Chris Matthews Is Sooo Not Right In The Head.

2 comments April 9th, 2008at 07:20am Posted by Eli

Oh. My. God:

We’ve got an advanced copy of Mark Leibovich’s piece on Chris Matthews, entitled “Chris Matthews, Seriously. (O.K., Not That Seriously),” which will appear in this Sunday’s NYT magazine.

  • “Did you get a load of Lou Rawls’s wife?” Matthews said as he left the spin room. Apparently the Rev. Jesse Jackson was introducing the widow of the R&B singer at the media center. “She was an absolute knockout,” Matthews declared. It’s a common Matthews designation. The actress Kerry Washington was also a “total knockout,” according to Matthews, who by 1 a.m. had repaired to the bar of the Cleveland Ritz-Carlton. He was sipping a Diet Coke and holding court for a cluster of network and political types, as well as for a procession of random glad-handers that included, wouldn’t you know it, Kerry Washington herself. Washington played Ray Charles’s wife in the movie “Ray” and Kay Amin in the “Last King of Scotland.” She is a big Obama supporter and was in town for the debate; more to the point, she said she likes “Hard-ball.” Matthews grabbed her hand, and Phil Griffin, the head of MSNBC who was seated across the table, vowed to get her on the show.

“I know why he wants you on,” Matthews said to Washington while looking at Griffin. At which point Matthews did something he rarely does. He paused. He seemed actually to be considering what he was about to say. He might even have been editing himself, which is anything but a natural act for him. He was grimacing. I imagined a little superego hamster racing against a speeding treadmill inside Matthews’s skull, until the superego hamster was overrun and the pause ended.

“He wants you on because you’re beautiful,” Matthews said. “And because you’re black.” He handed Washington a business card and told her to call anytime “if you ever want to hang out with Chris Matthews.”

  • “People are a little impressed with themselves,” Griffin went on to say, continuing his commentary about the scene. “It’s a bit of an echo chamber.” Matthews is central to that echo chamber — at the Ritz, as in the 2008 presidential campaign. He is, in a sense, the carnival barker at the center of it, spewing tiny pellets of chewed nuts across the table while comparing Obama to Mozart and Clinton to Salieri. At one point, Matthews suddenly became hypnotized by a TV over the bar set to a rebroadcast of “Hardball.” “Hey, there I am — it’s me,” he said, staring at himself on the screen. “It’s me.”
  • “I like the fact that people don’t think of me as famous, but that they know me,” Matthews said. “They come up to me and say, ‘Chris, what do you think?’ There’s no aura. It’s a different kind of celebrity. People assume they have a right to talk to me. They want to know my take.”

    Those first two bullets in particular.  I mean, wow.  How do you even snark on that?  The pathology is just… laying there, right out in the open and everything.

    (h/t emptywheel)

    Entry Filed under: Media,TV,Wankers,Weirdness

    2 Comments

    • 1. Spear and Magic  |  April 9th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

      My favorite bit from the article:

      Sometimes during commercial breaks, Matthews will boast to [Keith] Olbermann of having restrained himself during the prior segment. “And I reward him with a grape,” Olbermann says.

    • 2. Steve  |  April 10th, 2008 at 5:59 pm

      Clip: Matthews and Russert moderating Clinton/Obama debate.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C50gj5CDrU


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