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. Steve

    And conservative commentators' fauning over Reagan, the man who negotiated with terrorists after he said he wouldn't and whose administration actually sold guns to the ayatollahs of Iran, has been what?

    February 22, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Melvin

    I didnt know FOX help Obama win the election!

    February 22, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. red meat democrat

    Chris Matthews is a joke! How on earth that blabbermouth ever got his job, much less held on to it for so long, is a mystery to me. His "interview style" is maddening. He won't even shut up long enough to let anyone answer his questions. Chris – please go away!

    February 22, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Jah-Man, New York, New York

    When the right wing media slammed, slimed and slaughtered Obama, it was not man crush, but anti-man crush!

    I watched Hannity and O'Reilly and listend to Limbaugh and read Malikin and Coulter and they never had one good thing to say about Obama. They even personalized their comments as though they and Obama were in the same league.

    Last time I checked, Obama was President and these right wing nuts were still right wing nuts, so if Matthews has a man-crush on Obama, then the right wing nuts have a dog crush or a horse crush on a losing dog or a losing horse in a fight or race that Obama won. Let the losers weep for the next eight years!

    February 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Annie, Atlanta

    I guess it's all in the eyes of the beholder. I watched C. Matthews that night, and it was one heck of a speech Obama gave that caused his remark. And it was truly one heck of a speech.

    As far as taking Hillary in the back room, she did it to herself. Obama stayed positive at a time when we were sick of negative, and Hillary went more negative than I ever thought she was capable of doing.

    How about media bias during negotiations on the stimulus, where it appeared only Republicans were given face time for their message, which consists of the same thing it has for the last 30 years, less taxes for the rich, that will somehow trickle down to the rest of us – please. Or how about the attention Rush is given in his hopes that Obama fails, thereby making Republicans win. That's not the game here folks. If Obama fails, so do we. Why isn't the media coming at it from that angle?

    February 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. cate

    Goldberg, hmmm, the same man who has lied in his new book regarding a Brian William's interview...he is just like the Limbaugh's, Coulter's, Malken's, O'Reilly's, etc. who like to stir the pot but offer no solutions to anything....the reality is that these people and other rightwingers are intimidated by President Obama and will do whatever they can for the next 4 to 8 years to try and bring him down....the better President Obama does the worse it is for former Pres. Bush and the Republicans....I believe that the Republican party is in tatters and just doesn't know what to do so they are turning to old ways and talking points which will not work anymore...it will be many years before they have any say or control in this great country...and they have only the "right wing" 'Evangelicals" to blame.

    February 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. krejaton

    This is news???

    Maybe next we can get stories on how Hitler was evil, how 9-11 was a bad thing and how doctors save lives.

    February 22, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. K, Florida

    Amen brother!

    February 22, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Anonymous


    February 22, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. suzyku

    Bernard Goldberg is another rethug jerk!

    February 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. News Junkie

    Why does anybody listen to this guy? He was fired from CBS and now he shills for conservatives on Fix News. He is a washed up has been who still has people listening to him because he sold his soul to lie and bash liberals.

    February 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. B W

    As an independent voter, Hillary Clinton was not my choice for the nomination...but then when I saw Obama the hair on the back of my neck stood up....something about him I did not trust. I was not impressed with any of the republican candidates either. I ended up with a write in candidate for someone I trusted...unlike any of the parties nominations. Had Clinton won the nomination I probably would have voted for her.

    February 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Ravi

    Hahaha! "Man-Crush".

    Okay, so maybe Matthews is fond of President Obama. But he doesn't represent all media. The truth is, Obama has been treated WORSE by the mainstream media than any other candidate/president in recent history.

    February 22, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Jim Doyle

    Right, Goldberg. Obamas victory had nothing to do with the fact that he's intelligent, a great speaker, presented actual ideas instead of the bs the Repugs have been feeding us for the past 30 years. It had nothing to do with the collapse of our financial system, or the endless war profiteering, or gasoline at $5 per gallon. It had nothing to do with bimbo Palin, or Joe the "Plumber" or John McCains shoddy and inept campaign. It was all because Chris Matthews actually likes President Obama and what he stands for. It's also because "liberals", (which you and your friends have made a dirty word, since St. Reagan was in power) are actually the majority in this country. People don't want their government to be starved to death with tax cuts for the wealthy. People want their government to help out when a hurricane hits. We want our government to maintain our highways and bridges, and to encourage research and science and innovation, rather than bigotry and superstition. We'd rather have peace, thank you very much.

    February 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. HelloooOOOOO

    This guy is "sick,sick,sick !!!!!! in the "head" !!!

    February 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Jaime

    Bernie would have more credibility if his book hadn't been so thoroughly saturated with deception and outright lies. As it stands, it's just one pot calling a kettle black.

    February 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Fran

    Bernie, Your real problem with this is you wanted a job in the Hillary White House. Hillary, IMO, would of beat McCain. You are just jelous that the most Handsome of the 3 won. Thus not giving you your ritghfull turn to serve Hillary...opps I mean serve in the White House.

    February 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. David

    Bernard Goldberg is still around???

    I thought he was retired after CBS canned him... or dead... one of the two...

    Not very relevant in any case...

    February 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |


    February 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Pat F

    "Man-crush" is putting it very kindly. The news media's got it bad for Barry.

    February 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Prove It

    "The truth is, Obama has been treated WORSE by the mainstream media than any other candidate/president in recent history."

    Ravi, Altzheimers can be treated.

    February 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Joe

    @Ravi – whats your source? You say hes been mistreated worse than any other Preisdent.... how so?

    February 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. David Somuah

    This is why the republicans lost the election. Instead of taking responsibility for their failed policies, their arrogant divisive style of campaining, and a drift to the right that is alienating swing voters, they are finding every excuse under the sun to explain away their resounding defeat in the election. So the media caused the Obama victory. Voters in states like Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico and Indiana who haven't voted democratic in ages were suddenly hypnotized by the media and changes years of voting patterns because of media spin? What parallel universe do these people live in? They need to get back to reality if they want to win elections again. Discounting Obama's victory by blaming the media and saying that voters who support Obama aren't part of the "real america" will not revive the republican party. At this rate the republican party is on the verge of suffering a fate similar to that suffered by the British Conservative party from 1997 to 2004.

    February 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Iowa voter

    I think the media gives itself a bit too much credit for its influence on the country. You seriously think McCain would have won but for the media?

    February 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Patrick

    When 85% of the national news media are registered democrats what kind of treatment do we expect? Of course it's biased. It's amazing a Republican can win anywhere.

    February 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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