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June 28, 2007

Comments

rahja

"colostomy bag"...good one! This article and the attending comments are so RIGHT on the money. Matthews entertains the Coultergeist on the plaza so that she is protected from his incessant spitting and drooling and he is protected from her swinging that long mane around like Trigger on a hot date.

daganium

Ironic an article about a hackneyed gimcrack who is praised as a great writer by a sonorous boor is so well written.

nuts

[Edited by site owner. Calling Chris Matthews X-rated names adds nothing to the discussion. Sorry. If you can find a way to express your thoughts without making the late Redd Foxx sound like Laura Bush, please do. Thank you.]

Allyn

I wrote MSNBC after Hardball held the last Coulterfest and told them I would never watch Chris Matthews again...and I haven't; not even videoclips on my favorite websites: Huffington Post, Crooks & Liars, Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo. Just say "NO!" to Chris Matthews, book schill for that skinny screaming skank, Ann Coulter.

LCforevah

I haven't been able to watch his show for years as I found his questions getting more and more shallow. This conflict of interest is just craven whorishness. I always refer to his show as "No Balls has Chris Matthews."

Michael Swaine

OK, I also detest Ann Coulter and deplore Tweety, but did you really just spend 3000 words to tell us that -- gasp! -- they have the same publisher?

Ken G.

Now THAT's some digging! I trust you are going to send this blog to both MSNBC's Dan Abrams (top management) and to Matthews. This is NOT how an hour-long newstalk show should be managed or booked.

The profit motive has corrupted many a politican, and I'm afraid it corrupts far too many self-proclaimed "journalists" who crave access, ratings, and perhaps monetary gain from the guests they book.

Integrity of electronic journalism is almost an oxymoron these days. In the end, they HURT their own ratings because they lose credibility with their audience, the smarter of whom just tune them out.

PLEASE, please push this finding of yours to the powers at MSNBC, and I will hope for a "coming clean" moment by Matthews at the very least, and a resignation from Hardball in the best case. He should not get away with this.

CL-Philly

Matthews moderated the Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Debate in May... he was laughable in this role. I wasn't sure who was running... the 5 candidates, or Matthews, who was leading and inserting his opinion on just about every question. Matthews is a joke.

FIRE CHRIS MATTHEWS. He has no integrity.

Carl Muecke

Puke material, Chris should be retired to pasture, and David Schuster, who isn't afraid to ask Hard Questions should take charge of this pathetic Softball program...

David was magnificent subbing for the Queen today, and he took Fouad, the author of the dishonest column calling on Bush to pardon another "fallen soldier" in Libby to the woodshed and spanked him soundly.

Go Away Chris, and take Glenn Beck and the Bow Tie with you!!!

BQ

I have been noticing similar veins of cross-promotion on NBC for quite some time now. (I feel like I have to explain my intimate familiarity with NBC programming - no cable, NBC the only affiliate I can bring in, and one always has a TV on in Tornado Alley)

I can't say that NBC books Sony artists exclusively for appearances on talk shows, etc., but the ones they want to promote appear everywhere (ex: Scissor Sisters, who I enjoy, has been cross featured on soaps and Leno had his band playing their most recognizable hook for more than a month after their appearance)

Some shows note the connection, others do not. I have gotten the impression that Conan O'Brien has gotten the orders but complies with his tongue in cheek. (notably re: King Kong, iirc) Oh, and then there's the habit of booking EVERY actor in one of their movies for consecutive appearances immediately before the US opening. (again, I can't say that I've researched the studio every time I've seen this occur, but it stands to reason that they would not have sufficient guest spots to grant such coverage to every movie being released.)

Interestingly enough, both "Studio 60" and "30 Rock" did takes on product placement and cross-promotions at about the same time in the season.

Additionally, it is notable that many of the actors from NBC shows(failed or otherwise) seem to show up on other NBC shows, either as guests or as new cast members. (2 of the prosecutors on the one about NYC DA's morphed into detectives for the Law & Order franchise) I've been wondering if NBC is reviving the old Hollywood contract player system...maybe actors are insisting on term contracts since NBC isn't having much prime-time luck lately.

Anyway, none of this takes away from your thesis about Matthews' pimping for his publisher. But I did think that it might be helpful to know that this doesn't seem restricted to MSNBC/news and publishing. It appears to be in integral part of NBC's business practice.

I can see where that approach would have significant appeal - free publicity within the "family", and any increase in sales/viewership would be pure profit. But the fact that the practice expanded beyond forcing talk show hosts to book guests for profit rather than interest to a quid pro quo with Coultergeist demonstrates that the tactic is too profitable to be allowed to continue.

Great catch!

CJ

The only time I have ever watched "Hardball" was on the Crooks and Liars web page...I can only handle that whiny voice of CM's a little at a time. He's a poser.

Now DAVID Schuster is not afraid to speak up and ask the questions that American's are asking in their own homes. Plus, he puts them on the defensive, doesn't let the polititians (et al.,) get away with that putrid pablem they spew AND he doesn't insult the American public's intelligence.

Way to go David! I enjoyed your grilling this afternoon. More of that please! I would actually watch MSNBC. I hope MSNBC gives you a NEWS PROGRAM (note I did not say 'show'.

