comfortable center.” - c. mathews

      Centrism is the sum and substance of his politics which is very shallow but not disgraceful within a balanced political system during good economic times, but not when one of the two parties has become radicalized and the economy is being held together with massive money printing. if he lived in nazi germany, i wonder where his cherished centrism would have left him.

    2. Setting aside your violation of Godwin's Law, Chris Matthews has been calling for a return to the days when both sides could have deep disagreements but still negotiate and reach compromises because both sides held the common good above ideology.

      And he uses the example of his former boss, Tip O'Neill, and Ronald Reagan practically ad nauseum.

      In short, the solution to the radicalization of one political party isn't the opposite radicalization of each other, leading to some kind of political Armageddon in which one side eventually prevails now and for ever, because that's not the way the system in any democracy is set up.

      And this is the lesson lost on radical right far more than on Chris Matthews.

  3. three irish-catholic names filling up the fox prime time slots. very unfortunate, and as far as i can determine o'r and hannity are only of irish-catholic ancestry. good news is that the 42 year old husky voiced front woman apparently is descended from the emerald isle only on her fathers side. i wonder what he would have thought about her naming her son thatcher.

  4. How is the Howler doing? Page hits up? Have any negative reviews of Smartest Kids shown up since the eye opening series began?

  5. Gently but firmly, I remind anyone when it comes up how Matthews was Jack Welch's tool, and no one did more to make the era of George W Bush a reality than he did. Beyond that, so what?
    It appears this week that Obama's hard line with the right wing fruit cakes has, to a degree, paid off. Just as taking a hard line in the campaign probably got him reelected. The Daily Howler must be shaken, and is in event desperate to change the subject.

    1. You know, Greg, there was once upon a time in the history of this very blog where Somerby would have been all over the government shutdown and default story.

      What do we get now? Amanda Ripley.

    2. Anon. @9:10 AM

      We know, we know. You think Somerby's overdoing it with Amanda Ripley’s ballyhooed new book, The Smartest Kids in the World.

      We understand the complaint! But Ripley’s book is a remarkable text, a Rosetta Stone which helps us see the nature of modern “journalistic” practice.