I have long had major problems with Chris Matthews of MSNBC. Listening to him now, he really comes off like a real liberal. But I remember back when MSNBC was conservative and Matthews was right there with it. In addition, he seems to have been the major push behind MSNBC firing Phil Donahue in 2003.
There’s no doubt that Matthews is a hypocrite. Digby has written before about Matthews’ changing position on Bush. In 2003, he was very impressed with President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” photo opportunity. He said, “This week the president landed the best photo op in a very long time. Other great visuals: Ronald Reagan at the D-Day cemetery in Normandy, Bill Clinton on horseback in Wyoming. Nothing compared to this, I’ve got to say.” (Fareed Zakaria was similarly impressed.)
But in 2010, Matthews was all turned around. He said, “The incompetence became downright staggering when the Commander In Chief pranced onto an aircraft carrier with a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner flying overhead. The bozos couldn’t even get the PR right.”
We are perhaps best off assuming that people on the television are just actors. They just play a part. Put Rachel Maddow on Fox News, and she’ll mold herself into the part. I’m not saying here that Maddow or even Matthews aren’t liberal. But like anyone, they can highlight some views and suppress others. And for a million bucks (or more) per year, they can highlight anything you want.
This year, Chris Matthews is being paid to highlight this: