I do like watching MSNBC when I come home from the day job. I think Ari Melber is very intelligent, and it’s fun to watch him try to slip in a rap lyric into the evening commentary. I think Chris Hayes is very engaging, I think Rachel Maddow is extremely thought-provoking, and if I’m not going to bed yet, there’s Lawrence O’Donnell and maybe Brian Williams.
But at around 7:00, I flip over to something else, because Chris Matthews’ Hardball would be on, and I didn’t need to hear him.
Chris Matthews’ interviewing schtick, which bothered me to no end, would be to ask someone a question, and before the person could answer the question, Matthews would blather on about what he thought the answer should be, maybe he’d reference Watergate or the Kennedys or something else, and then ask the question again. Which can get annoying.
But apparently Chris Matthews had some very dark tendencies. He made a reference to Bernie Sanders’ primary win in Nevada as the equivalent of the Nazis overtaking France. And there were stories of his comments about female reporters and interview subjects that bordered between creepy and uncomfortable – this story in GQ chronicles some of these comments and unwanted advances.
Last night, during his normal appearance on MSNBC, Chris Matthews made his opening commentary.
Wow. After twenty years of Hardball, Chris Matthews self-retired.
After that commentary, Matthews left the studio, and MSNBC reporter / electoral pundit Steve Kornacki took over for the rest of the show.
No matter what the reason Chris Matthews chose to retire, it was time. There was absolutely no reason to continue. Matthews could no longer report the news, he WAS the news.
So now … who takes over that prime 7:00 p.m. weeknight slot?
I’ve got a few suggestions. Let’s start with –
Chris Jansing. Yeah, I’m biased, I’ve watched Chris Jansing from the days when she was Chris Kapostacy on WNYT. She’s smart, she asks the tough questions, and she’s put in her time with the network.
Joy Reid. Joy is smart, she’s a tough interviewer, she gets the best out of her subjects, and if you’re not watching her AM Joy weekend show, you should.
And maybe … just maybe …
Bring back Keith Olbermann and the Countdown show. Olbermann used to be an MSNBC anchor for years, let’s get him back.
Any one of those three choices for the TV slot would be perfect.
But for now, Chris Matthews is no longer involved with MSNBC.
Time to hand off the show to the next anchor.