Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz came down strongly on MSNBC's Chris Matthews Friday for the Hardball host's sycophantic interview with President Obama the previous day.
In an article published at FoxNews.com, Kurtz wrote, "It was as though Matthews was channeling Jay Carney...Maybe he was getting a reprise of the famous thrill up the leg.":
I’m not sure what Chris Matthews was doing with President Obama yesterday, but it wasn’t hardball.
It wasn’t even softball.
It was more like wiffle ball.
Ouch. But there was more:
Matthews is a likable guy with a passion for politics, but he left his interviewing chops at the door. The mile-a-minute man who jumps all over his guests let the president ramble on with long, discursive, three-part answers. At times Matthews acted like a political science professor. Maybe he was getting a reprise of the famous thrill up the leg.
This was clearly a home game for Obama.
Double ouch! Kurtz concluded:
Perhaps the White House was pleased. But in nearly three-quarters of an hour, Obama made little news. That’s what happens when you don’t have to hit major-league pitching.
But something Kurtz missed was the absurdity of the President of the United States being interviewed by a network which in the previous nine days dismissed two anchors for atrocious behavior.
Just one day prior to Matthews' interview with Obama, colleague Martin Bashir resigned for vile comments made about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin last month.
Eight days prior, Alec Baldwin was fired by MSNBC for a homophobic slur to a paparazzo.
Was it really appropriate for the President of the United States to be doing an interview with this network so close to such high profile terminations?
Consider the outrage that would have ensued if former President George W. Bush did an interview with Fox News so soon after two of that network's hosts had been dismissed for similar behavior.