"Wow!" That was Chris Matthews' immediate reaction to Barack Obama's response to a question from a Fox News reporter about why his pick for Commerce Secretary, Bill Richardson, shaved off his beard. After playing, on Wednesday's "Hardball", a clip from Obama's press conference introducing Richardson, Matthews expressed awe at the "intellectual" way Obama analyzed Richardson's personal grooming habits.
Matthews made the following observation during the "Sideshow," segment of the December 3 edition of "Hardball":
After much mocking by Ellen Degeneres about Chris Matthews' dancing abilities on his last appearance on her syndicated show, the "Hardball" host chatted with Degeneres, on Thursday's show, about the election of Barack Obama and actually grabbed a shot glass to toast his win with Ellen (audio excerpt here):
ELLEN DEGENERES: Amazing! And you must be thrilled? I mean what, what a moment.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well I am thrilled!
MATTHEWS, picking up shot glass: To Barack Obama!
DEGENERES, toasting: Yeah. To Barack Obama!
A little later in his interview segment, Matthews also took a different kind of shot, the verbal kind, against the outgoing administration:
The full "Today" show cast went to "The Ends of the Earth," as a part of NBC Universal's "Green Week," all in an effort to, once again, do the bidding of the likes of Al Gore, to create hysteria about global warming. With live reports from Matt Lauer worrying about reefs off the coast of Belize, Meredith Vieira fearful about drought conditions in Australia, Ann Curry watching the snow caps melt on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Al Roker troubled by glacier extinction in Iceland, the cast pushed the green agenda throughout Monday's "Today" show. Co-anchor Vieira, near the top of the show, set the table for her cast mates this way:
And so, we venture to the most breathtaking sights, threatened by a changing, warming planet, chilling beauty on the verge of vanishing. The depths of a remote ocean paradise. Belize's great Blue Hole, a reef in peril. Down under, the Australian continent dangerously dry. The frigid north, Iceland's vast glaciers melting. And up Africa's highest summit, where the snows of Kilimanjaro are disappearing. The warnings are stark. A vortex of trash twice the size of Texas, toxins bleeding into the ocean, rivers that can not reach the sea, species lost forever. Clouds, rain, storm's fury borne of the ocean, slowly drown distant nations. Islands disappearing and in their wake, a new kind of refugee, so far away and so close to home. Throughout our planet and within our bodies, water flows. We cannot survive without it. Yet, 1 billion people don't have enough. Our new thirst may fuel wars. Is water the oil of tomorrow?
The following are just some of the scarier, introductory teasers from the "Today" cast as they occurred on the November 17, edition of the "Today" show:
Appearing on Thursday's "Today" show Newsweek editor Jon Meacham suggested Sarah Palin needed a "Berlitz" course in foreign policy and even snidely implied John McCain, like President Andrew Jackson before him, may have wanted to shoot his vice president. Meacham, who was also plugging his book on Jackson, noted to "Today" co-host Matt Lauer that Jackson once threatened the life his own vice president, and postulated that maybe McCain may have considered that as an option.
MATT LAUER: He's also a guy who threatened to kill his own vice president, isn't he?
MEACHAM: He did. Which a McCain/Palin thing-
LAUER: But we don't hold that, it doesn't make him a bad guy.
MEACHAM: I don't know if Senator McCain has thought that, along the way.
Before the Jackson discussion Lauer, set up Meacham about Palin's readiness, "She didn't impress a lot of people with her knowledge of domestic affairs or foreign affairs." To which Meacham sarcastically agreed: "Ya think? Ya think?" and added the Alaska governor should "be going into a kind of policy Berlitz course, which one would think would be a relatively sound thing to do."
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it occurred on the November 13, "Today" show:
On Wednesday's "Today" show, Matt Lauer played a portion of his interview with Sarah Palin in Alaska where he asked Palin if his former "Today" co-anchor, Katie Couric, was "unfair," during her pre-election interview, to which Palin responded she found some of the questions, "a little bit annoying."
