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Daily Howler: Matthews' loathing of women has long been clear. Why won't lib journals say so?
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ALL WOMEN LEFT BEHIND! Matthews’ loathing of women has long been clear. Why won’t lib journals say so? // link // print // previous // next //

THE TRUTH ABOUT RUSSERT: An amazing thing has occurred in the past few weeks; for the first time we can ever recall, Jack Welch’s angry and very Lost Boys have been forced to defend their gruesome conduct against complaints from the left. It’s true: Our “liberal” journals have been quite timid. The weak young lads who work at those journals aren’t going to speak until it’s quite safe. So the toughest complaints have had to come from Democratic politicians themselves. (This is not good strategy.)

This morning, we cheered as Geraldine Ferraro spoke up in a letter to the New York Times—although we disagree with a major part of her focus. She spoke about the conduct of the last Democratic debate:
FERRARO (11/14/07): Watching this debate, I saw two hours of Senator Clinton being bombarded with personal attacks, not only by her opponents but also by the moderator Tim Russert. Yes, she’s the Democratic front-runner, and that makes her fair game for challenges on the issues. But when it got so personal that even Bill Richardson, one of her opponents, had to say “Enough,” I had to agree.
Omigod—she directly named Russert! She said he “bombarded” Clinton “with personal attacks”—and she suggested he had a personal animus! After saying she thinks this conduct was sexist, she offered an additional thought:
FERRARO: I’ll be watching the coming candidate debates on CNN, and if the Republican front-runner, Rudolph W. Giuliani, is the sole subject of two hours of personal attacks, I’ll rethink my position.
Well, she doesn’t have to worry about that! Giuliani will not be trashed in the way Clinton was—and yes, the trashing was directed by Russert and by his handsome side-kick, Brian Williams. In fact, no front-runner has ever been treated the way this particular front-runner was. When Russert hosted a Republican debate in January 2000, for example, front-runner Bush got nothing that even dimly resembled this treatment. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/2/07, to recall how the other half lives.

Omigod! Unlike the trembling boys at our “liberal” journals, Ferrraro was willing to suggest the obvious—Bombardier Russert was taking sides when he directed the trashing of Clinton. But even Ferraro omits the obvious. Yes, this probably happened, in some part, because Clinton is a woman. But it clearly happened because she’s a Democrat! Even Ferraro fails to suggest what has been clear for a very long time: Russert, and the rest of Jack Welch’s Lost Boys, have a plain partisan animus.

So we’ll offer two cheers for Ferraro today, for putting Russert on the defensive. But even Ferraro fails to describe the shape of the past fifteen years.

Tomorrow, we’ll show you Gene Lyons’ new column, and a recent post from Digby, in which we read about two groaning “errors” made by Russert in his trashing of Clinton. Here’s our question: Do we still believe that these are “mistakes?” At your “liberal” journals, the frightened lads do; they’ll get around to alleging a partisan animus at some point in the latter half of the century. (Cowards of the maximum order, they still won’t discuss what happened to Gore!) But for ourselves, we’d have to say that Russert’s pattern has become rather clear. Jack Welch’s boys have trashed Big Dems for years. When do we plan to stand up and say so? After Rudy’s war with Iran?

IN SEARCH OF SEXISM: We can think of only one past debate which even dimly resembled this last one; that was the final Gore-Bradley debate in New Hampshire, in which Gore took a heap of abuse from the principal moderator. But in that case, Gore was a man—and the moderator, Judy Woodruff, was a woman. Why was Woodruff trashing Gore that night—bombarding him with personal attacks? We’d have to say her conduct that night cannot be drawn back to her sexism.

Question: What analysis could help us understand the way this scribe went after Gore? What group dynamic within the press corps explains this plainly repetitive conduct—the repetitive conduct your wet-legged boys will discuss once they get their SS?

Special report: Profiles discouraged!

BE SURE TO READ EACH THRILLING INSTALLMENT: Chris Matthews has savaged Big Dems for a decade. But to this day, “liberal” journals have failed to produce a profile which even dimly captures his conduct. Why have our “liberal” journals slept? Read each thrilling installment:
PART 1: The most remarkable fact about Matthews is the fact that he never gets profiled. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/12/07.

