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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why I Can't Stand Chris Matthews Anymore. Part Two.

First, the question "Why do I continue to watch Chris Matthews?"
For the same reason I watch everyone else on MSNBC.
I agree with his politics.

Now, why I can't stand Chris Mathews anymore:

1) He has always been a blowhard, a bully, and an unnecessary alarmist.
I don't know that anyone would have realized just how badly President Obama performed
in the first debate if Matthews hadn't kept shouting it from the rooftops.
And he is quaking in his boots about going over the fiscal cliff.
Democrats don't need to hear that from one of their own.
He takes on the persona of "Mr. District Attorney" with most of his guests.
I don't mind it when he goes after some smarmy Republican that way, but he goes after
EVERYONE that way.

2) He flogs his book mercilessly.
He wrote a book about JFK, and has plugged it incessantly.
I know.
You can say that Rothman plugs his books incessantly too.
That's true.
The usual blurb will appear at the end of this article, as with all the others.
But my regular readers know it's there, and can easily ignore it.
And I NEVER tell you how wonderful the books are.
Matthews spends five valuable minutes not only flogging the book, but telling you
immodestly how wonderful it is.
Lately, he has been adding "It's a great stocking stuffer" to the pitch.

3) He insists that the correct pronunciation of Dick Cheney's last name is "Cheeney"
Where he got this from, I'll never know.
He was never called Cheeney in any public appearance, either by others, or by himself. But Matthews insists that it is Cheeney, and corrects anyone who refers to him in the more traditional pronunciation.
Even Bill Maher called him out on it, telling him how sick and tired he is of Matthews doing this.

But all of this pales to what Matthews unwittingly and ignorantly did on this past Monday's broadcast.
Referring to the previous article, I explained about how rabid sports fans, such as myself, do not want to watch a sporting event when they already know the outcome.
Particularly cheap rabid sports fans, who are not willing to spring for the sixty-five bucks to watch a Pay-Per-View prizefight on television.
HBO is usually involved in the production of these Pay-Per-View events.
And what they do, without fail, is show that same fight a week later on regular HBO.
So in order to see the fight, a week later, on regular HBO, you kind of have to put blinders on.
You have to avoid local sportscasts immediately after the actual fight happens.
You have to avoid pages on the internet that would provide the result.
And you have to pretty much avoid watching HBO live until the replay the following
Saturday night.
You even have to Tivo the replay and skip all the way to the beginning of the fight,
because HBO is not above telling you the result just before they air the replay.
To accomplish all of this is tricky, and it's artful.
But it can be done.
It's not that hard.
I know many, many cheap rabid boxing fans who perform the same gavotte that I do.
Usually successfully.

Last Saturday night, there was one of those Pay-Per-View fights, involving Manny Pacquiao, a five division champion, and Juan Manuel Marquez.
This was a major, major fight.
I had gotten through the weekend without hearing the 'zults.
Then on Chris Matthews show on Monday, he told a story about how Mitt Romney attended the fight.
And then Matthews dropped the bomb.
He revealed the outcome of the fight.
I wanted to kill him.
Lawrence O'Donnell, on his show, later that night, told the same story.
Without revealing the outcome of the fight.
Lawrence O'Donnell was always a classier act.

So maybe all of this seems trivial to you.
Maybe it would all seem trivial to Matthews if he had any sense of how many hearts were broken when he did that.
Maybe he'll have Google Alert, and read this, and feel sorry for what he did.
But most-likely he won't.

And that's why I can't stand Chris Matthews anymore.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. FYI I actually saw an interview years ago, I don't remember if it was with Chris Matthews, where Dick Cheney himself acknowledged the correct pronunciation was "Cheeny" and that everyone seems to prefer "Chainey".

    I don't like Chris Matthews. Because he yells at me. I get enough of my wife yelling at me.

  2. I love that Matthews will literally re-ask a question five times if the person gives an evasive non-answer. Even if he can't pull a legitimate reply out of them, he makes it unbelievably clear to the audience that the speaker's response was worthless. A million times better than the "stenography to the stars" approach on other cable news shows and Sunday morning gasfests where they let every line of B.S. go unquestioned and then say "A spirited discussion... We'll have it leave it there."

    (Technically, what they do on "Meet the Press," et al, is to ask a question, get the garbage spin response, and then "follow up" with the "But some have said..." counterargument which is then ignored or dismissed by the speaker, at which point the topic is dropped. In mainstream news, this is called asking the tough questions. That these tough questions elicit no tough answers doesn't seem to concern anyone.)

  3. I'm guessing that you're not THE David Gregory.

  4. In spite of everything, I like Matthews, but he can sometimes be infuriating, especially when he wants to come across as a populist. For instance, after Carrol O'Conner died, he had Rob Reiner on as a guest. At some point, Reiner said that the Archie Bunkers of the world had been marginalized, that they were too few to matter. Matthews took that to mean, or pretended to take that to mean, that Reiner meant that working-class people were marganalized, and he was outraged, and for days afterwards used that as an example of Hollywood elitism, etc. Now, if Reiner had said that about, say, Ralph Kramden, OK, fine, the outrage is justified. But Archie Bunker wasn't famous first and foremost for being working-class but for being a BIGOT. Now, whether bigots are really too few to matter is debatable, but Matthews really should have known what Reiner was talking about.

  5. I Googled "can't stand Chris Matthews" and am delighted to find this blog. I could not agree more, Mark. You barely scratched the surface. I, too, am an MSNBC fan -- hey, it's the liberal FOX -- but I find Matthews to be insufferable. I want to add a few things to your list:

    1. He interrupts constantly. He doesn't even let his guests and talking heads answer his insipid questions, interrupting them after they muster a sentence or two. His "questions" often consist of a statement by Matthews and then asking his guests whether they agree.

    2. He is not incisive. He rarely if ever provides an interesting or intelligent insight or analysis.

    3. He is painfully self-righteous, often ranting in outrage over totally uncontroversial matters.

    4. He talks about himself too much, where he's from, where he went to school, who he knows or knew. You don't see this self-absorbed drivel from the other MSNBC hosts.

    5. He has no sense of humor whatsoever.

    6. His voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    What's to like???

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."