Without acknowledging the criticism or apologizing for his meanness, the Hardball host admits he "missed" the moment when Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter were thoroughly enjoying each other's company.
December 8, 2018

Many of us were rage-tweeting and writing (present company included) about Chris Matthews' unfair and inaccurate characterization of Hillary Clinton's and Jimmy Carter's alleged stand-offishness with one another at George H.W. Bush's funeral service. Most of us saw it as a continuation of Matthews' palpable derision and dislike for Hillary Clinton - looking for any way possible to get in a dig at the former Democratic Presidential Nominee, Secretary of State, Senator from New York, and First Lady. Astute Tweeter @MikeMitchellNYC called his bullsh!t with visual evidence, and you know the rest.

Last night, on his "Let Me Finish" segment, he corrected himself. Sort of. (Can we discuss how he has a segment entitled "Let Me Finish," when his signature journalistic move is to talk over/interrupt people — especially women? Okay, another time.) Anyway, my Spidey Sense tells me Matthews knew he totally stepped in it again, and had some cleaning up to do. So, in this closing segment last night, he discussed the noble example of civility set by those in the front pew at the National Cathedral during the service. In a nod to his screw-up, he noted,

Something like that yesterday, when the recent presidents and their spouses shared the front pew at the National Cathedral. I missed it yesterday, but it included a genuinely affable moment between Secretary Hillary Clinton and my former boss, President Jimmy Carter. When I saw that clip today, I was struck by that sparkling American moment of Secretary Clinton totally enjoying his company.

He was struck by that, eh? I think he was struck by a tidal wave of people fed up with sexist and condescending white men punching down on women who are in extremely precarious or uncomfortable positions themselves. I mean, he did MISS it, and all, but this "Let Me Finish" segment doesn't really repair the harm, or address the underlying misogyny that drove him to look for and make up disparaging things to say about her. What is called for is an apology, wherein he acknowledges wrongdoing, makes no excuses for it, and pledges to be more mindful about his broadcasting in the future. After all. The true value of an apology is measured in changed future behavior.

Given his long history of recorded nastiness towards her (you can read about it here, in The Washington Post) I'm not holding my breath. And if you're on Twitter, here is a comprehensive list compiled by Matthew Gertz, of Media Matters For America, which begins with all his gross sexism, but then focuses on Matthews' particular brand of Hillary hatred. So while I'm fairly certain this "Oh, hey, yeah! I missed this nice moment!" is about as good as we're gonna get from him, I'd be happy for him to prove me wrong.

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