The following exchange was aired on the November 12, edition of the "Today" show (audio available here):
MATT LAUER: More now of our interview with Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin. Virtually unknown before John McCain picked her as his running mate, Palin founder herself under an intense media spotlight. I asked Governor Palin about one of her first interviews during the campaign with Katie Couric, where she stumbled over a number of questions. And I asked her if seeing the clips from that interview, hurt her confidence.
After airing an interview clip of Sarah Palin telling Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that she was looking for guidance from God about running for national office again, an appalled Chris Matthews called it "troubling," when he let loose this rant on Tuesday's "Hardball":
Is, is this commentary about theocracy and going to God for approval? We've been through that with President Bush who said he, "didn't take advice from his father, he got it from another father." And we've been through this sort of Joan of Arc period. Are we gonna get another piece of this where God's leading candidates to run for president? I mean that sort of keeps us out of the conversation doesn't it? I mean, seriously, I mean God is telling her to run? And she's saying it openly on a secular television show? This isn't the religious hour....Talking about God, in a political setting is troubling to a lot of people. If you're talking about a big tent, this looks more like the church tent, not the big tent.
Then a little later in the program, Matthews returned to Palin's expressions of faith and noted that kind of talk can be,"dangerous." And when his guest, former Dick Cheney aide Ron Christie, said he was tired of the media picking on Palin when, in fact, Joe Biden made a lot of blunders, Matthews let this howler fly: "Joe Biden took more hits from the media than anybody for the last 30 years!"
The following exchanges occurred on the November 11 edition of "Hardball":
Right before the 9:35am segment, on Monday's "Today" show, a commercial from NBC News was aired announcing a special DVD on Barack Obama's life story was for sale on its Web site. What is particularly odd is that a news organization would actually use Obama's own campaign slogan to title the DVD, and if memory serves there was no special DVD offered for George W. Bush's inauguration. The question has to be asked how much time will the DVD devote to such gaffes as Barack's "bitter" quote or Michelle's "For the first time...I'm proud to be an American," quote as well as any Jeremiah Wright/Bill Ayers mentions compared to any time given to NBC's own Chris Matthews and Lee Cowan "thrill" moments.
The following ad was aired during the November 10th, "Today" show:
ANNOUNCER: NBC News Presents, "Yes We Can! The Barack Obama Story!" A DVD of his life and road to the White House. Pre-order now at NBCSTORE.COM.
Sounding like a voice-over on a movie trailer for an upcoming action blockbuster starring Barack Obama, Chris Matthews greeted viewers, on Thursday's "Hardball," with this exclamation: "The excitement begins! Barack Obama makes his first major appointments." Matthews then continued his giddiness, a little later in the show, when he raised up an electoral map, published in the New York Times, that featured a "sea of blue" for Obama and hailed: "This is maybe the best map ever seen!"
The following exchanges occurred on the November 6, "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS OPENING SHOW: The excitement begins! Barack Obama makes his first major appointments. Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm Chris Matthews, welcome to "Hardball." Leading off tonight, reconstruction. President-Elect Obama -- first time I ever said that -- is moving fast to build his team to rebuild a national consensus for action.
MATTHEWS HOLDING UP MAP: Let me show you a map that's one of the, I know we've shown a lot of maps. And Chuck [Todd] and his colleagues have shown a lot of great maps.
During live coverage, on Tuesday's "Today" show, of Barack Obama voting in his home state, Andrea Mitchell postulated that he will have to confront a "liberal" Congress because Obama, himself, is a "centrist." The Senator with the most liberal voting record, according to Mitchell, will be the one to "rein in expectations from and empowered liberal majority in the House and Senate."
Mitchell made the following proclamation on the November 4, edition of "Today" show:
ANDREA MITCHELL: If Obama is elected and if it is a big margin, two big "ifs" he's also gonna have to rein in expectations from an empowered liberal majority in the House and Senate. House might be harder to deal with than the Senate because they have been not only making promises but building expectations for people, for health care and for all sorts of reforms in Medicare and more benefits on.
