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Hillary's Henchmen Neuter Chris Matthews By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, January 21, 2008


The leftist outrage industry bagged a new trophy last week: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. The Soros-funded wing of the Democratic Party took down the rabidly antiwar and anti-Bush talk show host because he dared to tell the truth about the Shadow Party’s anointed presidential candidate. However, the media have ignored the role Hillary Clinton claims to have played in founding one of the main organizations doing the protesting.

Last week, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” issued an odd semi-apology for allegedly “sexist” and dismissive comments he made about Hillary Clinton on the network’s early-riser show, The Morning Joe. Matthews told that show’s panel:

[T]he reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn't win there on her merit.


Apparently aware that truth is an absolute defense, Media Matters, DailyKos, and a coalition of feminist organizations ducked the merits of his criticism and suddenly discovered Chris Matthews’ demeaning treatment of women. Media Matters issued a press release asking, “Does Chris Matthews have a problem with women?” DailyKos dashed off “Chris Matthews’ Greatest Sexist Hits.” In addition to belated detection of his authentic dirty-old-man tendencies, these barbs contain such “sexist” comments as labeling Hillary “shrill” and “grating,” and noting the Republican Party had attempted to portray her as a “she-devil.”

And the leadership of the feminist movement made an attempt at censorship.

In a letter to Steve Capus, president of NBC News, a coterie of prominent feminists openly invoked Don Imus, pressuring, “NBC has a responsibility to demand appropriate conduct and dialogue in its programming.” The letter was signed by Gloria Steinem; Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women; Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority Foundation; Lulu Flores, president of the National Women's Political Caucus; and Carol Jenkins, president of the Women's Media Center.

The same day, Chris Matthews issued his apology, saying the truth about Hillary is “finer, smarter, larger” than he had let on – though he did not elaborate how. It’s manifestly true, despite her current boasts about having a “35-year-record” of bringing “progressive change,” that her experience has come as the plus-one of a philandering Southern pol with a cultivated “moderate” image and a one-term senator whose record is remarkably free of achievement. Nonetheless, Chris cowered in apparent surprise, saying his statement “hurt people I'd like to think normally like what I say – in fact, like me.” (Perhaps now is time for Chris to review chapter two of his book Life is a Campaign: “Not Everyone Is Going to Like You.”)

Matthews apparently failed to appreciate his leftist compatriots also play hardball, and they willingly sacrifice ex-friends as quickly as enemies when those friends are no longer useful. Although a vocal critic of both Clintons, Matthews has done yeoman’s work in the Left’s fever swamps – reliably barking invocations of “Halliburton” and “chicken-hawk” at anyone differing with his foreign policy, displaying latent OCD over the Scooter Libby case, and  pursuing a four-year extended campaign against “Dick CHEE-nee.”

However, he has dared to be honest in his analysis of the Clintons. Hillary Clinton regaled last year’s YearlyKos convention with tales of “institutions I helped to start and support, like Media Matters and Center for American Progress.” Both are pillars of George Soros’s Shadow Party, the latter once described as “the official Hillary Clinton think tank.” Soros’ affiliation with the Clintons dates to at least the 1990s, when he served a sting as an envoy to Russia; after the duo left office, he and Hillary collaborated on a “vast left-wing conspiracy” to hush their conservative critics.  Media Matters is its prime fruit.

Coincidentally, Soros’ Open Society Institute gave Smeal’s Feminist Majority Foundation a cool $770,000 from 1997-2004. Soros also supports NOW, and the Women’s Media Center occasionally shares personnel with OSI.

Media Matters insists:

[T]his isn't about political gain. This isn't about one comment about Hillary Clinton, or even 30 comments about Hillary Clinton: This is about Chris Matthews' pattern of inappropriate treatment of women, and about MSNBC's continued acceptance of it.

But Matthews’ behavior seems not to have crossed Media Matters’ radar until it involved criticism of Hillary. After Matthews’ apology, Jenkins released a statement, saying, “The network’s latest embarrassment, coming just as its Don Imus episode was fading, could have been avoided, if our concerns had been taken seriously from the beginning.” But it appears the same-day self-denunciation was a response to the group’s first criticism. Searching WMC’s press releases leads to the conclusion that Chris Matthews’ condescending behavior is a most recent concern. NOW had nothing to say about Matthews not provoked by his treatment of Hillary. Indeed, linking Matthews with “sexism” apart from Hillary Clinton is virtually a new phenomenon.

