Kathryn, I wanted to piggyback on your link to the Ari Fleischer vs. Chris Matthews exchange. I thought Ari destroyed Matthews, and did so in a calm, factual, reasoned way. Matthews is loud, obnoxious, terribly ill-informed, and has a crush on Barack Obama — all of which are reasons why Matthews is perfect to host a program on MSNBC. I can’t help but notice, by the way, that the ratings for primetime shows on Fox News have skyrocketed during the Age of Obama. According to the latest ratings, Fox has the six top-rated cable news shows — hosted by Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, and Greta Van Susteren — each which draws 2 million viewers or more (Van Susteren drew a few dozen viewers short of 2 million). MSNBC’s top-rated shows rank ninth (Rachel Maddow) and eleventh (Keith Olbermann), with Olbermann drawing just over 900,000 viewers. And Chris Matthews doesn’t crack the top eleven rated programs. Perhaps this is evidence that MSNBC, which during the last few years have existed on embers of hate and resentment, is increasingly passé; Bush Derangement Syndrome is less interesting when Bush has left the stage. Secondly, the number of people who watched Ari slam Matthews could roughly fit in the size of a football stadium.
Chris Matthews long ago became a joke; what seems clear is that he’s an increasingly obscure one.