MEREDITH VIEIRA: Well that's been the Republican cry, right? "Watch out for Pelosi and Reid and everybody if, if the Democrats take over!"
MITCHELL: As we saw in 1992 with Bill Clinton. Smaller issues but back then he had to deal with a Congress that was more liberal than he. And Barack Obama, if you look at whom his advisers are, is more centrist than the Democrat majority.
Last night Chris Matthews' beloved Phillies won the World Series, and perhaps more importantly to Matthews, Bill Clinton "passed the torch," to Barack Obama. Decked out in his Phillies red, the giddy Matthews found the whole thing, well, overwhelming, as he exclaimed over video of Obama with Clinton:
That is a sight for the ages! That, I am overwhelmed by it. It is something to watch! Look at 'em! They are, look at the two winners there together. Bill Clinton said, "He's the future," Barack Obama last night. He, he passed the torch like Kennedy did to him once, figuratively speaking.
It was all a bit too much for former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari, as she couldn't help but make fun of Matthews' excitement, as she sarcastically quipped, "It's bringing tears to my eyes."
The following exchange occurred on the October 30, edition of "Hardball":
NBC's "Today" show, on Thursday, aired an "Access Hollywood," clip of Cher wearing a "Barack the Vote," t-shirt as she actually bashed George W. Bush, to his first cousin's face. The President's first cousin, and "Access Hollywood," host Billy Bush conducted the interview in which Cher declared: "I've been alive for 11 presidents and I feel that this is the worst time I've ever seen," and called the current President, "The Big Divider." Cher also claimed the only way she would be seen at a Sarah Palin rally would be "in my nightmares."
The following exchange was aired on the October 30, "Today" show:
NBC's Andrea Mitchell devoted virtually her entire story, on Wednesday's "Today" show, to jotting down all the negatives going against the McCain campaign including Obama's advantages in fundraising, ad time, the polls and even the weather as she passed along this omen:
Still at a time when everything can be viewed as a sign of how things are going, they [McCain campaign] called off their midday rally outside Philadelphia because of stormy weather.
First up, Mitchell started her piece by tallying up all the Obama media appearances:
John McCain is trying to get his message out as Barack Obama tries to dominate the airwaves with a prime time infomercial just before the World Series game, a late night rally with Bill Clinton and an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Now Mitchell did air a clip of McCain quipping to Philadelphia voters that at least he's not going to delay their chance to watch the Phillies in the World Series, but she countered:
John McCain took a shot at Barack Obama's planned TV blitz, but he struck out when Fox, broadcasting the rain-delayed fifth game, said that wasn't the plan. Fox is simply bumping its pre-game show for Obama's program. The Series will start on time.
Well the media has officially gotten cocky when they start predicting that the reddest of red states could be in play for Barack Obama, and that's precisely what NBC's Ron Mott did on Tuesday's "Today" show, when he cheered that Texas, "May be surprisingly competitive." [audio excerpt available here]
In a report on early voting, Mott noted the long lines for those willing to participate in early voting and celebrated:
So far Democratic voters appear to be the ones most willing to wait, and that could spell good news for Senator Barack Obama who's encouraged supporters, including his legion of newly registered young voters, to take advantage of early voting in 32 states and they've answered the call.
Then a little later, before throwing it back to "Today" anchor Meredith Vieira, Mott concluded the story with this overly confident observation:
Polls here in Texas give Senator McCain a relatively comfortable advantage but Democrats are nonetheless optimistic. They point to record turnout that we've seen so far, and a record number of registered voters, 13.5 million, as two signs perhaps that Texas may be surprisingly competitive this time next week. Meredith?
The following is the full story as it was aired on the October 28, "Today" show:
If observers of this campaign have learned one thing, it's that you had better not stand up David Letterman or Brian Williams if you hope to run for high office, lest you risk their diva-like wrath and pouting. Promoting his exclusive interview with John McCain and Sarah Palin, on Thursday's "Today" show the anchor of "NBC Nightly News" repeatedly complained about how long he had to wait to interview Palin, as Williams whined at the top of the segment:
Well let's be very blunt. We have waited patiently, 55 days since Sarah Palin was named to this ticket to get this interview, since her naming as vice presidential nominee.