PART 2: Eight years ago, just like today, Matthews was selecting your candidate. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/13/07.
Today, we recall the way Matthews has trashed liberal women, down through all the years.

PART 3—ALL WOMEN LEFT BEHIND: Eight years ago, just like today, Chris Matthews was picking your nominee for you. In recent weeks, he has been running a ludicrous campaign against the deeply troubling way Candidate Clinton claps her hands; back then, he fawned over Bill Bradley’s five o’clock shadow—and he wouldn’t stop trashing Gore. The sheer stupidity of Matthews’ work is only matched by its anti-Dem vehemence. His hatred of Dems—and his loathing of women—has been clear for a very long time.

But none of this seems to register at our fiery “liberal” journals—at the journals which make liberals and Democrats think their interests are being defended. To this day, we have never seen a profile of Matthews which even begins to deal with the way he has savaged the Democratic Party over the course of the past dozen years. Indeed, some of our journalistic leaders go out of their way to praise his work! Then, by complete and total coincidence, they end up as guests on his program.

And make no mistake, the ugliest aspects of Matthews’ character have been on display a long time. Tomorrow, we’ll show you the way he took part in the sexual trashing of Naomi Wolf, back when the press corps was using Wolf as a way to tear down Gore. But then, Matthews’ loathing of women has long been apparent—more particularly, his loathing of liberal women. Consider what happened on July 29, 1999, when Mary Boyle dared to speak on his show.

As always, Matthews was playing the fool about Gore, engaging in the two-year war which eventually sent Bush to the White House. About half that evening’s Hardball show was devoted to discussions about Gore, then the Democratic front-runner. In particular, Matthews asked why Gore was polling poorly against Bush among female voters, and he wondered how the legacy of the Clinton scandals would affect Gore’s campaign. Throughout, he displayed the abusive tone toward Gore that was quickly becoming his trademark. As he began, he showed completely unremarkable tape of Gore campaigning that day in Cleveland. How could Gore be campaigning so poorly? he then asked his well-trained panel:
MATTHEWS (7/29/99): Is Al Gore just incapable of putting, like, one foot in front of the other in this campaign? He’s a professional politician—

REP. JOE. SCARBOROUGH (R-FL): Yeah. He’s awful.

MATTHEWS: —who acts like an amateur. I don’t get it. Did you ever see the movie “Altered States?” I mean, his face is, like, getting contorted in some of these—there’s bubbles coming out of his forehead!
It was only July 1999—but Matthews was already comparing Gore to a science fiction monster. But, as usual, more was coming. Mary Boyle, a former Democratic Senate candidate from Ohio (defeated by Voinovich), was appearing live from Cleveland; she said she had been present that day to watch Gore give his speech. Matthews continued his onslaught:
MATTHEWS: What mode was he in? Was he in, was he in the quiet mode, or that sort of Clutch Cargo craziness he gets into, or was he—

BOYLE: No, no, but he was—

MATTHEWS: —or was he in the “Altered States” where the head starts to bubble? What state was he in today?
Boyle said that Gore had been “very gentle and approachable and listened to people in their presentations.” Soon, Scarborough, a regular guest on the show, returned to the kind of commentary which was becoming so familiar on Hardball. Indeed, it was very much like last week’s Hardball! We were now discussing the way the Dem front-runner had once been seen clapping his hands:
SCARBOROUGH: She says, “Al Gore was loose.” That’s when he’s at his worst. Remember the Olympics, when he was clapping like this? And you’re, like, “My God, the guy can’t even clap.” Did they—what—did they teach—


SCARBOROUGH: I mean, he—he’s in trouble. And it feeds on itself and he looks more like a dork than he, than when he’s not trying.
Perhaps you’re getting the picture. On Hardball, they were trashing the way Gore clapped his hands at the Winter Olympics. (Today, Gore is the Nobel Prize winner. Back then, on this inexcusable program, he was just “a dork.”) But then, these things never change on this program. All last week, Matthews burned time on his crackpot program berating Clinton for the way she claps her hands! In short, Matthews is a barely sane, Dem-hating nut. And he has been for a very long time.

