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

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


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. Allison

    "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.

    EWWW! And there is no media bias, right?

    February 22, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Cindy Nelson

    Who cares what this chooch has to say. And I'm sick and tired of people calling the media the liberal media. What is FOX news then? They have a tv news channel for the right, that is their champion. So that isnt enough? If other news organizations, dont sell the American public the way that FOX news does, that means they are liberal?
    I can't stand it!!!!

    February 22, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Texas Teacher

    Republicans.... or should I say McCain, Cindy, Bush, Rove, Cheney, Daddy Bush.... and all those wall street billionaires... they are the ones who are here talking about fear and hate and how bad Obama is.... well, all I see is a media love affair with the Republicans. We hear more about them than we do about Obama! Am I the only person with my eyes open? pray tell.... ?

    February 22, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Give me a break!

    Now that the election is over, it time to quit pointing fingers at Bush (or any one person) for all the problems that we have. The House and the Senate have to share in the financial responsibilities. The purse string is not held by the president, and if we want to leave anything to our children and grandchildren, we need to see how things are going to be solved. The American people have to share in the mess because we are now a give me country. If I don't earn it, it must be someone’s fault. We have forgotten how to earn what we want in our lives. But we need to start taking responsibility for our part in the situation. As a country, we need to remember that we need to work for what we need and not expect everyone to hand it to us.
    This is not meant as a political response but as a senior citizen that works two jobs, I am saying that we (I) will continue to pay no matter what started the situation. The Republicans are not the only citizens of the United States that are not sure that the stimulus package is the right way to go. We need to be watchful of cures that will cost the citizens of the US more. I would like to enjoy retirement without feeling that I will continue to pay for everyone else's mistakes. Someone will have to pay for it and I am sure that we all will and can bet it won't be the politicians!
    Of course Obama is still campaigning but he will have to prove he can do what he has promised! Being an excellent public speaker will not carry him in the next election if he can't carry out the job! But we can't decide what type of leadership we are going to have until we have experienced it! I vote for the person that I feel will do the best job. Once the election is over, we need to see how that person conducts the job! I don't think we need to continue campaigning. That is why I say "Give me a break" from any campaigning by anyone.
    In my opinion, it’s time to quit talking and do the job!!

    February 22, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. Cindy Nelson

    To Blank,
    Give me a break. Dont say the media is what delivered Obama his victory. Why don't you just admit that McCain ran a terrible campaign and that Palin was the noose around his neck.

    February 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Tony in Maine

    But it's okay for Coulter to have a man-crush on Sarah?

    February 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Kurt

    Awww, poor Bernie. A hack journalist that no one else will hire...
    Except the fascist news organization called Fox...

    February 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. John Lubeck

    Anything that is factual is considered to be "Liberal bias" by the Republican party. The Bush administration policy of redacting facts from scientific reports, the religious zealots who try to replace science with religion and the replacement of competence tests with ideology tests are all standard doctrine for the GOP.

    February 22, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. jackson

    What is wrong with the media isn't that they are biased, it is they are lazy. Their critique of Bush during his eight years was lacking substance (when their was plenty of it) and their coverage of Obama is equally shallow. Where is the press when both administrations start printing literally trillions without any real plan and/or accountability. Obama and congress did not even read a stimulus package worth over a trillion dollars. You literally have Bush and Obama growing the government beyond anything FDR dreamed of, and yet no critical analysis from media regarding the direction our country is headed. If these last two presidents are a trend the end of republic may be at stake and it will be the media to blame.

    February 22, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Wee, bitty, snarky soul. Unattractive. Silly. Goldberg should be doing something else for a living.

    February 22, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. MrsK

    MATTHEWS man-crush? What about Anderson Cooper? I have never in my life seen a "journalist" fawn over a candidate so openly. If he had stripped down and done a pole-dance for Obama it would have been a refreshing note of subtlety!

    February 22, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Julien

    That's funny coming from a former CBS correspondent.

    February 22, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Nita

    Is he blasting Greta Van Susstren girl crush on Palin???? hypocrite

    February 22, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Julie

    How arrogant of that bag of gas Goldberg to insinuate that Obama was elected based on his media coverage. Forget the fact that McCain chose a running mate who was at best lost and at worst a complete moron, forget the fact that McCain remained completely out of touch in one of his 7 homes while families were being forclosed on and put in the street, and forget the fact that McCain's only resolution to fix the problem was to do more of the same...Obama won because the media liked him. *rolls eyes* Right.

    February 22, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. justwaitandsee

    Why is CNN posting comments of what some idiot says about Chris Matthews who happens to work for another station?

    CNN and Fox had more republicans on TV fighting against the Job Creation Bill and now CNN is hiding behind someone else’s attack of Chris Matthews. Well guess what CNN, your excess coverage of Rev Wright didn't work, you excess Hillary Clinton Promotion didn’t work, your excess republican representation on your network didn’t work and your subtle manipulation won't work her either.