Then after airing a few clips from the interview, Williams moaned to "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer:
So Matt, again, a 55 day wait for this interview, limited amount of time between the three of us and then later the two of us.
Williams also emphasized his own network's poll that Palin had become a drag on the ticket:
NBC's "Today" show has yet to report on the scandal surrounding Florida Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney paying off a former mistress, but on Wednesday's show David Gregory did find time to report on Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann being in "hot water," for her criticisms of Barack Obama on last Friday's "Hardball."
Furthering the story his NBC colleague Chris Matthews started with Bachmann's "Hardball," interview, co-anchor Matt Lauer introduced the Gregory piece: "Call it a million dollar mistake. A controversial congressman, congresswoman went on television and said some things she probably regrets. And her remarks, then helped her opponent raise a staggering amount of money."
Reciting all the messianic nicknames given to Barack Obama, such as "The One,""The Savior," and "The Messiah," NBC's Matt Lauer, on Monday's "Today" show asked the Democratic presidential nominee, how he will "manage" such great, "expectations." During an interview, aired in two parts in the first hour of "Today," Lauer rarely hit Obama with a tough question, instead choosing to focus on recent campaign highlights such as all the recent endorsements for Obama from Colin Powell to the Washington Post. [audio excerpt here]
In the later portion of the interview Lauer recounted the biblical descriptions of Obama:
People have called you "The Savior," "The Messiah," "The Messenger of Change." The expectations have been raised to such a level. Some people say you're partly responsible because of your confident attitude. If you are, as you just say, lucky enough to be elected the next president are you going to have to consciously manage expectations, during the first several months of your administration?
After playing an exchange from last night's presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, thought he was watching an old "Looney Tunes" cartoon, as he chuckled: "Sometimes I think I'm watching Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd here." In this case Matthews believed McCain, in the role of Fudd, was being outwitted, once again, by that "wascally wabbit," Obama.
Chris Matthews spent the entire first segment of Tuesday night's "Hardball," questioning Sarah Palin's "intellectual ability" to lead but Republican Congressman Dan Lungren wasn't having any of it, as he countered: "You want to talk about my friend Joe Biden who made at least 10 misstatements in the last debate," and even made fun of Matthews' Obama fondness, as the California Congressman fired back: "Chris she does not send a tingle up my leg like Barack Obama does to you."
After playing a clip of Palin on Rush Limbaugh's radio show today, Matthews seemed dumbfounded that anyone believed Palin was capable of serving in the White House as he pressed Lungren:
Are you confident in Governor Palin's ability to help lead this country in complicated times? The person you just heard from, in one of the rare moments we've had where she spoke without notes, without a script?
After Lungren expressed his confidence in Palin's experience, Matthews made fun of Alaska's population as he told Lungren: "You have more constituents than the Governor of Alaska." When Lungren retorted with the "tingle" slam the "Hardball" host scoffed:
The "Today" show has yet to promote the conservative satire An American Carol, that spoofs Michael Moore but they did find time to invite on Josh Brolin to plug Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopicW. on Tuesday's show. Co-anchor Matt Lauer interviewed Brolin, who plays the title character, and noted critics were expecting "a political hatchet job" of the President, to which Brolin, defended Stone as he claimed the controversy surrounding the director of such factually murky films like JFK and Nixon, was "hogwash."
However Brolin admitted that one of the reasons Stone tabbed him to play Dubya was because there was something sort of "mean" about the actor. And in describing how he perfected his Bush impression Brolin observed there was an "apish quality," about the 43rd president.
