It’s Time for Chris Matthews To Go

It’s Time for Chris Matthews To Go


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Time was that you might have rightly called Chris Matthews the smartest person in the room.

He rose from an officer with the US Capitol Police force to the staffs of several members of Congress, including Sen Ed Muskie.

After a failed run for Congress in his own right, Matthews hired on as speechwriter for the Carter administration and later for House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill.

He later went to work as a journalist and authored a number of books along the way, including the New York Times bestselling Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero.

Matthews made the jump to television, where he settled in as a political commentator with his own program, Hardball, which runs evenings on MSNBC.

As the years have gone on, it’s not just that Matthews has become more conservative. (He’s admitted on air to voting for Republican George W Bush in 2000.)

He’s also been in the midst of more than one sexual harassment case in recent years.

And then there was the bizarre and uncalled for comparison of Bernie Sanders’s win in the Nevada caucuses to the fall of France to the Nazis in World War II, for which Matthews later had to apologize.

Late night comedian Seth Meyer turned that meltdown of Matthews into a bit on his TV program.

“He’s like your senile grandpa screaming into the phone on facetime, ‘They banned me from the golf course for not fixing my divots. This is just like 1940, when the Nazi’s,”‘ Meyers mocked.

“Somehow, this isn’t even the most insane thing Matthews has said about Bernie,” Meyers added. “After Bernie’s win in New Hampshire, you might recall Matthews went on another deranged terror that had something to do with communists executing him in Central Park or something. It was so incoherent, his fellow anchor Chris Hayes had to chime in to offer some sense.”

Meyers was playing for laughs, but the sad thing is that Matthews’ work on Hardball has really devolved into predictable schtick in which the 74-year-old Matthews basically plays the part of the cranky old man who barks at his guests, telling them some variation of how he knows how it was really done right in the old days.

He’s really ceased to offer anything that you would call insightful political analysis.

Actually, MSNBC would have a much more valuable and watchable program if they they replaced Chris Matthews with his wife, Kathleen, a longtime local news anchor in Washington DC and more recently, a former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Either way, it’s become painfully clear that Matthews’s best days are behind him. It’s up to the executives at MSNBC to end that pain.

Update: Shortly after publication, Matthews announced his immediate retirement on his Monday broadcast of Hardball.

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  • comment-avatar
    K.Ralston March 2, 2020

    Always liked Chris Matthews and still do, how people like trump (small letters)get away with saying horrible things about any and every person he chooses is beyond me. Personally, Mr. Matthews made mistakes BUT to let him go,,,,I wish I was perfect and yikes “throw stones” and some woman NOW remembering he said something she felt offended about back 4 years…..(women need to open their mouths WHEN it happens, hopefully we have learned that now !). Mr. Matthews, good luck, be healthy, enjoy life !

  • comment-avatar

    Lefty drivel.
    Jacobins at play.
    Bernie supporters should out themselves as Bernie supporters.
    Matthews was no longer useful to the Bernie crowd.

  • comment-avatar
    R. Sylvester March 3, 2020

    The whole of the political and public discourse has declined – much as the social landscape has devolved into division and into extreme anger and/or lunacy. What we see is a culture and nation disintegrating – alone with fundamental human relationships.

    Matthews is just another example. There are plenty – and a great many in politics, academia, education, media and “entertainment.” Quite, silence and privacy is best to retain peace of heart and mind.

  • comment-avatar
    Teddy Knight March 3, 2020

    Bernie is being attacked as Franklin Delano Roosevelt was attacked. But most U.S. citizens loved FDR and elected him as President for 4 consecutive terms. FDR flipped most of the country to the Democrats. Bernie’s can do the same.

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    What crap. MSNBC has truly become a mouthpiece for the DNC. Matthews critiqued so called democrats a little to honestly. MSNBC is not familiar with honesty.

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    The man March 5, 2020

    Good, he never knew when to shut his mouth and let his guests talk. Get rid of him!!!!

  • comment-avatar

    Watched him until 2008 and Obama. Not all bad, a guy with an attitude that grew old like the coach a team that grows tired of hearing and while constantly interrupting during interviewers, thought…he was the subject.

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    Watched him occasionally until about 2008 and Obama. Not too bad but with an attitude that grow old like the coach a team gets tired of hearing. All of the while interrupting his guests as if he was the subject.