Liberal cable host Chris Matthews, who once dismissed Michele Bachmann as a "balloon head," on Monday derided the supposed sexism of "horse's ass" Rush Limbaugh. The Hardball anchor sparred with Senator Rob Portman. Speaking of Matthews' coverage of the Sandra Fluke controversy, the Republican mocked, "...It sounds like maybe you're keeping it alive more than [Limbaugh] in the eyes of the voter."
Later, Matthews introduced left-wing columnist David Corn by arrogantly pronouncing, "[Republicans] could have gotten rid of this problem last Wednesday if they had all stood up and said this guy is a horse's ass."
In the Daily Beast, Fox News' Kristen Powers mocked Matthews' "sickening misogyny," citing previous examples:
Chris Matthews’s sickening misogyny was made famous in 2008, when he obsessively tore down Hillary Clinton for standing between Barack Obama and the presidency, something that Matthews could not abide. Over the years he has referred to the former first lady, senator and presidential candidate and current secretary of state as a “she-devil,” “Nurse Ratched,” and “Madame Defarge.” Matthews has also called Clinton “witchy,” “anti-male,” and “uppity” and once claimed she won her Senate seat only because her “husband messed around.” He asked a guest if “being surrounded by women” makes “a case for commander in chief—or does it make a case against it?” At some point Matthews was shamed into sort of half apologizing to Clinton, but then just picked up again with his sexist ramblings.
Matthews has wondered aloud whether Sarah Palin is even “capable of thinking” and has called Bachmann a “balloon head” and said she was “lucky we still don’t have literacy tests out there.” Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene, who is the former president of the Women’s Media Center, told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in 2011 that Matthews?“is a bully, and his favorite target is women.” So why does he still have a show? What if his favorite target was Jews? Or African-Americans?
A partial transrcipt of the March 5 Hardball exchange, can be found below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: This is what you're talking about though: A protestant student at a Catholic law school, Georgetown, which has a lot of non-catholic students. She wants to have birth control covered as part of her health care. For that, she was called a slut and a prostitute by, by Rush Limbaugh.
ROB PORTMAN: Yeah.
MATTHEWS: He took back the words, but his intent was to trash her and to say she ought to have videos online of her having sex if she wants the government or the health care to cover her. I mean that isn't just the words he chose. He maliciously maligned this woman. I think it's probably libelous. But, he went after her in such a way, made fun of her as a person. It isn't just a couple words, is it?
PORTMAN: Chris- No- You and I can agree on that. And I think it was a dumb thing to say. And again, Rush has said pretty much that. And and so it sounds like maybe you're keeping it alive more than him in the eyes of the voter.
MATTHEWS: No, no, no, no.
PORTMAN: Mitt Romney has been talking-
MATTHEWS: No. I want romney to say something. Romney didn't get to this until Friday night. Romney let four days pass. Romney only responded, and he said something like "these words weren't the words I would use." He seems more scared of Rush Limbaugh, according to George Will yesterday, than he is of our enemies in this world. Why is your party so afraid of Rush Limbaugh?
PORTMAN: Well, I think what the party is is focused on jobs and the economy. If you listen to what he's been saying the last few days, and I've been with him on two plant tours today and a couple rallies, it's all about the economy. You know that? You've hard his message.
LIMBAUGH: David, this is the a cloud over the Republicans' head for the reason they don't want to attack Rush Limbaugh. They could have gotten rid of this problem last Wednesday if they had all stood up and said this guy is a horse's ass. He shouldn't be talking on anything, let alone women's rights and health care. They don't want to do it.
DAVID CORN: No. They sold their soul to Rush Limbaugh many years ago. And now they can't even buy it back. It's probably not worth that much either these days.