Note to Chris Matthews: when mocking someone for using a ghostwriter, it's best to avoid doing so on a day when Hillary Clinton is prominently in the news . . .
On this evening's Hardball, Matthews went out of his way to mock Joe The Plumber for his use of a ghostwriter on his just-released book. This on the day Hillary Clinton was in the headlines, having been named Barack Obama's Secretary of State. You know, Hillary Clinton. The woman famous, in writing "It Takes A Village," for failing to credit her . . . ghostwriter.
Matthews began his deriding of Joe's book in his opening tease.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: And guess who's got a book out? Joe the Plumber. That's right. Joe the Plumber is now Joe the Writer—though he may have had some help from Joe the Ghostwriter. We'll look at that in the Hardball Sideshow.
And later, in that Sideshow segment, Matthews wrote off as a "gag gift" the book by a man who inspired many during the campaign.
MATTHEWS: And if you're looking for a gag gift this holiday season, look no further than Joe the Plumber's book—it's out. Remember Joe the Plumber--John McCain's iconic working stiff? He's got a book out. It's called Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream. It hits bookstores today. And by the way, talk about the American Dream. Three months ago, no one had heard of this guy. He was an unlicensed plumber who was plucked out of obscurity by McCain because he asked Obama a question about his tax plan. So now he's Joe the Author. Or he's got Joe the Ghostwriter writing for him.
If Matthews would have looked at the screen, he would have seen that, his insinuations aside, Joe wasn't trying to hide the fact that he had help in writing the book. To the contrary, prominently featured on the book's cover is "with Thomas N. Tabback."
Compare and contrast with Hillary Clinton's failure to acknowledge the help she received in preparing "It Takes a Village." As her ghostwriter recounted [emphasis added]:
The actual writing experience of working on It Takes a Village with Mrs. Clinton was not extraordinary in any respect. Together with our editor, we produced drafts in a round-robin style. We worked well as a team and things went about as smoothly as can be expected when you're producing a high-profile book in eight months and one of you is married to the leader of the free world. The problem came when Mrs. Clinton decided, for reasons still a mystery to me, not to acknowledge my help, or that of anyone else by name.