Matthews: Craig 'A Sexual Deviant'; Do Dem Prez Candidates Agree?

Chris Matthews, opening this afternoon's "Hardball":
Idaho Senator Larry Craig, cultural warrior of the right, stands naked tonight, exposed as both a sexual deviant and a world-class hypocrite.

View video here.

Matthews presumably labelled Craig "a sexual deviant" based not on the mere fact of his presumptive homosexuality, but on his engaging in the kind of public "cruising" to which the senator pleaded guilty in Minnesota.

I challenge Matthews to flatly ask the Democratic presidential contenders and other Dem leaders he encounters in coming weeks whether they share his view that all men who engage in such conduct are "sexual deviants." Should make for some illuminating TV as Dems walk a tightrope between public mores and the sensibilities of one of the Dem party's important constituent groups.

UPDATE -- Matthews snaps at Naomi Wolf: "don't come on this show and change the subject."

In recent weeks I've suggested that feminist Naomi Wolf might be America's most passive-aggressive woman and one of its most alarmist. On today's show Chris Matthews clearly got fed up with her self-promoting act and snapped at her. When Matthews asked Wolf what she thought the repercussions of the Craig scandal would be for the GOP, she deflected the question. Wolf instead went off on a pitch about how Mitt Romney would be hurt by his refusal to sign some declaration put forth by an online organization she's ginned-up as part of the marketing campaign for her paranoid screed "The End of America." The book's operating thesis is that the Bush administration is using the same tactics employed by the Nazis and other totalitarians to suppress democracy.

MATTHEWS: Don't come on this show and change the subject.

NAOMI WOLF: I'm sorry, I think it's important.

MATTHEWS: If you don't want to talk about Larry Craig, stop talking, OK? What do you think is the political significance of this? If you think it's none that's a good answer, but you can't just change the subject.

WOLF: I think it's none Chris, sorry, I think it's none.

MATTHEWS: Fine, let's move on.

View video here.

After returning to the air, the pair claimed to have resolved their differences. But Matthews' great annoyance with this greatly annoying woman had been unmistakable.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.