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. church girl

    May God continue to bless and guide President Obama. May He lead him to steady this Ship of State.

    The media gave Obama a very hard time...remember Rev. Wright? ...claimed that he was a muslim, a terrorist... that he was not like us...he was different...weird...all sorts of negative things.... It is only after Obama 'weathered the many storms' and proved his mettle that the media started being kind to him. Obama had to renounce his church, lay bare his childhood and his family relations ...everything,,,they spied into every nook and cranny of his life...even his wife and her family were prostrated before the world....they (the media) never did that to any other candidate before... Let us not forget that.

    But God brought Obama through it all. God be praised!!

    February 22, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Joe

    Thirty days in....and he is already the worst president this country has ever had...he's even worse then Carter!!!

    February 22, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. CBH

    Goldberg, how the hell do you have the nerve to accuse MSNBC of "liberal bias..." and make no mention of Fox News?!!! Oh well, what am I saying, it's not worth paying any attention to your type...

    February 22, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. Edward

    Lies ... you want to know who got Obama elected, George Bush.

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. MR-Pennsylvania

    Barack Obama overwhelming won the election, not because of the media, but because of his messsage. The right wing in this country has to get over themselves and understand that their time is over, and most people in this country want it that way. It has nothing to do with the media, but everything to do with an ideology that is so far removed from reality, most people said enough. President Bush was such a hugh failure, that all people want now is anything that has absolutely nothing to do with right wing politics, media, ideology, etc.

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Yoshi99

    Umm ... Palin did say you could see Russia from Alaska. She even made a (very) lame attempt to defend the statement during the Katie Couric interview.

    This whole "the press won" is patronizing and insulting. I voted for Obama because of his policies and his vision (and McCain's lack thereof) as well as his ability to run a tight, no-nonsense campaign ... not because of what talking heads on TV said.

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Just more Whine from another conservative! Don't they know that the public doesn't care what they think anymore?

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. will

    plug that hole in your face. its letting out a lot of hot air. turn on fox news if you want to hear obama haters. they run that garbage 24-7.

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Zack


    You are correct, it was not a landslide victory by the terms it's generally defined (55% to 45%). It was 53% to 46% in the popular vote. However, it generally plays as an over exaggeration for both sides, as Bush's reelection in 2004 was seen as a "landslide" by some, and he was even quoted as saying that his "definitive victory" was a "mandate." He won the popular vote 51% to 48%. As for the Sarah Palin quote, you are quite right. It was based on an actual comment she made about Russia (the Putin rearing his ugly head one), but the front yard quip was Tina Fey.

    On a side note, one could argue that you claim the liberal media won this election because you yourself were conditioned by conservative media into thinking it.

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Mary

    Although I am truly thrilled that Obama won the election, I wouldn't go so far as to characterize the media's coverage as a "crush", but I did feel that mainstream media as well as the New York Times and other major publications were not balanced in their coverage of the campaign. I got pretty sick of the obvios biased coverage towards the end and vowed never to tune into Chris Matthews show again which I haven't. Same with "Keith...."....

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Mike Dallas

    The repub VP pick half-wit has a couple of drool spots from the media as well.

    February 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. foxxxtail999

    Yup, I'm convinced. Obama's victory had NOTHING to do with the errors and excesses of the Bush administration, NOTHING to do with his obvious superiority as a candidate, NOTHING to do with the inept and incompetent campaign waged by John McCain, NOTHING to do with his pandering to the right wing and the cynical manipulation of female voters evidenced by his choice of Sarah Palin, NOTHING to do with Obama's well-organized and effective campaign organization, NOTHING to do with the fact that the country was sick and tired of mismanagement and incompetence on the part of the Republican establishment... Nope, nope, nope. None of that liberal hogwash. It's all cuz the elite liberals are all drooling over the magic negro.

    Go ahead and keep thinking that, right-wingers. And please, please, please, vote for Sarah Palin as your candidate in 2012. All of us libs are looking forward to it.