The following is the full segment as it occurred on the October 14, "Today" show:
On Tuesday's "Today" show Andrea Mitchell highlighted John McCain's struggles, as he was forced to campaign in "red states Republicans don't usually have to defend," but when it came to Barack Obama, she promoted Obama's soft side as she aired a clip of the Democratic nominee hugging a tearful college student as she cooed: "During two days of campaigning in Ohio, the nation's economic crisis got personal when Obama met a 19-year-old nursing student named Hannah, already deep in debt with student loans."
Mitchell then followed that tease with the following back and forth between Obama and the student:
HANNAH: I'm paying for school myself, so-
BARACK OBAMA: How much, how much you in debt?
HANNAH: Right now about $24,000 and I'm only 19.
OBAMA: Alright well we're gonna try to see if we can provide you some relief, alright?
HANNAH: Yeah I need it because the grants aren't enough.
OBAMA HUGGING STUDENT: I know, I know! I appreciate it, c'mon. Nice to meet you.
On Monday's "Today" show NBC's Tom Brokaw buried the McCain campaign and predicted doom for the GOP, as he declared: "It looks like we're in for a big turn of the wheel. That the Democrats are about to reclaim their power." The former anchor of NBC Nightly News and moderator of the last presidential debate was prompted by "Today" anchor Meredith Vieira to make the following prediction:
This all reminds me of 1968, when after having the Democrats in control since 1932, the Republicans then took over in 1968 and effectively, they have had a grip on this country politically since that time, for 40 years now. It looks like we're in for a big turn of the wheel. That the Democrats are about to reclaim their power, because the McCain campaign is dysfunctional, to put it bluntly, and that's, those are the words of Bill Kristol and a lot of other people. They can't quite decide who they are, whether the McCain mavericks or the Bush Republicans or the neo-cons.
The following is the complete transcript of the Brokaw segment on the October 13, edition of the "Today" show:
Interviewing Hillary Clinton on Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Ron Allen repeatedly asked the New York Senator about Barack Obama's ability to defend himself against GOP attacks, as he questioned: "Do you think they've crossed the line?" and claimed, "there's concerns about actually inciting violence."
For her part Clinton said she thought McCain/Palin had gone negative but had calmed down, however that didn't satisfy Allen as he proceeded to worry "If this gets more personal and, and more aggressive can he withstand," the "Republican assault?"
Also, Allen, mindful of the fact that, Clinton supporters "can make a big difference in a close race," pressed the former First Lady if her husband was "fully on board?"
The following interview occurred on the October 13, edition of the "Today" show:
In a segment headlined, "The Politics of Distraction," Chris Matthews, on Monday night's "Hardball," dismissed the McCain/Palin campaign's linking of Bill Ayers to Barack Obama. Matthews conjured a scenario where the GOP was trying to use Obama's tie to Ayers, his middle name of "Hussein," and his donor list to turn Obama into "a man of dangerous mystery."
I see an attempt, over the last seven days, to tie three points together in the thinking of older voters, especially, so that they can have a mystery about Barack Obama they hadn't had last week. One, this question of Bill Ayers, the Weathermen, back 10 years or so in Chicago politics or Chicago organizing politics. Two, his middle name Hussein. And three, the question of who his donor list includes? I think they're putting this together by demanding that donor list. They're trying to build the case that he's a man of mystery. That, not that he's a street corner guy from the ghetto but that he's somehow maybe connected to terrorism because of this past association with a terrorist. With his middle name being Hussein, which I predicted last week, everybody it's, everybody I talked to, it was coming out. And third this donor list game. They are trying to make him a man of dangerous mystery because they can't beat him on the standard issues of this election.
Now that Sarah Palin has made Barack Obama's history with William Ayers front and center in the campaign the mainstream media is doing their best to ignore some of the more explosive aspects of Ayers' past. On Monday's "Today" show NBC's Andrea Mitchell merely identified Ayers as a "sixties radical" and cited the New York Times as dismissing the Obama connection as, "the two men do not appear to have been close."
As the following excerpt shows, Mitchell conveniently forgot to mention the reason Palin and others regard Ayers as a terrorist, the fact the he, as a part of the Weather Underground, actually bombed police stations and the Pentagon.
