LAST NIGHT I said that Chris Matthews appeared to have done a bad job on Hardball.
Apparently, he agrees. Toward the end of the show (I saw the last few minutes of the 11 pm rebroadcast), Matthews got flustered and when John O'Neill complained about Matthews interrupting him, Matthews accused him of trying "conservative tricks."
That's not in the transcript that's posted now. But I saw it, and so did quite a few readers who emailed me about it. (If you taped or TIVO'ed it, it's in the last 7 minutes or so -- I turned on the TV at 11:53, if I recall correctly.)
Kerry may or may not win the election, but he's going through Big Media credibility like a wrecking ball along the way.
UPDATE: Interestingly, there are two transcripts. You can read this one and see the difference:
O‘NEILL: You haven‘t let me talk about most of them. We talked about his first Purple...
MATTHEWS: You talked about each one.
O‘NEILL: His first Purple...
MATTHEWS: One of the oldest tricks on this show is for somebody to come on the show after talking for 20 minutes and say they haven‘t had the chance to talk.
O‘NEILL: Well, the first...
MATTHEWS: I‘ll be glad to clock you, John...
MATTHEWS: ... on how many minutes you spoke on the show. So don‘t try that old trick. It is a particularly conservative trick, OK?
Since the first transcript -- which was all I could find -- is apparently a "highlights" transcript and not the complete transcript as I had thought, I guess it's not fair to accuse them of whitewashing. On the other hand, it certainly gives a very different impression of how Matthews was conducting himself -- read the whole thing.
And here's someone who took up the invitation to clock the series. Reportedly, O'Neill talked for 7.5 minutes out of 21.
Video link to the relevant segment here. (Via this collection of links.)
MORE: I've spoken to the MSNBC folks. The video link above is an unauthorized one (note the tag at the end, which I don't believe was on the show). But MSNBC is going to put up a digitized version of the whole show; I'll let you know when it's available.
STILL MORE: It's here -- scroll down to the video launcher. (But click on the picture, not the "launch" button). Or just click here, which should play both clips consecutively.
MORE STILL: The end, after a commercial, is cut off in the link above -- I just noticed, and the MSNBC people didn't know until I told 'em. They're trying to fix it. In the meantime, you can always follow the earlier link.
STILL MORE: The whole thing is now up here -- thanks to the MSNBC folks, who did this at my request, and who worked hard on the weekend to get it up and running!