    And Mark - yeah, Bush didn't say "strategery" - I'll give you that. I never thought he did. However, he did say the following (among SO many other brilliant quotes):

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." — Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

    "You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." — to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005

    "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

    "They misunderestimated me." —Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

    "Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

    Now, you have to admit Mark, that even Will Ferrell isn't THAT funny.

    February 22, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    The media is no where near as in love with Obama as I am. He's doing a fantastic job, just as I expected.

    The media is impressed with Obama because he is impressive. That's all. It is an honest appraisal. The Rev. Wright issue didn't touch Obama during the primary or general election, so why would it coming out earlier done anything different. Illogical.

    February 22, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Barbara

    you people suck. The reason we sowept Obama into office and it would have been Hillary Clinton if Obama had not run- was because of the stupidity of the Bush administration. Honestly – what has happened in the press in a month – makes me sick and disgusted everytime I turn on the TV..........honestly you people are racists and pigs

    February 22, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Spencer

    I don’t know who this so-called author is, but apparently he’s more interested in selling books than he is in the state of the nation. Considering his publisher and background I’d guess that he’s another scribe who makes a living trying to polish the Republican agenda. This is the same talking point that the blond attacker, aka Anne Coulter, has been dribbling around talk shows (including Larry King Live). You know what, Mr. Goldberg? I don’t give a fast flying fajita what you think. I put this in the same trashcan as Rush’s wish that the president would fail. Why don't you stand up for America?

    February 22, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Not Chet Nuntley

    Iceberg, Goldberg, Noberg! Who cares what this has been thinks?

    February 22, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Yondoe

    Hey Dude . . . GET REAL!!! What is your problem??? Obama has been elected president ofthe USA by the majority of the voters in the USA!!! He will be our President for the next eight years. I guess you are one of those" Ditto Heads" who can't think for yourself and have to be lead by "Oxycoton". Bush has set the republican party back 30 years and there's not too much you can do about it. The best thing you can do is hope & pray the President Obama gets us out of the "Big Doodoo" that George "WREAKAGE" Bush has gotten us all into during his tenure in office.

    February 22, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Rushpublicans dragging down America

    Larry @ 152: We would get a job, but your party's bankrupt, corrupt, inept policies are costing America 600,000 jobs a month (betcha a few of those newly unemployed were right-wingers, like yourself).

    February 22, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. mark

    is this any different than Fox news coverage and love affair of Sarah Palin??? eg. Greta van Sustern is obsessed with Sarah Palin -how many times has she talked about talked about /had on her show/ she is in love with that woman ! same as Matthews with Obama

    February 22, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. kelly g arizona

    I prefer Chris Matthews man crush on Obama to President Bush's "man" date he had when he was reelected in 2004 and went to his state of the union address and was playing kissy face with Joe Lieberman.

    February 22, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. susan

    Goldberg and the pathetic Republicans need to grow up.
    They are vile.

    February 22, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. jjjarvis1

    This is the same old, same old. If Republicans had had two candidates running neck and neck like Obama and Clinton, they would have been covered too. Not to such an extent possibly since we were witnessing an historic struggle between a black American and a women to become president. Of course that was bound to get a lot of coverage. It's always the same with Republican commentators and politicians, it seems. They don't mind dishing out treatment and criticism to others. But when it comes back the other way, they scream and yell, and what is worse, whine! Chris Matthews is not a news show, and he can express whatever opinions he likes, just as can the people on the Fox News channel or others like it. Apparently, to people like Mr. Goldberg, it is okay for channels like Fox to do something, but not okay for others to do it. Apparently, many Republicans expect to be treated better than they treat Democrats. So what universe do they live in?

    February 22, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Bill A

    Bernie is just another angry Ditto Head..The guy who really gets me is Dick The Prostitute Loving Morris...I'm sure you all remember the 1996 story about his various affairs with the 'Dark Side".

    February 22, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. P. Y.

    Okay ! I give up. WHO IS BERNARD GOLDBERG ?

    February 22, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Kathryn

    I think it was the thrill of knowing that an intelligent, charismatic gentleman was going to go up against McCain in the election. Many of us felt this way, though Chris Matthews didn't put it very well.
    Barack Obama's charisma affects each of us differently...but I don't consider it a 'crush'.

    February 22, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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