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. sprkl12000

    Chris Matthews was stating a PERSONAL OPINION...he was not out of line...what's out of line is for someone to take that line and use it for their own personal/professional gain...seriously, the fact that CNN even gave him some airtime just helps him spread his fantasy...

    February 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Alfred

    Where were all the probing questions about McCain's dumping his first wife after a disfiguring car crash to take up with millionaire beauty queen? How about questions about Palin's husband and the Alaska First Party and her address to that party? A party that want's to secede from the union? How about the failure of Palin and McCain to a lesser extent to reel in some of the more inflammatory and racist rhetoric at her campaign rallies? The press let those two off the hook numerous times.
    Hey, he picked an idiot and not enough people were won over. Case closed.

    February 22, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. Matthew, Detroit

    At least Matthews is honest that he is a hack.

    Not a news man, but an honest hack.

    February 22, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. not a freakin repukelicant

    just why would a right wing neo con have anything positive to say about ANYTHING a democrat does? All the rest of the WORLD that doesn't follow the "holier than thou" neo freak philosophies of the repukes is grateful that we don't have idiot on the 21st century "crusades" to save the pure christians from the evil brown muslims...this guy should be ashamed of himself. What a bunch of SORE LOSERS! GROW UP AND GET A REAL JOB...OH YEAH, YOU CAN'T BECAUSE YOUR IDIOT REPUKES RUINED THE ENTIRE ECONOMY...LMFAO!

    February 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Vik

    I don't get all this crap about media bias, most of the stations are owned by Republicans. Sinclair, how many radio, tv and news outlets do they own? Go look it up.

    Obama won, because people had more faith in him, that's it... 😛

    February 22, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Michael Stallworth

    Goldberg needs to be quiet before something much more stupid and careless comes out of his mouth.

    February 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Wake up America!

    Mark – watch the couric interview...she said it – tina fey's bit was almost word for word all the way thru – and who cares if he never said strategery – it was FUNNY b/c everyone knew he was capable of it b/c of his many many many other verbal blunders. The most charitable description of our former president is that he is inarticulate...really no arguing that one!

    February 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. EP

    Why ,,tell me why everybody worries about Rush, Chris Matthews... and of teh media... Wake up America...open your wallets we are gonna pay for these irresponsible actions by both factions of government for years and years to come. I work in big industry as an engineer we are moving jobs off shore continuously. If Obama wants to helps the country... distance yourself from Palosi and Reed... forget aout Rush you are wasting our time and money lower the corporate taxes so we stop chasing dollars off shore. We have the greatest infastructure in the free world. Quit jamming all of this special interest stuff down our throats. Barrack if you want a legacy do something rfor the good of the country. I thought you said no pork ... You are no different than the rest. The only difference is nobody can criticise you without the race card being played. Last time I looked you put your pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us.

    February 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Independent FL voter

    @ Paul Gavras:
    And what's your opinion of Rush Limbaugh? How is Fox News any different than MSNBC? The truth is, they're all just mirror images of one another. Based on the entirety of your post, you seem to be just a Republican lying about your true political affiliation to give your comment the false air of impartiality.

    Your arguments on the economy and Bush are sorely lacking as well. You have no evidence to back them up and you'll never find any, because they are wrong. The Democrats came into the slimmest of majorities in 2007–without enough votes to enact any change–and the economy was already tanking by summer 2008. Do you really think a 51% majority in Congress for 18 months would be enough to bring down something as gargantuan as the world's economic system? That's delusional or dishonest.

    And Bush was a truly dismal president who, yes, bears some responsibility for the current economic crisis. The policies he and a largely Republican Congress promoted for the first 6 years of his administration enabled a lot of the problems that caused this mess. And that's why independent-thinking, intelligent, tax-paying people like myself and my Republican husband voted for Obama, and continue to support him.

    Finally, the difference between Palin and Biden is that it took Palin 6 years to graduate from mediocre schools with a cream-puff degree in an easy subject. Her performance in debates and interviews was wretchedly bad–she displayed a complete lack of intellectual curiosity and an inability to think on her feet that is unacceptable in someone seeking the second-highest office in the land. Biden holds a law degree and has earned a reputation on both sides of the aisle as one of the finest senators in recent times. She may not be a bimbo, but she is an idiot, and I'm female so that's not sexist, just true.

