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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why I Hate Chris Matthews More Than Ever.

Last December, I posted two articles---"Why I Can't Stand Chris Matthews Anymore", and Why I Can't Stand Chris Matthews Anymore, Part Two"
These articles are still on the blog, and can be easily Googled.
You might want to read those articles before you read this one.
His transgressions in my eyes at the time can't hold a candle to what he pulled last week.
Chris Matthews seems to have become a desperate man.
At least, that's how he's carrying himself on TV.
He recently had his weekend shows on MSNBC taken away from him.
He has claimed that he voluntarily given them up.
I don't believe him.
Until last week, he had a live show airing at 5pm, rerunning at 7pm.
They took away the 5pm show, giving it to someone else, leaving him to do his 7pm show live.
About a week prior to this, he went on the air, pleading with his probably dwindling audience to stick with him.
He seems to be in survival mode.
So he's a ratings whore, much like everyone else on television.
Nothing that strange there.
A week ago, he booked Aaron Sorkin, the great writer/creator/producer of "The News Room" on HBO.
With much fanfare.
Aaron Sorkin is a "get".
And Matthews promotes the hell out of Sorkin's upcoming appearance.
I am a huge fan of Sorkin's, and of "The News Room"
It is a regular on my Tivo.
He is a fascinating interview.
After the social amenities are out of the way, during which Matthews is constantly bragging about his son having one of the leading roles on "The News Room", Matthews starts going into explicit detail about the last episode that aired on "The News Room"
A episode that I had on Tivo, but hadn't seen yet.
An episode upon which the entire arc of the season hinged upon.
An episode that I didn't want to hear anything about until I see it.
Hasn't Chris Matthews ever heard of the word "Tivo"?
Hasn't Chris Matthews ever heard the expression "Spoiler Alert"?
Does anyone think it would have made any difference to this ratings whore if he had?
Aaron Sorkin just sat there and let Matthews do this, but Sorkin seemed to be more interested in discussing the substance of the episode.
And there was much substance to discuss.
And to my knowledge, Aaron Sorkin is not a ratings whore clinging to survival.
Nor was he that interested in talking about Matthews' actor-son.

This all begs the question "So, Rothman, if you feel this way about Chris Matthews, why do you keep watching him?"
Well, he can be compelling.
Much in the way a train-wreck can be compelling.
You just can't take your eyes off of it, or him.
But you can in no way like what you see.


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.
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And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. TRAIN WRECK not to be confused with a TWAIN RACK - the latter, something Shania's fans love to ogle - another thing from which one cannot look away.

  2. I have a couple of questions, possibly impertinent:

    - Did the Matthews/Sorkin interview air BEFORE or AFTER the original HBO airing of THE NEWSROOM?

    - If AFTER, how exactly was Matthews supposed to have known that YOU hadn't seen it yet?

    I'm not a devotee of Chris Matthews - not even a fan, realy.
    But I'm reasonably sure that he has never claimed to be psychic.
    Nor has he claimed a special bond with you in this area.
    If this particular NEWSROOM episode had already been on when Matthews had did his live(?) sitdown with Sorkin, it would seem to be a logical deduction that most people tuning in had in fact already seen it, which would have freed both men up to discuss it all in detail.

    I'm not saying here that you're the only one who might not have gotten to your Tivo/DVR/VCR/whatever to see THE NEWSROOM before the Matthews show. Possibly many others might have this complaint.
    But HBO reruns its series constantly after their first showing - maybe a dozen times or more, on many of its stations, usually within days of the premiere airing.
    That being the case, how is Chris Matthews suppose to make a psychic allowance for one guy in Michigan?

    Alternative answer:
    Once you saw where Matthews was going with Sorkin, what stopped you from recording the Matthews show and switching to something else, and subsequently watching BOTH shows back-to-back at a date to named later?

    Or am I just being insufferably logical?

    Apologies for all the CAPITALS - try to think of them as italics.

  3. I know people who are WEEKS behind on their Tivoing.
    Particularly for shows they like to watch together with their loved ones and are on very late at night.
    I'm sure I'm not alone.
    This was 4 days after this episode first aired.
    No. There is Tivo, and there is "Spoiler Alert"
    This was a pivotal episode.
    I couldn't imagine anyone being this thoughtless, not even warning the viewer.
    I watched it live,, and I couldn't get to my remote in time.
    But you are being logical---and of course, insufferable.
    And I wouldn't have it any other way.
    If I had a clue as to what was coming, I would have done as you suggested.

  4. I get it, Mark - I'm right and wrong at the same time.

    That happens with me quite a bit. I've been living with this all my life.

    So be it.

    Just rememberd a bit I saw years ago on Benny Hill's show.
    Blackout: Benny's a working-class guy just getting home, and he wants to know if his wife has recorded "Match Of The Day" (that's Association Football - what we call soccer).
    The wife says she has, and Benny immediately yells "DON'T TELL ME THE RESULTS!!"
    Wife says "But, darling ..."
    Benny, even more agitated: "DON'T TELL ME THE RESULTS!!!"
    Back and forth a few times, until the wife says sweetly:
    "Have it your way, darling ... but you're not going to see any goals."
    Close-up of Benny, giving Look #6.
    (Do I need to explain that soccer is probably the only competitive sport that can end in a scoreless tie? Ah well ...)
    Anyway, the British audience thought it was funny ...

  5. I recently mentioned to a friend that my wife and I had just started watching Dexter, and we were up to season three. He replied, "Oh, we watched that show, up until. . ." and then he gave away a HUGE spoiler. He realized what he had done a second after he said it (probably helped by my scream), but the damage was done. So it can happen anywhere!

  6. Kaiser Söze is a sled!

  7. There is a chance you're eligible for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.

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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."