Chris Matthews Writes His Own Books
Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici has a tense yet amusing exchange with Chris Matthews:
We’re talking about his new book, “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero” — it’s currently No. 4 on Amazon, by the way — when the subject turn to “Profiles in Courage.” Kennedy won a Pulitzer for the book even though he farmed out most of the actual writing to an uncredited co-author, his aide Ted Sorensen. Did Matthews have a Sorensen of his own, I wonder?
Matthews’ genial, boyish face darkens. “Forget you,” he says.
(Only he doesn’t say “forget you.” Both Matthews and my editor asked me not to print what he actually said, so I rely here on my readers’ familiarity with both the original and radio versions of a certain Cee-Lo Green song.)
“Forget you,” he repeats. “Where’d you get that? Is that what you think? You think I don’t write my books?”
I try to explain that I hadn’t meant the question to be insulting. After all, plenty of people in Matthews’ orbit of politicians and media talking heads use ghostwriters, or at least lean on interns to do most of their research.
Not Matthews. “I would never let anybody write something for me,” he says. “Why do you think I’m like that? It’s amazing to me that you think I’m some lightweight, glib bullshit artist that has somebody do his work for him. The writing is the hard part, the composition.”
So, there you have it.