Is there something in the water at NBC/MSNBC? Laughing gas in the ventilation system, perhaps? Earlier today, I posted the photo below, showing Matt Lauer dissolving in laughter on this morning's Today show. It happened when Katie made her momentous announcement that she was leaving for CBS. Matt pretended to take it totally in stride, making to move right on, intoning "also coming up in this half-hour" in his best canned host-voice before bursting out.
This evening, it was Chris Matthews' turn to double over in laughter. Now granted, Matthews had a better excuse - his guest was the daffy Howard Dean. Matthews managed to keep a straight face when Dean first claimed that the Democrats "want to bring this country back together again so everybody is respected," and then proceeded to lash out at every Republican within arm's reach.
But Dean's act eventually became too much for even Chris to take. Matthews asked whether, in light of his resignation, Tom DeLay remained "a poster boy for corruption."
When Dean launched into a laundry list of other Dem targets, claiming "we have Karl Rove who still has a security clearance after leaking the name of a security agent. We have Bill Frist, we've got Dick Cheney's chief of staff, we have so many poster boys for corruption in the Republican party" Matthews totally lost it. He absolutely lost composure and burst into outright laughter that the photo here only begins to capture. So sustained was Chris' attack of the giggles that eventually the cameras had to turn away.
Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle'. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org