When Will Tweety Have Liddy On Again?

Bob Somerby documents Chris "Tweety" Matthews' long history of sexism and misogyny. It is especially acute in what he tolerates from his guests. Somerby recounts Tweety's applauding of G. Gordon Liddy's sexist rants during the Gore campaign:

In November 1999, Matthews had Liddy on the show to recite the press corps’ scripted complaints about Naomi Wolf. (Wolf was advising the Gore campaign, as the press had recently learned.) Gender-nut Matthews popped the question to his crackpot, gender-nut friend: “Can we believe Al Gore growing into this protean new person, this new today's man-woman, whatever the hell he's trying to become?” Gore was becoming the new man-woman! Thus cued, Liddy knew the relevant scripting—scripting which was being repeated all over the mainstream press:

LIDDY (11/4/99): You, you, you can't—you can't lead people with the uncertain trumpet. If you don't know who the hell you are, if you're not comfortable with yourself, if you've got a girl trying to teach you how to be a real man, how in the world—I mean, do we want a person like that for the leader of the free world? I don't think so.


But a woman like that, whom I have to say that, at its most charitable, is a bit bizarre, to be, being paid more than the vice presidential salary per month to tell this guy how to be a real man, that's—that's scary. That really is—the fact that this guy is actually in contention for president of the United States should disturb people.

Everybody knew they must say it! Al Gore hired a woman (or a “girl”) to teach him how to be a man! Matthews quickly evoked Roseanne Roseannadanna and exulted at the way the press had been able to “catch [Gore] with this girl.” With their lunacy thus further inspired, the boys were soon saying this:

LIDDY: Yeah, but he's obviously—he's obviously listening to her. Look, the next time you meet a real guy from Tennessee, you know—


LIDDY: —like Senator Fred Thompson, all right—

MATTHEWS: All right

LIDDY: You ask him if any of the real good old boys in Tennessee go around wearing brown suits with blue shirts.

MATTHEWS: I love the three buttons! Would somebody explain? I thought we were down to one or two—

LIDDY: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: —that you didn't button the second one. He's got all three buttoned up. It says, “My name is Al, and I'm your waiter tonight.” You know, I can't quite figure this out.

What's ironic about all this is Tweety's homerotic love for George W. Bush and other "manly" men is a matter of record. As is his blatant sexism and misogyny. But I wonder if even Liddy went too far for Tweety when he said this:

LIDDY: I understand that they found out today that Miss Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, which means in illegal alien, “the race.” And that should not surprise anyone because she’s already on record with a number of racist comments. . . . Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

If Tweety had any courage, he would have Liddy on and ask him about these comments. But we all know that Tweety is a coward. Always has been. Always will be.

Speaking for me only

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    As you said, Tweety is a coward. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by AX10 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:45:35 PM EST
    What do I think of Tweety?

    I would have supported Specter if Tweety ran against him.  Since that is not the case now, I suuport Sestak.


    Tweety < Specter

    Sestak > Specter

    Tweets does have a problem with women in general being anything besides servants to men.

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by bocajeff on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:21:11 PM EST
    Well his wife is a stay at home, barefoot, type of woman and his daughter doesn't do anything other than troll for men to be subservient to...

    Or not...

    I don't like some of the things he says or does, but to say he only wants women to be servants to men is wrong at best and childish at worst...


    Of course its wrong (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:56:54 PM EST
    Every guy I ever knew who acted like Tweety in public liked spankings from girls in private.

    Oh, but it's (none / 0) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 30, 2009 at 03:25:45 PM EST
    SO much more fun to rant and rave on the basis of a clip or two, doncha think?  After all, that's what the GOPers and other right-wingers have been basing their entire movement on for years and years, including their deeply principled opposition to 32 words Sotomayor once said that disqualify her for the SC, no?

    Why on earth should we be any different from them?


    Are you kidding? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:11:13 PM EST
    Tweety has an unbroken record of this. I could give your hours of tape of him.

    My gawd, your comment is incredibly uninformed.


    Heh (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:44:34 PM EST
    BTD, I have been obligated for the last several years to watch Tweety very closely every single night.  So don't give me "uninformed."  I'm probably better informed about Matthews than just about anybody on the planet other than his wife.  I could go on at length about his ugly flaws.

    But I'm with Somerby on the general principle (which he, unfortunately, doesn't apply to Matthews) that excerpting a clip or a graph here or there and screaming about it does nothing to advance either understanding or the political discourse.

    Probably 95 percent of Tweety's interaction with or commentary on female persons is exactly the same as his interaction with males.  That's simply a fact.

    That doesn't negate or excuse his grotesque treatment of both Clintons over the years, to be sure, or his leering at Erin Burnett (remember that?) a couple years ago.

