Matthews: Cheney TV Appearance 'A Proof Of Life Thing'

Chris Matthews let his nasty side show on Morning Joe today, callously calling Dick Cheney's weekend television interview, the first since his heart transplant, "a proof of life thing." For good measure, Matthews called Cheney "pretty much hated in this country."

For that matter, don't look for Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough to be having dinner together any time soon.  After Scarborough mockingly introduced Matthews as "our Joey Heatherton", the pair sparred over the correct pronunciation of Dick Cheney's last name.  A palpably peeved Matthews, champion of the chee-ney variant, eventually snapped "do some reporting" at Scarborough. View the video after the jump.



I'll be back with the transcript, but in the meantime watch the clip of some uncomfortable times on the Morning Joe set.

Note that Matthews tried to walk back his "proof of life" line by later amending it as "politically proof of life," but he was fooling no one.


JOE SCARBOROUGH: This is like--you know you had that Night of the Thousand Stars back in the 1970s?--and then you had the huge, huge person like Joey Heatherton. Well here is our Joey Heatherton.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I loved Joey Heatherton.

SCARBOROUGH: Of course she looks like him. Why do you think I made the Joey Heatherton reference? Anybody over 50 years old knows what I'm talking about. I loved Joey Heatherton. But here's Chris Matthews. Same shade of hair as Joey Heatherton.

. . .

SCARBOROUGH: Chris Matthews, what do you make of Dick Cheney yesterday saying Sarah Palin was a mistake as a VP pick? I want you to take a look at this and then respond.  We will also allow you, allow you to pronounce his last name however the hell you want to pronounce it.

MATTHEWS: His name is [pronounced] 'chee-ney' by the way --

SCARBOROUGH: You can pronounce it any way.

MATTHEWS: Joe, you're wrong --

SCARBOROUGH: Chris, I just said, after the soundbite you can pronounce it any way --

MATTHEWS: No, no.  His name is [pronounced]" chee-ney." 

   
Cut to clip of Cheney's ABC interview from the weekend.

SCARBOROUGH: Chris "Mee-thews", what say you?

MATTHEWS: No, it's not a joke: his name is [pronounced] chee-ney by the way. If we all check it out we'll know what we're talking about instead of just me knowing what I'm talking about. When you report these things, Joe, you should give the right answer. Do some reporting. I think Cheney's a problem. I think he's pretty much hated in this country.  People really don't like him. I can't believe they're going to show him at the convention.  He's perked here up to show up on Sunday TV to make sure that he's still in the news. I mean, I think it's sort of a proof of life thing.  I think he's very good at it.  Politically proof of life.  Just show you're in the game.        
 

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.