…On the Left. Contrast the Soros-Left’s denunciation of his defensible comments with its reaction to Matthews’ surly treatment of conservative women.

  • On August 20, 2004, Michelle Malkin blogged about her unhappy round of Hardball. Malkin revealed, “As I am seated at the table with Matthews, who I am meeting for the first time, he cracks a joke – and not in a well-meaning way – about how I look.” In response, Media Matters issued several bulletins congratulating Matthews for taking Malkin down. Typical is a panegyric entitled, Hardball's Matthews took Michelle Malkin to task for outrageous claims.” 
  • In June 2006, he asked if Ann Coulter was “physically attractive,” adding, “she doesn't pass the Chris Matthews test.” Huffington Post ran the transcript, without a whisper of condemnation. Media Matters discovered the incident a mere 18 months later, while flogging Matthews for his comments about Hillary.
  • In September 2007, he told talk show host Laura Ingraham, “you’re great looking, obviously. You’re one of the God’s gifts to men in this country.” (MMA picked up on that – several paragraphs into its coverage, which again flagellated Matthews for insufficient doctrinal purity.)
  • That August, Matthews called CNBC.com reporter Erin Burnett a “knockout,” begging, “Could you get a little closer to the camera?” MMA reported this, but seemed to accept his explanation at face value, dropping the issue.
  • On January 19, 2001, Matthews surveyed the Bush inauguration crowds, assessing,“for a straight arrow crowd…I've never seen so many sexy babes on the stage over at the Lincoln Memorial here.”
  • Matthews gushed about judging the Miss America pageant and regularly ogles co-eds of whatever political persuasion during his college tours, telling at least one to stay on camera, because he wanted to stare at her.

Had feminists or leftists been concerned with sexism, they had a gold mine of examples to exploit for PC outrage.

Of those on the Left, only Beverly Davis of The Huffington Post seems to have been even-handed in her coverage. She noted, “Whenever an attractive female face appears on Hardball, Matthews falls all over himself fawning over them and I usually laugh because he appears so middle-age pathetic.” She referred to his comments as “sexist (though correct).”

She also pointed out Hillary Clinton’s sexist treatment of Matthews. In New Hampshire, Matthews tried desperately to pin down the would-be commander-in-chief on how her Iraq policy differs from that of Barack Obama. She quipped, “You know, I don’t know what to do with men who are obsessed with me.” (True enough; ask Vince Foster.) Following her feminine dodge, she and Matthews met face-to-face and, in one of the most awkward moments in campaign history, he pinched her cheek while she caressed his cheek and cooed, “Oh, Christopher, Baaaay-beee.” (Cue the dry heaves.) Davis notes, “pinching his check when he was trying to ask her serious political questions she didn't want to answer was her way of playing the ‘female’ card, being the clumsy coquette.”

Despite her willingness to play pattycake with the jovial Matthews, she and George Soros have no unleashed their personal attack dogs – obviously not out of a genuine concern over treatment of women, as the Malkin, Coulter, and Ingraham episodes prove – but as part of an ideological campaign to shut up anyone who questions her about anything. Tim Russert recently received this treatment, and Wolf Blitzer meted out kid-glove treatment to stave it off.

The critics provide proof of the campaign’s ideological foundation. A curious part of Media Matters’ inventory of Matthews’ allegedly “sexist” remarks includes this: 
 

According to a Media Matters study, Matthews made 10 negative remarks about Clinton for every negative remark he made about Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, and nearly three times as many positive remarks about the former New York City mayor as about Clinton, despite his professed neutrality.

This is certainly an odd form of sexism. Other Media Matters bulletins went out when Matthews said something positive about John McCain. MMA named Matthews its 2005 Misinformer of the Year for being insufficiently angry at the president. Other bloggers shrieked when Matthews noted that Osama bin Laden’s latest tape “sounds like an over-the-top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore.”

Having gained one of its censorial objectives, Media Matters has already turned its sites on Joe Scarborough, who defended Matthews’ statements.

Matthews is both a living testimony to the Left’s thirst to silence all opposition, George Soros’ tremendous influence over media decision-makers, and the feminist Left’s moral bankruptcy.


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).


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