    He's also -- and this is also a fact -- reformed his on-air behavior quite significantly after the pounding he took last year.  Whether he's had some sort of personal revelation or had the fear of God put into him by his bosses or his wife, I have no idea and don't care.

    And -- hold your breath -- he's become a pretty big fan, involuntarily, of Hillary Clinton, which of course you won't believe because you insist on characterizing his views on the basis of a few clips and paragraphs from six months, or six years, ago.

    I'm not actually intending to defend the guy, just pointing out that, like most of us, he's a heck of a lot more complicated than the charicature the poster above sought to portray him.

    He's a real easy poster boy, but it's not an accurate portrait-- if it even matters.


    You have myopia (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:52:40 PM EST
    if you believe this:

    "Probably 95 percent of Tweety's interaction with or commentary on female persons is exactly the same as his interaction with males.  That's simply a fact."

    That is demonstrably false.

    I guess you watched, but did not see.

    Tweety is as sexist a character as there is on television. Bar none. Not even Olbermann is near as bad.


    Wrong (none / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 30, 2009 at 10:11:57 PM EST
    Just totally wrong.

    Olbermann is in a class by himself, way, way, way, way far worse than Tweety, who's just your garden variety middle-aged male sexist with a Clinton obsession.  I challenge you to come up with the kind of chronic utterly compulsive sexual (not just sexist) smearing of women of every kind that Olbermann indulges in on a daily basis from Matthews.

    You can't, because it doesn't happen.

    I say again, Matthews is no hero, no innocent babe in the woods, but he's simply not the monster it's so convenient for you to believe him to be.  That's fact.  If you watched him more than once in a blue moon, you wouldn't have such a problem with the idea.

    Do you have any interest at all in how Washington punditry works?  If not, believe what pleases you and it doesn't matter.  If you do, you better watch Matthews a lot more closely because he's the epitome of it, and it's nowhere near as simple as you would like.

    I could go on in some detail, but you're making it clear you have no interest.  Pity.

    And I'll say once more, Matthews is a different cat than he was six months ago.  Why that is I don't know and don't much care.  But it's a big distraction and a counterproductive one to rail against Matthews for the wrong reaons, IMHO.


    Gryfalcon, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Radiowalla on Sat May 30, 2009 at 10:20:04 PM EST
    much as I have been in harmonic convergence with most your opinions, I simply have to differ with you with regards to Chris Matthews.  I haven't observed that he has reformed, even after his wings were singed following his most egregious sexist remarks about Hillary.  I sense that he is a tad more guarded perhaps but the underlying 'good ol' boy' attitude is right under the surface.

    Neither he nor Barnicle can shake off their inner bully.  That's just how I see it.


    For me, the real question of whether (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Anne on Sun May 31, 2009 at 12:04:36 AM EST
    Matthews has learned the errors of his ways is answered when he has someone on his show who exhibits unquestioned sexism and misogyny, and who he then fails to push back against.  

    He pretty much fails that test most of the time.


    Tweety is the classic (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Jjc2008 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:46:55 PM EST
    Catholic boy who loves the paternalism.
    He's into manly men, he admires them, and he sees himself and all the other Anglos (Irish Catholics) as rightfully in their place when they are in charge.

    His hatred of the Clintons stems from the same elitism of his ilk toward lower class catholics...the Latinas, the Italians.  
    I grew up at the same time (we are the same age) in the same area (a few miles from his town) of Philly.
    I was from the steel town where the ethnics and the poor worked.  He and his ilk went to the prep schools........all male.  We went to the mixers.  Even at 15 I could sense the elitism from those guys.  I hated it.......I still resent it: the misogyny, the sexism, the racism.

    Tweety considers men like Delay and Dick Army the good guys......he loves their obnoxious treatment of women.  He sits silently when they spout their racism and sexism.  

    I will never get past his UNFAIR treatment of Hillary.  I can't stand Tweety..

    and listening to him, after Sotomayor's nomination, it's clear he basically has the same "old white guy insecurity."  He thinks "reverse discrimination" exists and worries about how white males are being treated.  Pathetic tool....that is what he is.

    What amazed (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:49:26 PM EST
    me was after Tweety spent years worshipping at the throne of Bush and then moved onto Obama why the Obots didnt smell a rat? Everything he did was autmotically excused it seems.

    Come on (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:54:50 PM EST
    Everybody worshipping at the altar of Obama can't smell anything other than all the friggin mental incense infesting the air surrounding them all.

    The He-Man Wimmin-Hater's Club (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Anne on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:57:50 PM EST
    Gordon Liddy must be running for president of it - probably the only office his criminal record would allow him to hold.

    I'm sure Liddy will be out correcting his remarks about Sotomayor mensruating - to tell the world it's even worse than he thought: she might be menopausal, which everyone knows is even worse than PMS...

    I don't understand how this kind of rank sexism and misogyny is not just allowed to stand, but is becoming acceptable.

