Recently while being interviewed by Leslie Stahl (of 60 Minutes, she wants you to know), Rachel Maddow tried to explain to her that Chris Matthews is not a liberal. Stahl was adament that he was, pushing it to Maddow like she was an idiot not to realize something so obvious.
Finally Rachel broke it down for Leslie — who has spent too many years in Washington to know up from down — and I can imagine she spoke especially slowly and clearly so that the long-time Villager (© Atrios) could understand:
LESLEY: But everybody thinks MSNBC is moving in that direction. That that’s exactly what the shift is — where you are — that people there are trying to make you into the un-Fox network, the liberal place to go.
RACHEL: Well, if you think about the way that Fox was founded, though – Fox was founded by Roger Ailes. It was created from his perspective as a political operative. His background was as a Republican activist of the highest order. There’s no equivalent on MSNBC. I think MSNBC is trying to find hit shows.
LESLEY: Everybody they hire to anchor their shows is distinctly liberal and encouraged to express themselves that way, wouldn’t you say?
RACHEL: At MSNBC?
RACHEL: Well, I wouldn’t call David Shuster a liberal. I would barely call Chris Matthews a liberal. He voted for Bush. And I certainly wouldn’t call Joe Scarborough a liberal.
LESLEY: Chris Matthews is a liberal.
RACHEL: Well, Chris Matthews is a Democrat.
LESLEY: He’s a liberal.
RACHEL: Chris Matthews – well, you could interview him about it and find out. If Chris Matthews had an Air America radio show, he’d get torn apart by our listeners.
LESLEY: So he doesn’t go that far. I see. OK.
RACHEL: No. I wouldn’t put Chris and my politics in the same canoe.
While Matthews once in a blue moon talks sense about some policy and is at times on the right side of an issue (while still unable to discuss it sanely), he’s erratic, emotionally immature, in love with power of any kind, and thinks politics is just a game rather than about real people who can suffer as the result of bad policy, not to mention bad punditry.
Here is a prime example of how his very obvious sexual hangups destroy whatever shred of reason he wanders across in his cavernous brain, and why he most definitely is NOT a “liberal” and why real liberals and progressives loathe and distrust him more than almost any other TV news personality. (He has a special page on Media Matters dedicated to his wankery and has been named by the watchdog group as Misinformer of the Year in 2005. He also has prompted the creation of several blogs by netroots activists for the sole purpose of exposing and decrying his special brand of nonsense.)
Frankly, I was hoping that Chris Matthews was going to run for the Senate to replace Arlen Spector, something he was seriously exploring last year. That possibility got dashed when his MSNBC contract was renewed recently. Pity — I really think he would do less damage to the country there.