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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.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. Jsmith says:

    Yes, Matthews, I think you a glib, lightweight BS artist.

    The lady doth protest too much.

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  2. John Peabody says:

    Apparently the simple answer of “no” was not available.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    I never know what to think of Matthews but in this case I don’t think he protests too much. He lives in a world of pampered actor-anchors and the default assumption of many is that they, Matthews included, are all phonies. I accept him at his word that he actually writes his own stuff and can understand why he would take offense.

    I’ll leave it to someone else who is actually familiar with his Kennedy book to comment on the potential irony of him slamming someone why uses a ghost writer while writing about someone who uses a ghost writer.

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