Chris Matthews Grills Miss America Contestants

The sessions may not have been televised, but as a judge for the Miss America pageant, Chris Matthews decided to play "Hardball" with the contestants. One woman was asked where bin Laden is.

Reports the Washington Examiner:

As one of the key judges at the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas this weekend, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews pulled out his “Hardball” best when it came time to question each of the contestants.

“Why did Mississippi seem to do a better job than” Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina?” he asked Miss Mississippi.

“If you had a long plane ride, who would you rather sit next to, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush?” he queried another.

“Why can’t [Oprah] find a guy?” he continued.

And even though it didn’t air on TV, Miss D.C., Kate Michael, said Matthews dominated her interview, asking her several political questions. “He asked me where Osama bin Laden is now,” she said.

But the strangest query he concocted had to be this one, aimed at another contestant: “Faulkner never used commas when he wrote. Why is that?”

Matthews was unavailable for comment, but he is indeed correct about the author’s punctuation peculiarities, said Professor Wayne Knoll, a Faulkner expert at Georgetown.

Faulkner “wants us to hear, not see,” said Knoll. “He’s writing from a Southern oral tradition.” Plus, “he’s deliberately employing a stream of consciousness.”