Rajiv Chandrasekaran was the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post during the tenure of Paul Bremer as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in the period succeeding the removal of Saddam Hussein. Chandrasekaran is the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a book generally critical of Bremer's administration -- but apparently not critical enough for Chris Matthews. Chandrasekaran was Matthews' guest on today's Hardball.
At one point, Matthews launched this vulgar leading question about Bremer:
"Did this guy blow it? Was he a joke? Was he an arse on a golden horse?"
View video here.
Chandrasekaran gave an answer that was critical in substance but respectful in tone: "I think Bremer will go down as a guy who made an awful lot of controversial decisions that perhaps set us on a path towards some of the mess we find ourselves in today."That wasn't good enough for Matthews. As Chandrasekaran continued to make his case, a frustrated Chris eventually interrupted:
"You act like you didn't tell me all this. I'm reading your damn book. Rajiv, tell me what a loser, a loser, Paul Bremer was over there."Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org