A shameless Obama worshipper who plays the race card as easy as he breathes is MSNBC’s “model,” . . . sounds about right.
NEW YORK (AP) — To his boss, Chris Matthews has become a statesman. His critics probably have other words.
The veteran MSNBC host raised his profile as much as any member of the television commentariat during the presidential campaign. His 5 p.m. “Hardball” show has seen viewership jump by 24 percent this year from 2011, 17 percent for the rerun two hours later.
Matthews symbolized MSNBC’s growing comfort in being a liberal alternative to Fox News Channel. He engaged in an uncomfortable on-air confrontation with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, seemed nearly apoplectic when President Barack Obama flubbed his first debate and had to apologize for appearing grateful that Hurricane Sandy might have helped Obama’s re-election effort.
With Keith Olbermann out of sight, Matthews essentially replaced him as the commentator that most annoyed conservative viewers.
“He’s as good as he’s ever been,” said Phil Griffin, MSNBC president. “He’s at a place in his life where he’s really comfortable in his own skin. He’s a statesman. He has so much knowledge and I think he understands it better. He’s always been great, but I really think he’s been at the peak of his game.” [...]
“He is sort of the model figure for who we are,” Griffin said. “He doesn’t stick out loving politics and being passionate about politics. It comes across in everything we do … And that’s Chris.”