February 22nd, 2009
01:00 PM ET
11 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. Tom Insko

    I wonder if Matthews is over his man crush on Rod Blagojevich. Before Obama came along Matthews mused on air about hoping Blagojevich would run for President someday!

    February 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Bart

    No, Hussein didn't win because of the media. He won because McCain would have been an awful choice, and he was merely a bad choice. He is also an effective speaker, and many Americans became infatuated with Kool_aid he was serving. Of course, he's the product of corrupt Illinois politics, but who cares? The release of so much white guilt "sent a thrill up the leg" of so many ignorant voters.

    February 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Rick San Diego

    **…How many of you believe Sarah Palin said "You can see Russia from my house?" Guess what? She never said that….Tina Fey said it. The liberal media won this election and that's scary.**

    I'm well aware that Palin never said that. What she said was that Russia can be seen from certain parts of Alaska when being questioned about her foreign policy credentials. Tina Fey's line was a spoof of Palin's absurd response. I live in California, and Mexico can be seen from certain parts of California. Does that make me qualified to be president of the United States?

    February 22, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. osmond

    really CNN? all the stuff going on in the world and you want to talk about the past election? the media didnt cast votes, the media didnt get into iraq, the media didnt say the economy is still sound, please cnn pick one of the 200 problems we are dealing with not this crap

    February 22, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. gPraz

    More anger over a black man getting elected who cares about ALL people and "frame" it as media bias. Goldberg get a life please. maybe the media "likes " him because he is good.

    February 22, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Charles

    Bernie Goldberg has nothing to contribute. He is a wasted talent.

    February 22, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Neil

    This guy should stick to his role Bryant Gumbels Real Sports and quit being so bitter

    February 22, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. GP

    The only people that listen to what Goldberg has to say are members and supporters of the Reich Wing. Good ol' Bernard has a ethical matter or two that should discount much of what he says.

    February 22, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Ren of Baltimore

    Mr. Goldberg,

    You're still having us taste your sour grapes. "Slobbering" - in the title of a book by a once-heralded reporter-that cannot be taken seriously. Nor can your random rants on tb these days. Can't you take your somewhat-forced retirement in stride, and go do charity work, go with a start-up the way Rather is doing, go help the umemployed....something interesting to someone other than yourself?

    February 22, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Cha Cha Smith

    This is truly a scary time to be an American. If you criticize or dare to question anything Obama sez then you risk being called a racist or worse. At least under Bush we could make jokes about the President without fear of retribution. The media (CNN) has a slash and burn policy towards anyone who dares to question King Obama.

    Is this what it looked like in Germany when Hitler rose to power?

    February 22, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. johhnyfive

    They messed up. ..imagine blacks being in charge of the cash register.. good luck! everybody knows blacks are lazy and dumb. i dont know why we have to pretend like they can lead.

    February 22, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. pghmom

    Now that we clearly have Carter II in the white house I think daily how much better off the country would be with Hillary as President.

    February 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    In 2001 the media acted like they were in love with bush backing his war with Iraq his treatment of prisoners.

    February 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Bob

    Ravi, Are you Drunk!

    February 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Izzy G

    "Many angry people are commenting this stating that "the liberal media won this election." There will always be bias in the news, just look at Fox. Even if Obama had won because of media influence, at least his victory was legal, unlike Bush's 2000 victory when Cheney rigged Florida's ballots to get Bush the winning votes."


    February 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Ted

    No one will ever be happy. The media is a waste of time.

    February 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Nicholas

    He's a competent leader, something we haven't seen for 8 years. There's no wonder that such an anomaly in American politics would be overrepresented in the news.
    If McCain had had any ideas, other than to continue Bush's political model, maybe there would have been a reason to report on him more often.

    February 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    ha ha..Now the NAACP is blasting them for the cartoon? Obama is okay with cartoons. He was the first black editor the Harvard newspaper and am sure he understands their work. Besides calling for the cartoonist's firing is ridiculous. Readers are left to draw their own conclusions. Why should one dominate others who think otherwise. There is no evidence in the cartoon itself to link Obama to the ape. I think there is a lack of understanding of how far and broad the work of the media covers. They are the biggest flirts.

    February 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Balaji Raman

    This is correct observations. Media married to Obama long back.

    February 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Andrew Brown

    Goldberg talking about "Man Crushes"

    He is writing a book about "Obama".

    That is not a crush that is a fatal attraction!

    February 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. adam

    I think it is important to remember that this election was decided by only 7 million votes. Although the electoral victory was a landslide and that may nigate any argument that this was a close election, I think it is agreeable that 7 million votes is a swing margin in a national election. The media portrayl of Barack Obama's campaign and victory do not represent that close margin. I think now more than ever it is important to take stock of unfair media coverage, because in my opinion, although it did not control the election but it may have helped cast a swing vote in the favor of Barack Obama.

    February 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Bruce

    In the midst of the primary campaign, SNL reconized what was going on and parodied it in a couple of skits where the debate moderators gushed over Obama and hammered Hillary. Certainly it was exaggerated, but it illuminated what any truly objective voter could see.

    Like it or not, the MSM largely gave Obama favorable coverage and it also was reflected in shows like "The View" where they fawned over Obama and Michelle and were rude and disrespectful to McCain. I think most independent thinkers would agree that the media is not objective because they are human and given that a large majority (80%+) are registered Democrats, it only stands to reason that their bias would creep out at times.

    Goldberg was just pointing out what most of us already realize. It doesn't change the results of the election, but someone needs to help the press have a conscience and to return them to the status of an independent "fourth estate."

    February 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. karen whitt

    Shame on anyone that wants to use this type of negative press. It is appalling. President Obama has only been in office one month and the bantoring of journalists and barage of attacks, criticisms are unfair. For once, in the past eight years I feel a sense of hope and relief. Everyone should be in awe of his accomplishments and the message he sends to Americans. I too, feel quite emotional over his resounding victory and am proud to have him as my President. I remember desegregation as if it were yesterday. Reflecting back on that time, I don't think I even saw color (race) at that young age. This is a huge event in my life and if all you have to discuss is a "man crush", then find another job. The United States is in a crisis and there are bigger problems to address. Clearly, Mr. Obama took a chance on us to elect him, now let him do his job.

    February 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Jeffrey Paul

    I hope Nina isn't allowed to reproduce! "Cheney rigged the election for Bush"? Were your parents related before they got married? Did you suffer a head injury changing the tires on your house?? The moral majority in America can only hope that you are unable to find your way to the voting booth on election day!

    February 22, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. lois

    I totally agree with "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.

    February 22, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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