JPV

I don't mean to defend Matthews, or Coulter, both of which I despise, but what you refer to as a "conflict of interest" is done ALL THE TIME by media conglomerates. There is nothing unusual about it.

How many times have we seen a guest, on show like the Tonight Show, that just so happen to be starring on a new show premiering on NBC?

They cross market all the time. Just business as usual.

jack jett

how sad...i really enjoyed chris matthews until he had ralph nader on a few weeks ago.
it wouldn't have been so bad except i felt like chris was fawning all over him and not straight up pinning part of the blame of this war on him...

Then he has Ann Coulter on and I felt like I was watching a really bad infomercial.

His cred went down te toilet and with it MSNBC, because ms. Tucker is too much of a woman for this gay boy. Joe is getting better...less bitter, more honest.

maybe it's time to go back to cnn

oh shit they have glenn beck

jack jett

Pastor El Mundo

Now that the rat in out of the bag, will Keith Olbermann make even one mention of the absurdity of it all? Do you think we may get to see Keith giving them both of them a place on a night's Worst Person segment anytime soon?

Eeeeg! I fell like taking a shower. Just thinkin' of these two cretins gives me the heeby-jeebes.
~Rev. El

maxbaer

I understand Matthews was an alcoholic. Do you suppose he's a dry drunk like the Decider?

Rascal Cat

Way to sniff out the story, M. Bloodhound! What I found to be incredibly ironic is that the next day when Tweety had JE on for like 15 minutes, he had the nerve to comment that she, Anne, "had no shame"! Who is the morally bankrupt, ethical pygmy that was responsible for booking her for an hour of painfull butt-kissing and granting her entourage of loud-mouth toadies front row access.

K-Man

lower than whale shit on the bottom of the ocean!

Marge

The other night Chris blurted out "Hillary" by mistake. He is so obsessed with her. I don't know who is after her more...Chris or all of the Rebublican presidential candiates combined.
He took a nosedive with that last Coulter show.
Keith-great
Shuster-great
Joe-coming along
Tucker/Geist-HORRIBLE!
Let's shake it up MSNBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kclaf

So now Matthews is pimping for Coulter....some will go to any lengths for money. Greed, greed and lies. What a wonderful world we live in.

Perky

[Edited by site owner. Any whiff of incitement to violence against anyone will not be tolerated here. Period.]

Peter Gaffney

I don't see where having the same publisher constitutes a conflict of interest. In fact, if Random House has a limited promotion budget, Chris helping Ann sell books could conceivably result in RH spending more on the Godless marketing campaign... and thus less on the campaign for Chris's book (not all that LIKELY a scenario, I'll grant you).

Chris Matthews is a puzzle. I think maybe it's not so much that he's gutless, or pandering, or dim, but that he's a lousy interviewer. He makes some good points, I think, when he's talking to other news people, but he was just pathetic with Coulter. Why didn't he ask about all the inaccuracies/lies/misquotes in her books?

But, as I think everyone agrees, having her on in the first place -- and for a whole hour -- is the least defensible aspect of this. There are plenty of conservative writers who are smarter, more interesting and less odious. Of course, who's more likely to grab the attention of some viewer flipping channels, Ann Coulter or George Will? (Ann, because she's bound to say something absolutely outrageous.)

I've been watching a lot of MSNBC lately, because of Keith Olbermann. Keith of course was the one guy in the mainstream media to pick up on the anomalies in the 2004 election. I started going to the MSNBC site to watch clips from his show, and I ended up watching a few from the rest of their line-up. Scarborough has surprised me by being intelligent, fair and honest -- 75% of the time, at least. But what I've found truly disturbing is how often I find myself in agreement with his frequent guest Pat Buchanan. On immigration and race he remains pretty much a Nazi, but when it comes to the war and Washington politics his cynicism is often refreshing. The difference between MSNBC Republicans (including Tucker Carlson) and Fox Republicans is far greater than the difference between MSNBC Republicans and Chris Matthews.

Robert1014

Mattews sharing a publisher with Coulter may not, in itself, constitute a conflict of interest--or it may, depending on how the decision to book Coulter for hour-long segments came about--but a responsible journalist will reveal any such connections he may share with those he writes about or covers. This allows the readers or viewers to make a fair appraisal of whether the connection colors the coverage in any way, whether it influences the type of questions asked or the opinions expressed by the journalist. In other words, a responsible journalist will try to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, just as an ethical judge will recuse himself from a case in which he has a personal interest.

ferne kron

Did you notice that Chris Matthews now has a smirk like "W"?
It`s time for him to be replaced...
I`m really sick of him.

wobudong

Same publisher! Wow.
And they BOTH speak English!!!

MediaBloodhound

wobudong, see Robert1014's comment above.

I'd add that context is king.

Failing to disclose this publishing connection to his viewers is the first offense. Acting not as a journalist, but as Coulter's publicist during the interview is the second.

But the combination is a highly irresponsible act for a journalist. Let me be clear here, too: Chris Matthews is not Jay Leno or Conan O'Brien, or at least he shouldn't be acting as such.

And forgive me if you were simply lowering the snark boom for snark's sake and had no interest in what's at issue here.

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