Now that I have caught my breath — more or less — I want to say a word or two about a stunning announcement that hit me like a slap in the chops as I waited to hear from one of my favorite TV commentators.
Chris Matthews instead came on the air and said he was leaving a show I’ve been watching for the past two decades. That would be “Hardball.”
Matthews is gone. Just like that.
Well, my first reaction was: What in the name of unwelcomed surprises was that all about ? It turns out that Matthews and his MSNBC bosses thought they should part company over some on-air and off-air missteps.
Tonight the host apologized for saying something complimentary about a woman’s appearance, which someone must have thought was inappropriate. He earlier apologized correctly for invoking a Nazi Holocaust reference to Bernie Sanders’ stunning Nevada caucus victory.
Now he’s gone.
He spoke of the many fans of his who have enjoyed watching his commentary on the air. I am one of them. I long have gotten much about this man’s snappy, staccato rhetoric that he delivered at times over the voices of his guests. Still, this guy always has something interesting to say and he says it in a sort of regular-guy sort of manner that I find so amazingly appealing.
Matthews is no stranger to politics. He wrote speeches for President Carter, worked as an aide to House Speaker Tip O’Neill. He’s been at the center of power for decades. He has reported on the center of power as a reporter and columnist for the San Francisco Examiner.
The man’s knowledge is obvious. His love of politics and his belief in politics as a noble profession is equally so.
I am going to miss Chris Matthews’ perspective, which he delivered to us nightly with courage and ferocity.