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Christopher John Matthews (born December 17, 1945) is an American political commentator, talk show host, and author. Matthews is known for his nightly hour-long talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, on MSNBC.
- There's actually a network that I could think of that [does not ask difficult questions] for a living, which is tell the people at home the same answer all the time, because it makes them feel good. And they don't like hearing arguments on that network, the people that watch it. There are people out there that — there was a great scene at the end of Carnal Knowledge — remember that old movie — where Jack Nicholson is going to the hooker, and he wants it exactly the same every time. And when she— when Rita Moreno, who played the hooker, said something just a little bit different in their normal sort of business they did, and he couldn't do it. They want it exactly the same way, these people who watch Fox. Every night they want it the same way. They can't do it if it's not exactly the same way.
- Real Time with Bill Maher, 27 August 2004; regarding the Fox News Channel
- The period between 9/11 and [the invasion of] Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing. If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil. They just have a different perspective. The smartest people understand the enemy's point of view, because they understand what's driving them.
- quote from Edmonton Sun, 21 November 2005 
- I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often. No, seriously. It's a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country. And that is an objective assessment.
- During live coverage of the presidential primaries on MSNBC, 12 February 2008 
- Chris Matthews: I have my own views of the word 'socialist' and I'd be glad to share them with you in private, and they go back to the early 1950s. I have an attitude about them. I remember the Cold War, I have an attitude towards Castro. I believe if Castro and the Reds had won the Cold War there would have been executions in Central Park and I might have been one of the ones getting executed. And certain other people would be there cheering, OK? So I have a problem with people who took the other side. I don't know who Bernie has supported over these years, I don't know what he means by socialism — one week it's Denmark, we're going to be like Denmark. OK, that's harmless. That's basically a capitalist country with good social welfare programs. Denmark is harmless.
Chris Hayes: He's pretty clearly in the Denmark category.
Chris Matthews: Is he? Are you sure? How do you know? Did he tell you that?
- MSNBC Democratic debate post-coverage, 2020-02-07, quoted in Peter Wade (8 February 2020), "Chris Matthews’ Wild Rant Connects a Bernie Sanders Win With Public Executions", Rolling Stone
- I'm reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940, and the general calls up Churchill and says, 'It's over,' and Churchill says, 'How can it be? You got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?' He said, 'It's over.'
- comparing Bernie Sanders winning the Nevada caucus to the Nazi invasion of France
- Igor Derysh (24 February 2020), "Chris Matthews rebuked by MSNBC colleague for comparing Sanders win to Nazi invasion", Salon
- Elizabeth Warren: Mayor Bloomberg has non-disclosure agreements for who knows how many women. And it's not just the one. And the whole point is, how can you actually trust someone who will not just say, "Look, I'm going to waive on non-disclosure on sexual harassment, and discrimination. Anybody who has a story to tell can come tell their story.
Chris Matthews: Sure, I agree everybody deserves a credible response when they make a charge like that. My question about him, you believe he's lying?
Warren: I believe the women—
Matthews: You believe he's lying.
Warren: Which means he's not telling the truth.
Matthews: And why would he lie? Because just to protect himself?
Warren: Yeah. And why would she lie? I mean, that's the question, Chris. Why do you assume that he's the guy—
Matthews: I just want to make sure that you're clear about this— you're confident of your accusation?
Warren: Look, all I know is what she said and what he said.
- post-debate interview of Elizabeth Warren, quoted in Julia Conley (26 February 2020), ""Fire Chris Matthews," Women's Rights Group Says After MSNBC Host Grills Warren Over Discrimination Claims Against Bloomberg", Common Dreams
Quotes about Matthews
- Chris Matthews is the most vivid example of all that is wrong with political coverage. He's endlessly obsessed with personality-based politics and likes to promote the strong, masculine tough guy who you can have a beer with, versus the nerdy loser.
- Glenn Greenwald, interview with Harper's Magazine, 21 February 2008.