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Monday, April 14, 2008

Chris Matthews, lover of Tim Russert, hater of Case Western

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Sunday’s New York Times Magazine features Chris Matthews, the bombastic host of MSNBC’s Hardball. The story is an opus and a bit of a snooze if you don’t really care about the life of an annoying celebrity journalist. But it possesses one redeeming quality: endless references to Cleveland! Apparently, Matthews has a beef with one of our esteemed institutions, and a desperate need for acceptance by one of our finest, errr, drunkest, exports. First off, the beef: ... “… Matthews volunteered that he was in Cleveland a few years ago to speak at the Case Western Reserve University graduation. ‘But they didn't give me an honorary degree,’ Matthews said. ‘Can you believe that? I spoke at the graduation and didn't get an honorary degree?’ He gets a lot of honorary degrees, by the way — 19 if you're counting, and guess who is counting?” We’re with CM on this one. We know Case has a high standard of excellence and everything. But this man is the subject of a Darryl Hammond SNL skit. C’mon, Case, isn’t he worth a piece of embossed paper? Now onto his need for Chris’s crying out for acceptance. He seeks from our great CSU alum, a man who double fisted beers at Indians Games, cries afoul when he doesn’t get the bottled water of his choice, and a man who makes his money asking the ridiculous: “Tim — as in Russert, the inquisitive jackhammer host of Meet the Press — is a particular obsession of Matthews's. Matthews craves Russert's approval like that of an older brother. He is often solicitous. On the morning of the Cleveland debate, Matthews was standing in the lobby of the Ritz when Russert walked through, straight from a workout, wearing a sweat-drenched Buffalo Bills sweatshirt, long shorts and black rubber-soled shoes with tube socks. ‘Here he is; here he is, the man,’ Matthews said to Russert, who smiled and chatted for a few minutes before returning to his room…. A number of people [the author] spoke with at NBC said that Russert can be disdainful of Matthews, whose act he often sees as clownish.” The rest of the story is a grand look into a man who brags about his children getting into Ivory Tower institutions, wastes his time on a pissing match with Keith Olbermann, and frets about the new up and comer who will someday replace him, David Gregory. However, the whole phenomena surrounding Matthews was best described by a CSU student we met at the debate. She was in attendance for the pre-debate taping of Hardball. Asked if it was cool, she shrugged her shoulders and said the Matthews was kind of lame. Tim Russert couldn’t have said it better himself. – Bradley Campbell

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