    Join the boycott, folks. (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by oldpro on Sat May 30, 2009 at 03:12:33 PM EST
    I NEVER watch these maniacs.

    Me neither (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by ruffian on Sat May 30, 2009 at 03:26:44 PM EST
    No earthly reason to do it, except to document the atrocities, as Atrios puts it. I'll have to leave that to people with stronger stomachs, like Somerby. I can barely stand to read the transcripts.

    I don't watch often (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 31, 2009 at 03:06:02 AM EST
    I usually don't have time.  Thing is, this stuff is on our airwaves now and making the grade of mainstream discourse.  Even if I'm not seeing this in real time, when I hear about it after the fact with the footage is soon headed to the archive, I can't help but say what a woman will say about it.  I am part of the gender of half the planet.......the menstruating crazies.

    I would have asked (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:22:31 PM EST
    whether Newt Gingrich is prepared to condemn him.

    The Daily Weasle says it all (none / 0) (#4)
    by joze46 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:31:23 PM EST
    "W T F" is wrong with America, you ask?

    In the Daily Weasel Bryan Zepp Jamieson
    said it well...

    "It got taken over by corrupt, amoral Republican crooks, and nobody has the balls to make them pay for their crimes. And now, they are just clinging on, hoping that the entire country won't collapse before the mess is foisted off on President-elect Obama, and trying like hell to blame him for the situation they created."

    The whole article is in the Daily Weasle says it all.

    What is happening is simple, most of the governing done by the Republicans is not done in a true conservative way. Everything from non regulation to the free market is wild corruption.

    Was listening to Cheney in an interview saying that he knew all along GM was going to go into bankruptcy. So, why, and how is still the wonder for me. To be sure all this time, the auto and banks were failing, MSNBC and Tweety likely knew what was happening and kept quite. Please it is too too much stuff to go down at one time.  

    Essentially Andrea Mitchell wife of former federal reserve board chairman Allen Greenspan know what monies are given to whom in secret all these years. It is secret to keep to prevent them from being prosecuted. It is a sham so great and a sham so horrible our national integrity and culture will never recover till it is addressed and those involved are convicted and jailed.

    Likely the reason why our domestic stress is going through the roof. Needless to say the very reason MSNBC is on a crusade to telecast the problems of the prisons in America. Notice how prison and domestic related problems are detailed in terms of law and order on MSNBC every week end. For me it looks very wahhabi, for me it was always the notion the Arabs are behind the whole mess of corruption buying off political people left and right sending our system into a tail spin via Bush and Company cooperation.

    Hard to believe but something is very wrong with these people America is way off course with these Republicans in politics...  

    Uneffingreal (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:52:58 PM EST
    What century am I currently living in?  We women had to put up with so much of this outrageous Tweety crap about Clinton during the primaries and now I have to listen to this?  REALLY?  I have to listen to this "credible pundit" and his guest buddies clog up my airwaves with this disgusting crap?  Somedays we get Rush and all the birth pains that go into his finest moments redefining heinous and on the other days we get Tweety panting madly because he's running second place to Rush!

    I am getting tired of this guys (none / 0) (#15)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:35:12 PM EST
    Focus on White Firefighters.  I swear listening to this guy we need a civil right movement for white guys.

    You may be too young (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Cream City on Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:00:51 PM EST
    to remember Martin Mull's too brief and brilliant teebee take on white guyness, but if you can find video somewhere, do see it.  Little did I know at the time that some white guys watched it not as satire but as a how-to manual in manly manness.

    For me, I am going back to reread Faludi's book Backlash.  Little did I know at the time that it was not just about the near-past, either.

    I am glad that I am near the end of my career but worry for my daughter and everyone's daughters.  And for the sons who are good men and also will have to see the women they love set back.  It has happened before, and the frustrations of the women of the 1950s -- when a lesser percentage of U.S. women went to college than in the 1920s, or example -- were devastating for decades afterward, including for their children.


    Less women as a percentage of women what to (none / 0) (#18)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:41:22 PM EST
    College in the 50s then 20s?  That is shocking.  Why is that?  Do those numbers correlate to right after the war vs. later in the decade.  That is, I might guess that less women went to college in the early part of the decade because there were work opportunities during the war and right after it?  Vs. later on in the decade those jobs had been taken back by men and the women might then go to college?

    I've been thinking about that book too (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 31, 2009 at 02:57:16 AM EST
    lately. First Clinton and now this.

    All Hail Bob Somerby, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Radiowalla on Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:29:18 PM EST
    the most courageous media critic of the last decade...and then some.  

    Somerby has an archive on Tweety that would occupy a whole floor at the library, so abundant are the outrages.  It's too bad that no one, including Somerby himself, has produced a book with the facts on Chris Matthews' twisted brand of punditry.  

    As I've often said before, Chris Matthews is a sick puppy.