Chris Matthews on Hillary Clinton - Part I

09 November 2007

Chris Matthews is a perfect example of what's wrong with talking head journalism today. Instead of talking about the substance of any of these issues, Matthews devolves into discussions of Clinton's "Chinese" (???) clapping (more on Matthews's clapping coverage here and here).

For example, Matthews looks at Clinton's position on limited licenses for illegal aliens (which I wrote about here), and all he sees is this: "when you read the text here, it's like blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

Matthews has also been pushing the "gender card" meme pretty hard. When Clinton spoke to her alma mater Wellesley, she made the following comments:

The world class faculty and staff who push you and challenge you, those late nights and long lunches where you challenge each other and learn from each other, the camaraderie that develops when smart, ambitious young women come together in a community of learning.

In so many ways, this all women's college prepared me to compete on the all boys' club of presidential politics.


This was a place where you could try out all different kinds of leadership styles, where you could ask for critique and support from your friends and the faculty with whom you had an ongoing relationship. It was a place that truly did prepare women to make the best choices that we thought were right for our own lives.

Nothing sensational here. She absolutely did not say that people were picking on her because she is a woman. Nor did she say that people should vote for her because she is a woman (in fact, she's explicitly said the opposite). All she said was that the "all women's college" (it is) gave her the leadership skills to compete on the"all boys' club of presidential politics" (she is the only female among 17 contenders, and the first really serious female contender ever - this statement is simply an accurate description). However, when you pass that through the Chris Matthews filter, it turns into an "anti-male thing." According to Matthews (who may or may not have read the original transcript), "she should just lighten up on this gender -- 'the boys are coming to get me' routine."

Matthews has also tackled such issues as the way she laughs, and the way she talks. He's even devoted a segment to speculating about the candidates' Halloween costumes, and another criticizing Mitt Romney's burger-flipping skills.

UPDATE: More shitty journalism from Chris Matthews (here), who just won't quit with this "Chinese" clapping crap.

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