Larry has already written eloquently on Chris Matthews’ tingle up the leg. What Chris, the master of TMI, may be experiencing is the sensation of an expedition party tingling his leg as it makes its way to remove the multiple bugs up his ass. And oh, am I familiar with those bugs. In a past life I was his producer.
Some of you may not remember that before presiding majestically at MSNBC, Chris Matthews played hardball on CNBC. Sadly for Chris, his audience was miniscule. He and an endless parade of hapless executive producers tried to think up jazzy segments to let Chris’s personality shine through. One such segment was “Winners and Losers”. The rule was that the people chosen to be named in either category had to “be someone who even their best friend would admit screwed up (loser) or even their worst enemy would concede they’d pulled off a victory (winner)”. Simple, right? One would think so, consider that the decisions were made after whirling the nominees through the Chris Matthews spin cycle. The way Chris made his final choice every day presents a fascinating window into his bizarre brain.
Several times a week, Chris would make the choices personally, preferring to select the day’s “Loser”. And several times a week, the loser would be either Benjamin Netanyahu or Bill Clinton.
Now, you may not care for those two cats too much, but seriously: So many dictators are running loose in the world, and Clinton and Netanyahu get the whoopee cushion day after day?
When my curiosity finally got the best of me I asked Chris why he was so obsessed with those two men. His answer was revealing, and I paraphrase: “Netanyahu went to MIT and has a West Philly accent. He sounds like an American but he’s was elected Prime Minister of Israel. Bill Clinton grew up in Dogpatch but he went to Georgetown, Oxford and Yale. He got elected President. Women love both of ‘em and forgive ‘em anything. AND THEY’RE BOTH MY AGE.
Got that? Those two men, who are both Chris’s age, had been elected to run their respective countries while Chris toiled away as a columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle and the host of a panel/shout show with no ratings. They always got the girls while Chris was asked to talk to the hand. Which makes these men losers. Got that logic?
Hope this helps. More later.