But let’s return to July 29, 1999—eight long years ago. In the segments of the show which dealt with Gore, Matthews said that Gore was like a surgeon who had “the shakes;” referred to him several times as Clinton’s “bath-tub ring;” and said he was “a square and loser.” He insisted that Gore was “pandering to women” when he supported abortion rights. He said Gore was “into robotics;” he said bubbles were coming out of Gore’s forehead, and that he was like a famous cartoon figure. But then, Matthews would go on to call Gore a “bath-tub ring” over forty times in 1999 alone; in the year 2000, he would ratchet up his colorful language, saying Gore “would lick the bathroom floor” in order to get to the White House. (See extra section, below.) And, as crackpots frequently do, Matthews frequently complimented himself for his daring language. “I’m sure he loves that one,” he said on May 14, after calling Gore the “bath-tub ring.” “I’ve been very risqué at times,” he naughtily boasted, discussing this same formulation a week later. On March 8, he called Gore the bath-tub ring, “as I keep saying to the discomfort of many others.” On July 21, we finally saw the soul of the artist as one guest seemed to balk a bit at his abusive language:
MATTHEWS (7/21/99): Is he the bath-tub ring of the Clinton administration?

REP. PETER KING (R-NY): He really is. The residue, whatever—you know whatever term you want to use, yeah.

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s not a very nice one. If you can come up with a better one, I’ll start using it, but for right now I’m saying “bath-tub ring” because I think he is taking a hit for Clinton’s zaniness of the year before.
Matthews thought that Gore was taking a hit? Gore was “taking a hit” over Clinton’s misconduct every night, on his own crackpot program! At any rate, Matthews never did “come up with a better one” than the “very risqué” term he had been brilliantly using with Gore. He called Gore “the bath-tub ring” all year long, then added the image of licking the floor as he worked to send Bush to the White House. The blood of Iraq is on Matthews’ hands for the disgraceful conduct he engaged in—not that you’d ever know such things from reading your “liberal” journals.

(By the way: One month after this July 29 program, Matthews spent a half-hour on his program letting Gennifer Flowers go on and on—and on and on—about both Clintons’ murders. No one said boo—or ever has.)

But yes—that July 29 program was pretty much like other Hardballs. Except for what happened when Mary Boyle tried to defend Gore’s performance—when we got to see, as we saw last week, Matthews’ familiar loathing of women, especially liberal women.

In fairness, Boyle made a mistake on this show. A first-time guest, she tried to offer sensible commentary about Gore’s actual Cleveland speech, which she had actually witnessed. As noted above, when she said that Gore hadn’t seemed like a sci-fi monster—when she even tried to list the issues he had discussed—Boyle quickly found herself confronted with Matthews’ standard lunacy. Here’s a slightly fuller excerpt, so you can drink it in:
MATTHEWS: Mary Boyle, who ran for the Senate out there. Go ahead, Mary.

BOYLE: Listen, the vice president was in Cleveland today. I want to tell you just very briefly about it, because you probably would like covering the news.

MATTHEWS: What mode was he in? Was he in—was he in the quiet mode, or that sort of—

SCARBOROUGH: Did he scream?

MATTHEWS: —Clutch Cargo craziness he gets into, or was he—

BOYLE: No, no, but he was—

MATTHEWS: —or was he in the "Altered States" where the head starts to bubble? What state was he in today?
That was the way this sick, disturbed kook was covering your White House election.

At any rate, Boyle was on the wrong program. “I want to tell you just very briefly about [Gore’s speech],” she said, “because you probably would like covering the news.” Condescendingly saying, “Can I give you a chance here?” Matthews quickly took the discussion back into dumber waters. But when Boyle spoke up in a later segment, the full force of her host’s scorn was unleashed. He told his guest he would speak very slowly so she could get what he was saying:
MATTHEWS: Mary—Mary, let me explain—

BOYLE: OK, Chris.

MATTHEWS: —why we're doing this now.

BOYLE: All right.

MATTHEWS: The reason we're doing this now, to give you a little bit of history, Mary—


MATTHEWS: And I say this to a fellow Irish-American. The reason I'm telling you this very clearly—I'm speaking like Al Gore now, very slowly—

BOYLE: Very slowly.

