Michelle Malkin on Hardball

Michelle Malkin discusses her appearance on yesterday’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” It’s a rather stunning display although, frankly, not all that surprising at this stage. Matthews, who touts himself as “one of Washington’s most respected journalists” on his (actually, fairly watchable) eponymous Sunday show, turned “Hardball” into a foam-a-thon some time back.

I used to watch the show and found Matthews engaging if a bit immature. Somewhere along the line, though, he changed the format and started packing more guests into each episode and began barking questions in rapid fire mode, cutting them off, and basically turning the show into a vehicle to spout his non-existent brilliance. The “Saturday Night Live” spoof of the show is only barely a parody. Obviously, it isn’t working all that well as the show went from being, so far as I know, reasonably popular to relegation into the hinterland of mid-afternoon television.

Oddly, as alluded to earlier, Matthew’s half hour weekend show is pretty good. I caught an episode a few months back after learning that Andrew Sullivan would be on and have been TiVo’ing it regularly since. Matthews is still mildly annoying, but he gets solid guests on and lets them speak.

When talking heads shows de-generate into shoutfests, they become unwatchable. I quit watching “The McLaughlin Group” and “Crossfire,” both one-time must-sees, years ago. I watched “Hardball” more recently but can’t remember the last time I intentionally caught an episode.

Update (2248): Apparently, this episode was a boon for Michelle: The post has 82 TrackBacks and counting!

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I saw the exchange and I have to say that it’s a tie as to who was at fault. Malkin could have easily diffused the situation by simply answering directly that no one is accusing Kerry of literally shooting himself on purpose, but rather that the wounds for which he received the purple hearts were self inflicted via accidents or his ineptness. The point the O’Neill book makes is that the wounds were not, as Kerry claims, caused by enemy fire.

    As much of a bully Chris Matthews was on this point, Malkin was deficient in making this key distinction.

  2. John says:

    I watched that show, she should have been tossed off.

  3. Chris Gill says:

    This is election is turning into a free-for-all, and everyone is geting in on the act. I used to like to watch Hardball, as I did other shows, but when so-called journalist start taking sides, instead of reporting the facts, it has officially gotten rediculous.

    I read the transcript of the Malkin-Matthews Hardball segment, and was extremely disappointed that Matthews behaved like he did. The interview revealed a few things:

    1. Matthews does not read/review any material that is critical of Kerry objectively, as he should as a journalist.

    2. Matthews is more accepting of critique of Bush, than he is Kerry, which lends to the credibility of his show’s name Hardball. Maybe it should be changed to “Republican Hardball, Democrat Benefit of the Doubt”.

    3. Matthews seems incredulous that anyone would have a problem with Kerry, AS HE IS PRESENTING HIMSELF TODAY. Is is it because he has a vested interest in Kerry winning…..like all other Democrats?

    4. There is a great deal being said of the $500,000 raised by the Swift Boat Vets. Has it escaped Matthews and Co. the $62,000,000.00 dollars raised by “progressive” and “independent” organizations who oppose Bush. Let me see…500K…62 Million. Yep, I can see the source of outrage from all of the pundits angry at the SBV for being “bought” out Rove and boys.

    5. Matthews, like Kerry really has a glass jaw. He can dish it, but he can’t take it. And when the chips are down, he is so “not gellin”. He tries to present himself as an objective journalist, but has fallen off the partisan cliff with the journalists at the NYT, CBS, CNN, NBC, ABC, etc. Because of this, his show is absolutely worthless for providing real info…especially if it doens’t involve a Republican. Even with the time constraints of a network show, one still should allow a guest to express their viewpoints completely before trhying to disprove them. I suggest someone make a tape of Hardball’s Democrat leaning guest segments and one for the Republican guest segments, and see if their is a difference in tone or incredulity at outlandish charges, i.e. “Bush is a deserter/AWOL”.

    6. Kerry has made his 4 months in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign, but feels entitled to not have it critiqued like any other record of any other politician. This is kind of strange to me. Especially when said person has a history of being an elected official that spans 3 decades. Of course not all will agree with Kerry’s record as a Congressman and Senator, but I think the record illustrates longevity, and a consitantcy of principles the candidates holds. This is perfectly open to debate, and should be debated.

    As it seems, like Matthews, Kerry is actually vapid and two dimensional. I was hoping to see a debate of visions. What I am getting is “Bush is a diabolical genius/moron” and “Kerry is a Vietnam vet/How can Republicans question his serivce?”. It all has gotten old.

    Finally, it seems for all of Michael Moore’s efforts, Hollywoods efforts, the Media’s lack of effort, and Kerry’s touting his efforts in Vietnam, he still can’t move beyond being a prop for the ABB left (Anybody But Bush), into being a real live candidate who can stand on his own merits AS A POLITICIAN!!!!.

  4. John says:

    >>>I watched that show, she should have been tossed off.

    Yeah, that’s it. Let’s eliminate the guest that HAS read the book and wants to comment on it and just leave the host who HASN’T read the book but wants to comment on it anyway.

    No decent human being that watched that show could possibly believe that Malkin received fair treatment. Matthews behavior was abhorrent.

    Methinks the Swift Boat Veterans are making Camp Kerry and his media flunkies a little nervous, wouldn’t you say? I mean, spittle was literally flying out of Matthews head as he pressed his relentless assault on his “guest”.

    Hardball’s impending cancellation is a nice consolation, however. And at least Matthews has stopped pretending that he’s objective or unbiased.