Palin was referring to William Ayers, a sixties radical, now a Chicago education professor. In 1995 Ayers hosted a coffee for Obama, then a state senate candidate. The New York Times reported this weekend that, "the two men do not appear to have been close." And the Obama campaign says they have not spoken since Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate.
After the vice presidential debate Chris Matthews criticized Sarah Palin for, of all things, looking into the camera because it made her look like a "dolt." In fact, the "Hardball," host took several stylistic shots at Palin that implied the Alaska Governor wasn't very intelligent. Audio here
When guest panelist Roger Simon noted Palin looked directly into the camera, Matthews observed:
You know what I think of people when they come on "Hardball," and they look at the camera, I think they're dolts.
In addition to the "dolt," remark Matthews viewed Palin's performance as "so reciting," and "automatic," "like a spelling bee," and charged:
The dangerous thing about these debates is that you can really recite your way to victory. You can memorize an awful lot of material and get away with it as intelligence, when in fact, it's just really good preparation.
The following exchanges occurred during MSNBC's October 2, post vice presidential debate coverage and then later on a special midnight [EDT] edition of "Hardball:"
During the 7pm edition of Thursday’s "Hardball," Chris Matthews repeatedly asked his guests if Sarah Palin's "brain" was up to the task for tonight's vice presidential debate. Matthews even managed to go where a Democratic Congresswoman wouldn't, when he asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "Is this about her brain power?" To which, even the Florida Democrat balked: "It’s really not nice to suggest that there's something wrong with her brain power."
However Matthews didn't let Schultz's hesitancy stop him from questioning the Republican vice presidential nominee's intelligence as he asked these series of questions about Palin to Schultz: Mp3 Here
Well do you think cute will beat brains?
Do you think she'd do better on the questions on "Jeopardy" or the interview they do during a halftime?
Congressman how much would you, how much would you like to be debating her tonight?
Then a little later on in the program, during a segment with the Politico's Mike Allen and New York magazine's John Heilemann, Matthews worried Palin's perceived lack of intellectual curiosity was "scary."
On the 5pm edition of Thursday night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews ventured out into the crowd of students on hand for tonight's vice presidential debate at Washington University to see what they were looking for in a candidate. When one student responded: "I'd like a display of knowledge and expertise." Matthews interjected: "So you're on the Obama side, right?"
Matthews then asked a different student, in an apparent shot at Sarah Palin, if a "candidate for Vice President should be able to get into Washington University?"
On Tuesday night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews wondered if Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, "an Ivy League grad" and "genius," was really a good choice to play the role of Sarah Palin in Joe Biden's debate prep. During a segment with Democratic consultant Nancy Skinner, who is prepping Granholm, the "Hardball" host implied the "Harvard Law" graduate may not be the best "fit" to play the Republican vice presidential nominee:
She's a genius. You think she is, in, in her manner, in her background and she's born in Canada. How does she sort of fit the role of Sarah Palin? Why is she a good sparring partner to play that role?
A little later in the segment Matthews painted Palin as empty-headed as he worried the "neo-conservatives" would "home-school" her in the "ideology of the right," like they did to Dan Quayle and George W. Bush.
The following exchanges occurred on the September 30 edition of "Hardball":
For the second day in a row, NBC's Andrea Mitchell depicted Sarah Palin as a bumbling neophyte, as she claimed that even the McCain camp is concerned: "The McCain campaign is so worried about Palin's ability to debate Joe Biden, she's gone home with the McCains, for debate camp in Arizona." However Mitchell didn't point out that Joe Biden himself is taking time off the campaign trail to prep for Thursday's vice presidential debate.
On Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Andrea Mitchell loved Tina Fey's parodying of Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," so much that she played a clip the "30 Rock" star mocking Palin's inexperience, while simultaneously airing an actual clip of Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric, as Mitchell charged: "the reviews have been withering for her interview with Katie Couric, only her third since nominated."