MATTHEWS: —like, like, like Mr. Rogers—

SUSAN MOLINARI: There's still a little too much passion there.

MATTHEWS (overt condescension): The reason we're doing this, Mary, is because in the last election, if only men had gotten to vote, we would have President Dole right now. Men voted for Dole, after running the—good guy, worst campaign in history. Men still hated Clinton so much, they voted for Dole.
Molinari seemed a bit uncomfortable with the mocking tone Matthews was extending toward Boyle. But any viewer of this program should have been found it quite familiar; Matthews had aimed his withering scorn at liberal women all through the year. He had trashed Elizabeth Holtzman in January when she dared make accurate statements about her host’s favorite Clinton-accuser, his dearest darling, the Faire Lady Willey. And he would trash Norah O’Donnell all through the year—back in the day when O’Donnell routinely spoke up to challenge her host’s inanity, before becoming the multimillionaire android she has agreed to perform as today. (At some point, she made a choice.) Just last week, we once again saw the snide condescension Matthews directs toward women who challenge him; he lectured Mika Brzezinki on the Morning Joe program, then directed his standard short fuse toward Chrystia Freeland on Hardball. (His pique toward Freeland was evident again Monday evening, when she dared suggest that journalists should avoid forcing “our own media interpretation” onto the Clinton-Obama race. By contrast, when Joe Klein said the same thing last night, Matthews took it like a man.) Indeed, anyone who watches this show has seen the endless gender disturbance which animates so much of Matthews’ conversation. Tomorrow, we’ll look in on more of that gender disturbance as we watch the way this unwell man trashed Wolf during November 1999—helping send Bush to the White House.

In print, it’s hard to convey the condescension Matthew showed toward Boyle, who dared to say that Gore didn’t have bubbles coming out of his forehead when he spoke in Cleveland. (Boyle never appeared on Hardball again.) But anyone who watches Hardball has seen that rude, dismissive condescension toward women again and again—and his kooky, throwback gender disturbance, which he has aimed at Clinton all year. That’s what makes it so amazing, when even our female “liberal” editors refuse to assign a profile of Matthews—of his long-time, repugnant, Dem-trashing conduct. For the past decade, Matthews has been trashing Major Dems in the stupidest ways imaginable, while displaying his endless gender disturbance. But in the world of “liberal” journalism, even our Big Liberal Women have refused to complain; one of them even goes out of her way to praise the gentleman’s work. We have never seen a single profile which begins to capture this man’s gruesome conduct—which even begins to capture the harm he has done in the past dozen years. Even our female editors won’t assign that profile—the profile which still hasn’t been written.

All week, we’re asking one question: Why on earth won’t they order that profile? We’re afraid the answer is obvious.

TOMORROW—PART 4: Eight years ago this very week, Matthews was trashing Vile Wolf.

AMERICAN FRUITCAKE: On July 4, 2000, John McCaslin included the following item in his daily Washington Times column. It quotes a piece from a kooky-con journal. In turn, the kooky-con piece had quoted an anonymous American crackpot sounding off about Candidate Gore:
MCCASLIN (7/4/00): In every race, there's a winner and a loser. So what happens to the loser in the 2000 presidential race?

"With the relative normality of George W's Bush upbringing, he seems like a regular guy who would very much like to be president, but it won't be the end of the world for him if he doesn't make it. He'll still have his family and he'll still do the fun, normal things he likes to do," opines Washington writer Melinda Ledden Sidak in the Women's Quarterly.

"Gore, however, is another story. There is something eerie about his robotic, mechanical speaking style and smarmy Eddie Haskell effect. He speaks as though his audience consists solely of dim souls who are hard of hearing—each word carefully enunciated with every third word emphasized," she observes.

"Worse, he seems willing to do literally anything in order to become president. As one well-known Washington pundit told me, 'If you told Gore to get down and lick the floor in order to be president, he'd unhesitatingly drop to the floor. If you told Bush the same thing, he'd tell you to get lost.' "
Sidak knew to use the Eddie Haskell put-down—the same one Bob Herbert would use in October. And she quoted a “well-known Washington pundit”—a man who seemed to be cracking pots all over Washington town.

What must happen before “liberal” journals profile this big fruitcake’s work?