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Chris Matthews

Mark Leibovich hits the nail on the head

Matthews’s bombast is radically at odds with the wry, antipolitical style fashioned by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert or the cutting and finely tuned cynicism of Matthews’s MSNBC co-worker Keith Olbermann. These hosts betray none of the reverence for politics or the rituals of Washington that Matthews does. On the contrary, they appeal to the eye-rolling tendencies of a cooler, highly educated urban cohort of the electorate that mostly dismisses an exuberant political animal like Matthews as annoyingly antiquated, like the ranting uncle at the Thanksgiving table whom the kids have learned to tune out.

That probably does a pretty good job of characterising my reaction to Chris Matthews.  And yet…

A number of people I spoke with at NBC said that Russert can be disdainful of Matthews, whose act he often sees as clownish. They also told me that Russert believes Matthews is something of a loose cannon who brings him undue headaches in his capacity as NBC’s Washington bureau chief.

While I take issue with Matthews, he beats Russert any day of the week in my book.  Matthews is odd, and a bit too much the product of his upbringing and generation.  Russert, on the other hand, just comes across as a bad journalist.

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2 Responses

  1. Russert comes across as a cross between an apologist and a joke. And when I say “joke,” I don’t mean the ha-ha variety.

  2. Matthews and Russert moderating debate b/w Hillary and Obama….

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