Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)
The best part of the media coverage of the New Hampshire primary last night had to be what happened on MSNBC, of course. Did you really think it would be anywhere else?
In their post results assessment, Chris Matthews had an instant classic in going after one of his very own network's Republican strategists for being a "Romney surrogate." Here was what happened if you missed it:
As the primary coverage ensued, Matthews asked former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt - present on the panel as the lone conservative - why Romney hasn't released his tax records.
Schmidt responded, "Well, you should ask the campaign why he won't."
Matthews shot back, "I'm asking its surrogate, you."
"Chris, I'm not a Romney surrogate," replied Schmidt.
Maddow quickly came to his defense saying, "He's no surrogate."
But Matthews was undeterred claiming, "Oh, come on. You like him. You want him to be president. Come on."
Okay, first of all, you know you've jumped the shark when Rachel Maddow won't even back you up given her sterling record of devotion to accuracy. But more than that, is there anything more outrageous than to hear Chris Matthews call out some other analyst for being a "surrogate" for a candidate? Hilarious.
And keep in mind, I'm not Steve Schmidt fan. He's the guy that ran the McCain campaign in 2008 and, if I recall correctly, was one who attempted to use Palin as the scapegoat for the loss. Schmidt was one who participated in the Palin trashing and the Palin bashing saying things like, "Oh we really had to work with her," or "She was just a lot to handle - always going off message, going rogue," all that stuff. So this isn't a defense of Schmidt. In fact, I think it's fair to say he probably is pulling for Romney in this.
But that's totally beside the point. MSNBC has hired this guy to be one of their analysts and provide insight from the Republican perspective. And last night, he was the only one there offering the Republican viewpoint. So for Matthews to try to chuck him off the cliff and point out that he can't be viewed as reliable because, after all, he's just a shill for Romney was unprofessional first and foremost. But it was the height of hypocrisy even more than that. Remember it was Matthews who was one of the worst shills in the history of journalism in 2008 as he chronicled the thrills up his leg for Barack Obama on a regular basis.
It was Matthews who called Obama's Iowa Caucus victory "Lexington and Concord" and announced that the news was traveling around the globe. It was Matthews who announced that Obama's speech supposedly about race was on par with the greatest speeches ever given - one that should be read by every successive generation - that should become an "American tract." And there are so many more examples we could give that everyone, except apparently Chris himself, can remember. Yet this guy sat there pompously on MSNBC calling out one of the only Republican guys his network can stomach to have on their channel as a "surrogate" for Romney. You can't make this stuff up.