Chris Matthews Abruptly Retires From ‘Hardball’

Chris Matthews (screen capture)

Color me stunned.

For years I have watched MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. It comes on at 4pm in my time zone, and that times out well with my work schedule and I can catch up on news I might have missed.

I like Chris, although he’s gotten a bit flint-ier in recent years, but he’s smart, experienced, and I liked the pace of the show.

As I tuned in today, Chris announced at the top of the show he was retiring. Like, now.

He spoke for about two minutes, told his audience he will miss them but after a conversation with network heads, he decided to retire today.

He spoke of his love of politics, apologized for any comments he has made about women, and then he abruptly left.

Cut to commercial.

He seemed to reference the report by writer Laura Bassett who penned an essay last week accusing Matthew of flirting with her in 2016.

Bassett wrote that before an appearance on Hardball she was in the makeup chair next to him when he allegedly said, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?”

After the commercial break, Steve Kornacki was on camera looking stunned and said “we have to fill the hour.”

Stunning moment in television.

Laverne Cox Kills On MSNBC Talking Trump’s Shift On Trans Student Protections

Transgender actress Laverne Cox absolutely rocked her appearance tonight on MSNBC’s Hardball.

We already knew she is an outstanding advocate for the trans community, and her calm, collected and reasoned appearance here underlines that.

I’d break it down for you, but to be honest, it really just needs to be seen.

Bravo, Laverne!

p.s. note how Travis Weber, representing the ironically named Center for Religious Liberty, never – never – answers Matthews’ question about which bathroom Laverne should use. #coward

Anti-Transgender Activist Has No Answer When Asked What Bathroom Trans Folks Should Use

Last night, Travis Weber of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council and Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan of E! network’s “I am Cait” debated transgender bathroom rights in America on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews.

Poor Travis was not prepared for the most basic question of transgender rights these days: If a transgender woman shouldn’t use the ladies room, what bathroom SHOULD they use?

The FRC spokesman was literally tongue-tied. Matthews, pointing out the obvious, said again and again, “You’re dodging the question.”

Excerpt from the transcript via Media Matters:

CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): Travis, tell Jenny what bathroom she should use.

TRAVIS WEBER: Well —

MATTHEWS: Which one should she use?

WEBER: Yeah, I mean I’m not sure, um —

MATTHEWS: Well just answer that question.

WEBER: I think people should be —

MATTHEWS: She said she would not be comfortable or not cause such problem if she walked into a men’s room. Should she walk into a men’s room?

WEBER: I think we can do things the way we’ve done them for decades, and people could use bathrooms according to biological sex with specific accommodation made for people who have a genuine issue. If we look at the North Carolina law, it made an accommodation. People are not happy with that, however. And now the Obama administration —

MATTHEWS: Let’s just talk about transgender people. What should a transgender person who identifies as a woman do? What bathroom should they go to? Just keep it simple.

WEBER: Yeah well there’s an issue of privacy concerns.

MATTHEWS: See no, you can’t answer the question, can you? What should they do?

WEBER: They can use the bathroom of their biological sex, except when there’s a genuine issue and an accommodation can be made.

Matthews did not let it go, though. He went back to Weber more than once,: “What should Jenny do if she was visiting North Carolina right now? Should she go to the men’s room? Should she? You’re dodging the toughest question, which is what do you want people to behave like?” He then asked, “Can you answer the question? Should Jenny go to the men’s room or the ladies room?”

Weber had nothing.

Again, Matthews asked the question Weber couldn’t answer: “It just seems odd to me that you’d want Jenny to show up in men’s room you go to. You think that would be appropriate? You think that would be appropriate? It’s a simple question, should Jenny go to your men’s room? Yes or no.” When Weber again did not answer the question, Matthews said, “See, you’re dodging this question.”

See, the haters can mock and belittle transgender folks when it’s through a press release or talking on Fox News, but when you have a transgender woman on air with you – who CLEARLY should not be using the men’s room – you got nothing. Just your moralistic fear and hate.

Professor Boylan, much to her credit, handled the segment without raising her voice or yelling. She was quite persuasive.

Chris Matthews Asks Donald Trump If He’s Still A “Birther”

In a post-debate interview last night in Las Vegas, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked GOP front-runner Donald Trump is he still believes President Obama wasn’t born in the USA.

Trump refused to answer the question:

“I should not tell you this, but I do watch you a lot. So I knew you were going to ask that question. And you know what I’ll say: I don’t talk about that anymore. You know the problem talking about that question? Here’s the story. I don’t answer because you know what? If I do answer, that’s all people want to talk about I don’t answer that question because once I answer the question, they don’t want to talk about the economy, they don’t want to talk about all the other… I don’t want to answer the question. I don’t want to answer the question.”

Before ending the segment, Matthews did come back to the issue to say:

“I do think that’s a blemish. I think it’s your original sin. I’m an American. I think our president should be respected. And I think there’s a little ethnic aspect to it. I don’t like it…It’s not a good thing about you.”

Check the 5:00 mark below:

Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold cannot say President Obama was “legitimately” elected

On Hardball last night, Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas chatted with host Chris Matthews about a number of issues.

At one point Matthews asked about Sen. Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for President, because he was born in Canada. Matthews has long maintained that Cruz, who has an American mother, is indeed eligible to be president. However, many in the Tea Party maintain that President Obama was not legitimately elected because they don’t believe he was born in Hawaii even though the Republican governor of the state released his birth certificate.

“I believe he’s (Cruz) is eligible. He had an American mother. I believe you’re a natural born citizen. Do you agree with that?” Matthews asked the congressman.

Farenthold replied, “Listen, we’ve had this discussion on Obama… He’s as eligible as Obama is.”

Ultimately, Matthews said, “Can you repeat after me: he was legitimately elected president.”

Farenthold repeated, but with a key word left out: “President Obama was elected president”

“Legitimately,” said Matthews.

“The people elected him,” Farenthold said, refusing to say “legitimately.”

Matthews concluded: “Everybody watching knows what you’re doing. You’re dodge balling.”

What is with these people? SRSLY.

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August 26 – Chris Matthews/Hardball moves to 7pm EST

We all have folks who inspire us; who make us think “man, I wish I was that smart/talented.”

One of those guys for me is Chris Matthews on his MSNBC show Hardball. Chris is tough with his guests,  Republicans and yes, with Democrats too, when he thinks they’re calling bull.

I try to keep up, get smarter and stay aware of what’s going on in the news cycle – both on the surface and underneath. Chris inspires me to understand and see what’s really happening.

Just my personal invite to tune in and learn from someone who’s been in DC a long time, and doesn’t take the “talking points” for gospel.

Chris Matthews and Hardball move to 7pm EST/4pm PST on August 26th.

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Chris Matthews and guests discuss the demise of the “ex-gay” movement

Chris Matthews, of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, and guests Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out and psychotherapist Laura Berman discuss the shutdown of Exodus International and the harm done by so-called reparative therapy, aimed at turning gay people straight.

Both the host and his guests denounced such therapy as wrongheaded and harmful, and lauded the progress toward LGBT equality in the U.S., which much remains to be done. “Today, it’s gone beyond tolerance to acceptance,” said Matthews. Added Besen: “Equality is an unstoppable train.”

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(via Advocate)