    February 22, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. virginia for obama

    I think Hannity & Rush has a "man crush" on him too.

    Remember when we were little and someone like you. They would hit and tag you then run behind the house so you can hide back there with them. That's when they show they like you.

    Stop trying to hit and tag Obama. You two Down Low freaks!

    February 22, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Lee in TN

    I think Bernard Goldberg has it all wrong. The media wasn't so biased. You had a young inspiring candidate vs a long time Washington insider who offered nothing but the same failed policies we have suffered with on and off since Reagan took office. The most biased news channel I have ever seen is Fox, who depite realizing the country was being inspired by Barack Obama, still defended the old, tired, tried and untrue policies offered by the extremists who now have conquered the republican party.

    February 22, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. John Anthony

    And I suppose the Fox "News" 8 year man crush on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was ok, right? Give me a break! Matthews is a pundit and a commentator, not a reporter. He is perfectly within his right to say whatever he wants. Hang it up, Goldberg, and quit your crying!

    February 22, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. dave bryant

    Biased media coverage? What about Fox news? They should not be allowed to parade the drivel they spew as news. It should be called exactly what it is, propaganda for the GOP

    February 22, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. bob

    I'm so sick of hearing how big business, Republican-owned mainstream media has a liberal bias.

    February 22, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Ruth Ruder

    I don't know who this Alexander Mooney is but he is not too smart. The reason Obama won over Hilary was not because of the media – who give, forgive, make mistakes about everyone, and generally serve their own interests (selling the publication they represent) – but because Obama is a brilliant, thoughtful person with great integrity and his exceptional leadership skills showed Hilary up and everyone else, including McCain.

    February 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. bob

    To Pat F who thinks the Palin bashing is sexist, can you name the newspapers YOU read?

    February 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Rick San Diego

    Gee, it sure wasn't my impression that the media was in love with Obama when it spent a solid three weeks talking non-stop about Rev. Wright.

    February 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Mike

    Anyone who denies that nearly all of the media – worldwide – fell so head over heels in love with Obama and never looked back, giving him every possible advantage at every stage of the race, has clearly joined the personality cult of Obama themselves...

    February 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Breezy

    Wanna hear a true "talking points " talk? "How amazing that these commentators actually think the the guy that said Matthews had a man crush is the problem. Mathews should never have said that that way..but he did and that showed his personal emotions….So now we have a Prez Obamba and a black AG that is busy telling us we are cowards…..what.. did I spend too much time in the back of the trolley…or is a black guy president of this great country even though his wife is not yet a proud American.. Y-A-W-N " GET A FUNCTIONING BRAIN!

    February 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Liz

    That comment was pretty bad on Chris Matthew's part BUT his comment that he would do anything to see President Obama succeed is even more scaring...Nixon and Watergate, etc., Clinton and White River, comes to a lot of people's minds.

    February 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Mike

    Buzz Daly,

    You're an idiot. Goldberg didn't spend any time talking about why Obama beat the GOP. Try READING his comment, if you can. He talked about why Obama beat HILLARY, got it? In case you don't know it, those are 2 very different things.

    This is about how the media helped Obama every single step of the way, long before it was Obama vs. McCain....

    February 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. thersa

    Bernard Goldberg- Wasn't his book the one that incited that home-grown terrorist to shoot up a church so he could "kill liberals"? Good going, Bernie.

    February 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Dave, DE

    It is not as bad as the "bromance that McCain and Graham have

    February 22, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Logical

    GOP still singing their never ending tune "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda" ... no matter how much you talk about the past ... you folks would never change it ...

    The Democrats did the same thing after Bush was sworn in 2001 ... some got to accept him as president & moved on with their life ... while some never did .. guess Bernard Goldberg & the rest are the latter in the GOP ..

    February 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    So! are yuo saying they should have took Obama in the back room and beat him with the rubber hose.

    February 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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