    People are not going to stop watching MSNBC, David Shuster 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Hardball with Chris Matthews, Countdown with Keith Olbermann or the Rachel Maddow Show to turn to CNN. So you can try to solicit all the negative help you can, MSNBC has a good thing going and CNN is something I can barely watch at time (accept Larry King, DVR Him)

    February 22, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Flo, Denver

    As a staunch Independent I have a comment and a question for these guys.

    Comment: Obama cut his political teeth in Illinios politics. So I'd say Obama is a big boy now (as in grown man) and can take all the republican and democrat bashing they want to hand out, and probably more. He's no doubt heard it all a few times over.

    Two, Chris Matthew's and Bernard Goldberg, or any other media personality for that matter, truly think any intellegent thinking adult takes what they have to say seriously? I'm sure the party faithful do listen with baited ears, for the newest talking points to be repeated at every opportunity the coming week. The rest of us know that media personalities such as these two, and all too many like them, are there as mouth pieces for a certain audiance only.

    February 22, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. Chris from NY

    When the media was in the tanks for Bush did he ever complain? No. At that time, no major news media had the gutts to call Bush out on the Iraq war. They were all cowards then. And now this big mouth whose book led to an attack in a church continues to perpertrate his nuances. Jealousy they say is the root of hatred. Obama is our President. Go deal with it.

    February 22, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. flybyshoeing

    Good going CNN. Keep having people like Bernie Goldberg, Ann Coulter and Dana Millbank on your schedules. Fox Light or what?

    February 22, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. kirk

    The election is over. The people have spoken. Republicans and their surrogates need to get a life!!

    February 22, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Barry Hues

    With the exception of followers of the Limbaugh religion, most of us don't base our beliefs and decisions on what talking heads like Goldberg or Mathews say, much to the disappointment of their gigantic and bloated ego's. Some of us can actually think for ourselves...

    February 22, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. No Bias No Bull

    Who cares what Goldberg says.The republican base and the achoholic Sean Hannity slobbered all over Palin but it didn't win the election for her .Even Hannity was never sure about McCain and yes he has said it but he let the wink winks of Palin control other parts of his body except for his brains or why else would any man with a functional brain would listen to that woman.President Obama was smart,intelligent,ran a brilliant campaign and said what the american people wanted to hear and in time those that voted for him will see that it was not all talk while idiots are saying he's breaking some of his campaign promises but don't let them scare you as you can see from some of these comments they want you to be afraid and have your doubts about him.The media did not elect him the majority of the electoral votes elected him and yes it was a LANDSLIDE which was 365 to McCain's 173 and I would certainly say that was a landslide.

    February 22, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    85% of the media is regis. Democrats? Could this happen to have to do with the fact that more regis. Democrats are far more formally educated than regis. Republicans? You can tell this by what areas of the country tend to vote for who. And this joke abouit a far left media bias must dismiss the existence of FoxNews and right wing talk radio. Of course that may be because Fox is not real news and a lot of right wing radio is a bunch of hot air that mindless folk follow like sheep.

    February 22, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. Alicia

    Republicans are nothing but a nay-saying, nexus of negativity. (Hey, I just made that up!)

    Seriously though, I thought I couldn't be surprised any more at Republican perfidy, but their sore loser ethos right now is
    puzzling and disheartening. Where are the Republican heroes? This is a ripe time for boldness and original thinking to emerge - from anybody who has the intelligence, discipline and grit to summon it. And yet there is nothing emanating from the Republicans at all except scare-mongering and reflexive contradiction. I look in vain tor intelligent alternatives, but they are bereft of new ideas in their weakness and disarray,

    Apparently, they can find nothing to do besides pitch a national playground tantrum: running around waving their hands in the air, shaking their heads, crying "no fair" and stomping their feet. Whining about the lost election and whether Obama was the teacher's pet. This is immaturity when our country needs adult discipline and insight. I wonder what their end game is, as we face this worsening financial and social crisis. Those Republicans battling for the spolight (and getting it from CNN) are lightweights and silly loudmouths. One can only hope that the smarter Republicans are busy studying and thinking while the dummies run around braying, We need creative, well-vetted ideas from both left and right so that we can make intelligent choices on how to spend our precious, dwindling resources and where to focus our energy. Goldberg and his ilk are supremely irrelevant.

    February 22, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Page Turner

    at this point all the repugs can do is to blame the referees because they are pathetic losers who cannot defend their poitions with a straight face. Never allowing facts to get in the way of their tired disproven arguments, they cling to supply-side and trickle down theories of yesteryear keeping faith in the disproven theories despite the current castrpohe upon us.


    February 22, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Mary

    Chris Matthews need to sue them for slander of character.

    February 22, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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