Ed Driscoll

Chris Matthews, Ace Political Reporter

“Chris Matthews Says He Can’t Tell Howard Fineman’s Political Leaning,” Noel Sheppard writes at Newsbusters:

Chris Matthews said Wednesday that he can’t tell what Howard Fineman’s political leaning is.

Such humorously occurred at the end of a “Hardball” segment shortly after the host had no problem identifying his other guest as “center-right” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Mark McKinnon, smart guy, center-right. Howard Fineman – can’t tell.

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: Thank you. (Laughter)

Earlier in the segment, Matthews asked the Daily Beast’s McKinnon, “You’re sort of center-right, right?”

McKinnon responded, “I’m a radical centrist, but I’m a proud Republican.”

So Matthews knows McKinnon’s leanings – someone that according to LexisNexis has been on “Hardball” less than 20 times – but not the former Newsweek employee’s that just became the senior editor of the far-left Huffington Post and has been on “Hardball” over 1,000 times?

Or was Matthews uncomfortable outing a fellow MSNBC contributor?

I’ll take Door Number Two for $500, Monty. But as I’ve asked a couple of times before, whenever liberal journalists attempt to play this game, if they can’t determine a journalist’s political worldview, particularly in the age of Google, why should we trust them as a political commentator?

Or to put it another way:

A political party is dying before our eyes — and I don’t mean the Democrats. I’m talking about the “mainstream media,” which is being destroyed by the opposition (or worse, the casual disdain) of George Bush’s Republican Party; by competition from other news outlets (led by the internet and Fox’s canny Roger Ailes); and by its own fraying journalistic standards.

Howard Fineman in Newsweek, January 13, 2005.