|Christopher John Matthews|
|Political Party:||Democratic Party|
|Born||December 17, 1945|
Chris Matthews is an American political commentator and television personality who hosts a nationally televised daily program on MSNBC. He previously worked for the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, as well as Speaker of the US House of Representatives Tip O'Neill, during their time in those respective offices. Despite having worked for two high-profile Democrats, Matthews is not hesitant to criticize the Democratic Party. He is commonly categorized among cable news personalities as a liberal, primarily because of his presence on MSNBC, most of whose opinion shows take a liberal perspective, and because Matthews reacted very positively on air following several of Barack Obama's major speeches during the 2008 United States Presidential Election.
However, liberals have a mix of reactions to Chris Matthews. While he is often more friendly to liberal causes than to conservative causes, he is a moderate liberal and has a tendency to speak without fully considering his words. This has been manifest at times as unfair analysis, insensitive comments about women, and once a creepy comment about a feeling in his leg brought on by an Obama speech. However, this is not to dismiss Matthews as a commentator; he has useful commentary on the ambiguously defined "Middle America" which is vital to American elections, and you know he's telling you what he really thinks because he can't keep his mouth shut. Even though he worked for Democrats, Matthews has said, "I'm more conservative than people think I am. ... I voted for George W. in 2000" and has even defended him along with criticizing the Democrats when the Democrats have been right on the issues. Salon.com has even called him the "most conservative voice" on MSNBC's prime-time lineup and he has been criticized by many other liberal media watchdogs for having panels of guests that skew to the right of the Political Spectrum and of supporting some Republicans in his own questions and comments. He's probably a moderate liberal. A liberal blogger, Glenn Greenwald has called Matthews "the most vivid example of all that is wrong with political coverage," saying "he’s endlessly obsessed with personality-based politics and likes to promote the strong, masculine tough guy who you can have a beer with, versus the nerdy loser. And he has a cast of characters who go on his show, like Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, who gush over the maleness of the Republican candidates and warn Democrats about how that has real appeal to American voters. Most political reporters judge candidates on the basis of the likeability factor–Matthews is just more explicit about it." The progressive organization, Media Matters for America that watches conservative misinformation, named Matthews as its 2005 Misinformer of the Year, partly for statements he made in support of President George W. Bush beforehand.
On January 9, 2008 following Hillary Clinton's surprise victory in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, while on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, Matthews said of Clinton, "I'll be brutal, the reason she's a U.S. Senator, the reason she's a candidate for President, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be Senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn't win there on her merit." The comments were criticized, even from paleoconservative Pat Buchanan. Matthews later apologized for the statements.