Why Is Lawrence O'Donnell Protecting Chris Matthews?

Yesterday, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews exhorted his viewers to boycott major restaurant chains because, in his words, the National Restaurant Association is “protecting the secrets” of GOP presidential frontrunner Herman Cain.

O’Donnell also asked Occupy DC activists to break the law and occupy the NRA’s headquarters in the nation’s capital, even given them the building’s address as well as directions from the Occupy DC protest site.

Which invites the question: why is Lawrence O’Donnell protecting the secrets of Chris Matthews?

After all, Matthews is known to have a record of “misogyny,” is he not?

I cite the estimable Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America, MSNBC’s favorite show-prep source:

In fact, in Matthews’ case, the sexist outbursts have helped propel his career. That’s how he landed on the cover of the Times magazine…

So if Matthews doesn’t display any actual journalism skills in terms of unearthing scoops or edifying the race, and if his ratings are just so-so, what explains Matthews’ Hot Journalist status?

Answer: Misogyny.

Matthews is hot because he dumps all over Hillary Clinton, saying rude, sexist, and demeaning things about her week after week, and the Beltway media crowd thinks its edgy and insightful and loves to watch. (As the Times noted, “Some of [Matthews’] most devoted followers are Washington media figures.”) Matthews, desperate for attention and approval, sees that media elites love his sexist shtick so he lays it on thicker and thicker. Media elites then turn around and anoint him the Hot Journalist…

“[B]enign” sexism? That’s an interesting notion. Is that sort of like “benign” racism? (Just asking.) Secondly, New York Magazine completely misses the point, because it adopts the same premise The New York Times does: this idea that Matthews is sexist because he ogles women both on and off the air.

Yes, that sort of behavior is problematic and inappropriate for the host of a political news program. (Am I not stating the obvious here?) But what the media conveniently ignore is the hateful, gender-based language Matthews uses to describe prominent (Democratic) women. It’s behavior commonly referred to as misogyny…

So The New York Times plays dumb and pretend Matthews is just a tad horny. That’s the extent of his sexism; he’s incorrigible. And c’mon, what’s more adorable than watching powerful men in their 60s publicly lust after women often half their age?

Media Matters has assembled a whole hit list of similar allegations against Matthews.

Yet O’Donnell is silent.

Women’s groups and liberal bloggers have also complained about Matthews’s behavior towards female guests and politicians.

Yet O’Donnell is silent.

Even Gawker and the Washington Post have noted complaints about Matthews’s treatment of women:

Matthews has said on the air that he finds Teresa Heinz Kerry “very attractive.” He told Gennifer Flowers she is a “knockout.” He told Elizabeth Edwards, “I love your smile.” He said Michelle Obama was “attractive” and “classy.” He told radio host Laura Ingraham, “You’re beautiful and you’re smart.” And he jokingly urged CNBC anchor Erin Burnett to move closer to the camera, calling her “beautiful” and a “knockout.” (Matthews says he was in “a whimsical mood” that day.)

Yet O’Donnell is silent.

But surely he knows the truth.

I won’t stoop to giving out O’Donnell’s office address, but his Twitter handle is @Lawrence, if any of those tech-savvy Occupy activists trying to find a public bathroom other than at McDonald’s need some help.


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