February 22nd, 2009
01:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Media critic blasts Chris Matthews' 'man crush' on Obama

CNN

Goldberg takes issue with media coverage of President Obama.

(CNN) - It has become one of MSNBC host Chris Matthew's most infamous lines of the 2008 presidential election:

"I felt this thrill going up my leg," Matthews said the night Obama resoundingly defeated rival Hillary Clinton in the Virginia and Maryland Democratic primaries.

And former CBS News Correspondent Bernard Goldberg, who has long alleged liberal bias in the media, highlighted that line as indicative of the media's "slobbering" press coverage of candidate Obama during his campaign for the White House.

"That's not commentary, that's a man-crush," Goldberg declared on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday.

Goldberg, the author of the new book “A Slobbering Love Affair,” credits the media coverage of the 2008 presidential election for ultimately resulting in Barack Obama's victory.

He specifically faulted coverage of the prolonged Democratic primary campaign, during which two historic candidates contentiously squared off.

"I think in elite liberal circles, certainly inside the media, race trumps gender, and that's why they slobbered over Barack Obama, and took Hillary Clinton to the back room and beat her with a rubber hose,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg also faulted political journalists for not digging up controversial sermons of the president's longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, until Obama had already effectively captured his party's nomination.

"These tapes were available, you didn't have to be Woodward or Bernstein to dig them up," Goldberg said. "If those tapes had come out six months earlier, certainly a year earlier, I don't think Barack Obama would have been the nominee.

"I think Hillary Clinton would have been. And I think she would have been the president today," he continued. "And in that sense, she's the biggest loser in all of this."

soundoff (607 Responses)
  1. JBK

    This whole media bias thing is just what people use when they have no excuse for failed ideology. The media did not win the election. Wolf Blitzer or Chris Matthews are not the President of the United States. How much love did Rudy get and I don't think that guy is leading anything. The only thing I can blame the media for is wasting time on talking heads instead of concetrating on the vast problems afflicting not just our country but the world. Grow up!

    February 22, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. jeff george

    If they were going to play the Rev. Wright stuff, then they should have also kept looping Pain's blessing against witchcraft at church, AND some of the wacky stuff said by the guy who ran that secession party that Todd Palin belonged to. Sarah and family hung out with a group that promoted LEAVING THE USA. So much for the GOP being the party of "America First."

    February 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Kiki

    Of course he has a man-crush on Obama. Just tune in to his show and watch him slobber all over himself whenever mentions his name. I'm sure he still gets that thrill up his leg every time he thinks of him.

    February 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Joseph M

    it was a CHANGE Election Year Bernie, FYI
    Clinon Does NOT Represent Change

    face the facts and stop looking for a reason to feel better about the Reality of it all.

    February 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. MatthewChe

    Ever been in a bad relationship for say 8 years and then you meet somebody new, fresh, exciting and omg...intelligent? It's a natural feeling in people. What the hell were we talking about?

    February 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Rod

    In regards to the myth of a liberal media, are mosts journalists liberal? probably, because they are on the front lines and see real world results and combine it with logic to arrive at a liberal worldview. But the media is NOT LIBERAL because of this, it's actually more conservative. Because the real power in the media is with editors and they decide what's newsworthy. If something is legitimate news but threatens any interests of that of the parent company, do you think it will be broadcast? Of course not. The modern media is a conservative institution, they have a bottom line to protect. Their stockholders tend to be conservative and profit more from GOP policies. That's why they won't rock the boat and you see guys like Bush get appointed president. If it were truly liberal, you would see a helluva lot more muckraking. To blame the media entirely for Obama's election is a straw man argument that ignores all of the problems the GOP created, the horrible mistakes of the McCain campaign, Iraq, the economy, et cetera. The media was a factor, but not as big as this guy Goldberg claims.

    February 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. News Luddite

    Anyone else tired of the news reporters trying to be the news, rather than report it?

    February 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. J Allen

    No, not legal at all, as a matter of fact we have a constitutional crises on our hands because of complacency in not proving Obama is a "Natural Born Citizen" like the constituion requires!

    Quote: Nina D "at least his victory was legal, unlike Bush's 2000 victory"

    February 22, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Jungle fever huh iwas wondering how long it would be until the racist
    come out! the right wing at its best.

    February 22, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. James

    In today's multimedia age, I simply don't buy the argument that news media can swing an election.There are too many independent reporters available at the click of a button.

    February 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. jerry b

    Nina D, where is your head? Cheney rigging elections? Read what happened back then, and please remember who the dem candidate was.

