Why Chris Matthews' show on MSNBC isn't laughed to scorn just for the absurdity of its name is one of the peculiar mysteries of this political year. The last thing Matthews does with his guests is play "Hardball", unless, of course, the guest is a Republican. On last night's show his guest was Bill Ayers and all Matthews did was pitch marshmallows at him. Watching it, I couldn't help feel that Ayers may have been giving Matthews one of those tingly feelings he's become famous for:
Here's a man whose wife celebrated Charles Manson's murders, was herself implicated in the murder of two policemen, and who is a friend of Michelle Obama. He's a man whose organization (and his wife) set fire to the house of the judge presiding over the trial of black panthers while the judge's wife and young son were inside. He's a man whose organization blinded an innocent man with acid at JFK airport and which included people who spoke blithely of executing as many as 25 million Americans if their revolution ever proved successful. He's a man who as late as 2001 said that he wished he had done more during his terrorist years. He's a man who once sang that he was guilty as sin and free as a bird. And Matthews asked him about none of this.
Nor did the "journalist" Matthews ask Ayers why he hosted Obama's political christening in his home, or what the nature of his relationship with Obama was on the various boards on which they served together. Nor did he ask him about what kind of "educational reform" he's working on in Chicago.
Matthews, the host of the risibly named Hardball, asked not a single question that would make Ayers uncomfortable, not a single question that would enlighten the public on why Ayers' association with Obama is potentially significant. The interview left me puzzling over why he even bothered to have Ayers on the show in the first place. No wonder people tune into talk radio and Fox News rather than MSNBC if they want to actually learn anything.RLC