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April 9, 2008

President Matthews


Some thoughts on the image leading the early-release 8000 word NYT Magazine piece on Chris Matthews (the photo supplied by, yep, Chris Matthews).

1.  Great shot of President Matthews. Who’s the minor aide in the red-and-blue tie that Chris couldn’t be bothered with?

2. As a guy famous for his sexism, ain’t this the ultimate boys club?

3. What’s most surprising about the pic is the suggestion that Chris could have actually been even younger than he is now.

… I was going to raise a stink about how Chris landed in the limelight of the political media universe at this particular moment, but you know, with what Petraeus was allowed to get away with earlier this week, the Matthews chaser seems perfectly fitting.

The Aria of Chris Matthews (NYT Magazine)

(image: unattributed.  from Chris Matthews. caption: 1980  With President Jimmy Carter on Air Force One. Matthews is seated, lower right, next to Hendrik Hertzberg and in front of Jody Powell.

  • travc

    Note the pack of Salem cigs and the big ashtray. Not too odd in the context the late 70s (though smoking was banned on flights before pretty much anyplace else), but wasn’t there just a little hubub over Obama falling off the quit-smoking wagon?

  • black dog barking

    Watching my children grow up gave me an opportunity to bring adult eyes and vocabulary to experiences I was unable to understand and classify the first time around. Kids are culture consumption machines, taking in enormous amounts of cultural experience and metabolizing / internalizing it. One of the drawbacks of this wide-eyed and wonderful approach to the world is not everything the world has to offer should be internalized.
    You, me, and my kids drank it all in as we grew, the eternal verities along with the downright bullshit. This image eloquently captures some of the quintessential bullshit that America had to offer someone of Matthew’s and my generation — specifically the special role of the white male in administration and power.
    Certainly the notion that the male hand was destined to wield power was assimilated by the wide-eyed children that grew up to be the men in that photo. Abandoning that kind of cultural conditioning requires recognition and lots of conscious work. Giving up natural superiority is a lot harder than quitting those cigs within easy reach of the future pundit.

  • Chris

    When did Matthews become a blond?

  • steve

    I agree with #2. His ignorant sexist & racist comments of today become understood as seen here by the company he kept in his early professional life. Hey, at least he was with a guy who had long hair – Eddie Money? Is that a pack of cigarettes and a monster ashtray in front of him?
    I really have no like for CM. MSNBC is off if he’s on. His PR people got him this exposure in the SNYTs, his stock/media value is tumbling. Go KO!!!

  • jmac

    He looks more mature as a youngster. Blond hair on older men connotes a never-grew-up quality. Fact is, he probably was more mature before he learned to manipulate the game.

  • jtfromBC

    At least one of these men is up to something productive.
    Former President Carter to Meet With Hamas Chief

  • Cactus

    Mathews is still that young redhead. In a man’s world, he is a man’s man. He gets all ’sweaty’ upon contemplation of the imagined feats of McCain or the blustering cod-piece strutting on deck of The W. As many women see him, he is one of those charming but useless boys who forgot to grow up. The way he talks on his ’show’ it’s as if his life experiences are the only things with which to identify today’s politics. The fact that he interrupts anyone who dares to air another opinion (constantly and repeatedly) is indicative of his inability to admit that times have changed.
    But to call him “President Matthews” is to ascribe something to him of which he was never capable. A sycophant he was and remains to this day.

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