    Live in the real world. Yous is an example of that liberal media simply not telling the truth and asking you all to live on emotion.

    Please help us live with real facts. This the land of equal opportunity not equwl results.

    February 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Chris

    Liberal Media Bias? Isn't it about time anyway? We have had to listen to 8 long years of FOX news and its related media groups tout Bush and act as if the Bush administration could do no wrong. They constantly had the inside line to the White House with exclusive stories and interviews. Don't forget the Biased Right Wing Talk radio. Why is it now that they lost all we hear is "liberal media bias"?? I never heard these folks complain when FOX was pushing their "Fair and Balanced" reporting throughout the second Bush election. The real problem here is "They" lost, the empire has fallen and they are crushed and they hate it. Therefore, they are going to do everything they can to complain and whine about how horrible and unfair this is. Bottom line, get over it I had to put up with the same garbage for 8 long years now its your turn.

    February 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Pugas-AZ

    The thrill going up Cris mathews leg was just the rats leaving a sinking ship. But I did have a similar thrill when the whole election process came to an end. I wonder if I will get the same kind of thrill over the stimulus package. I doubt it.

    February 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. 4 and No More

    @Brian, "Even if you do look at the popular vote Obama won by 7% which in election numbers is huge."

    Smaller than 1 in 10 is not huge by any standard in any perspective.
    It's more like squeaking by, really.

    Pretty much by now that 1 in 10 is gone. Most everyone I talk with now is disappointed with this whole Obama thing. Yeah, it's historic and all but in 2012 it really will be history.

    February 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Nobody Asked Larry But...

    If this clown author had all this "information'" why didn't he make it public. Sounds like a sore loser to me. Two things: one, I guess Limbaugh, Hannity, and O'Reilly don't "slobber" over their favorite candidates and positions, and two, at least Obama was elected by the majority of the people, fair and square, unlike Bush who was "appointed" by the supreme court after the Florida votes were skewed.

    February 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    The Republicans are doomed to spending the next 20 years wandering in the presidential wilderness, just as they did after the disastrous Herbert Hoover. Fox is going to need a whole new crew of much younger zealots for the long journey to 2028. And, for that, Mr. Goldberg and his foxy colleagues will be called upon to donate to a sort of cable news version of "The Boys From Brazil."

    February 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. McDuff

    Look, the whole problem here is that the American public was done a terrible disservices by the press. One of the lynchpins of our democracy is an unbiased, unfettered, free press. If our media does not do its job in investigating and reporting the truth, we are all in trouble. Regardless of party, we all lost because the media can no longer be trusted to be objective.

    February 22, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. dave

    this man, Goldberg, is an idiot – stop listening to these "pundits" and do a little thinking, people....

    February 22, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Pat M

    Memo to all Republicans – You didn't lose because of the liberal media, you lost because W was elected twice and drive the country pretty close to a cliff.

    February 22, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. rob vukovic

    Goldberg opines that if the republicans would have used more of the inflammatory the words of the the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to discredit Obama, McCain would have won the election. This is so typical of the Rs,
    when you cannot win on the merits blow your slime everywhere and hope it sticks. It would have been a travesty for this nation if Obama had lost based on the words of another man with no credible evidence that Obama shared Wright's more radical views or that Wright would have any influence whatsoever over Obama's Administration.

    p.s. to Larry: the dems, libs, and lefties who don't already have jobs would gladly accept employment if the reps, cons, and righties hadn't shipped them all over seas or put the companies out of business with Bush's failed economic policies.

    February 22, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Is its true that the media can get any one elected then all the Republicans will be voted out of office.

    February 22, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Change

    GOP = Goofs on Parade

    February 22, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Dennis Perry

    Nina D – Get a grip. The 2000 election is over. No matter who counted or how, George Bush won the election. Do a little research.

    February 22, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. ronald williams

    How does Goldberg even get on TV?? What happen to him at NBC???
    His stupid book has far to many BS references.

    February 22, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. GuyA

    Bias? Perhaps there was bias, but it could be justified bias. McCain screwed up a lot more than Obama on the campaign trail and the so-called "terrorists" that Obama was "palling around with" don't promote any cause against him. You can still be friends with someone you disagree with, that's what Obama and McCain kept talking about if you couldn't understand him. Not only did they have a fairly minor relationship, but even if they had a good one, it could be a merely social relationship and by no means a political relationship. Along with that, McCain had everything going against him (including history) and Obama had everything going for him. It wasn't bias, it just ended up seeming biased precisely because Obama was simply better than McCain. Better luck next time Goldberg.

    February 22, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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