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. Tish

    I watched for eight long years a man butcher the english language. So much so that even though I couldn't stand him, I actually felt sorry for him.... sometimes. So I was thrilled to listen to an intelligent, sensible candidate run for President. Thank goodness there were other "real Americans"(pun intended) like me!!! Goldberg get a life and a real job..........

    February 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. smarie

    Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann both salivate over Obama. They're some of the most biased, unobjective people on the news today. MSNBC is not a reliable source of factual news when it comes to politics. Their bias towards liberals is an established thing. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Matthews thinks that Obama can walk on water.

    February 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. arc, Lugano CH

    The opposition to Sarah Palin isn't sexism. This is a woman who relished and encouraged the religious and racial bigotry of her supporters – and retreated as a self-proclaimed victim of sexism once her grand standing ignorance became apparent on a national and global scale; and when she realized that a pretty woman in a bathing suit winking and holding a gun isn't going to win the electorate of the East and West coast of the lower 48.

    February 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. James E. Oset

    Of course media people like Obama. He is open, transparent and follows the U.S. Constitution. Is it any wonder that media representatives would like a president like that?

    February 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. gl, Pittsburgh


    February 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Nikki

    Larry, your shameful language is indication enough of your level of intelligence (or should I say lack there of). Shame on you. People can have an opinion without your name calling.

    February 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. robby

    Top cable news channel: Fox
    #2 national newspaper after the hotel newspaper USA Today: Wall Street Journal

    Hmmm.... and why do conservatives complain of mainstream media again?

    Aren't the #1 cable channel and #2 newspaper mainstream media? Its like they cried over the stimulus also. Give is everything or we'll sulk like babies that the other side has all the toys!!!

    February 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Posn

    LIG (Let It Go) Please we have more important things to deal with, however HE WON!!!he time to move on and get behind this new president.

    February 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Had It

    Wow – can anybody say narcissistic? This guy is one warped little mind.

    February 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. janet, ohio

    dave - "what do she read"

    What do you read, sir? Certainly not a Grade One grammar textbook. Typical Obamidiot.

    Tell me something, genius. Did any reporter ever once ask Obambi or Slow Joe about their sources for news? No. Now ask your pathetic liberal self: Why?

    February 22, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Rob

    Obama was elected, because Hillary lost support for the nomination when virtually 100% of all black democrats shifted their support to Obama. Oprah and her media machine were certainly influential in ensuring that nothing stuck to Obama that was a campaign breaker. For reasons that will probably reveal themselves one day, Obama never had to produce his original birth certificate or college transcripts. An independent, ethical journalistic response to the lack of a public release for these documents would've been to demand that they both be released before he could secure the nomination. However, the media was silent and complicit in this free press misstep. The media had the academic and birth records for McCain, Palin and Bush, but never made the absence of Obama's comparable records a campaign clarification point. That's no accident.

    February 22, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Vic

    Finally, someone has the courage to "tell it like it was." Well, the election is over. The question now is: Will the media and press continue in their infatuation of this "Rock Star" President, or will they hold him to the same tough standards as his predecessors? Will the slobbering love fest continue or will people sober up to the fact that slick sound bytes and eloquent speeches proffered up by 28 year old computer geeks will not even begin to solve the problems this nation is facing? We can't spend our way out of this one, folks...

    February 22, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Lori, Houston Texas

    Hey CNN, why is a Fox talking head's personal opinion newsworthy? May I suggest you do an update on Ike? In case you've forgotten because of the election, Ike tore SE Texas apart 5 months ago. There is still a 30 mile long debris field, which includes human and animal remains, that needs to be cleaned up. I haven't heard ONE SINGLE report about this since Ike hit. Again, why is Goldbergs's opinion a newsworthy story here? Try featuring REAL NEWS, please?

    February 22, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Kris in AL



    February 22, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. John

    This is pretty much old news by now. Yes, the media bias in Obama's favor was overwhelming.

    February 22, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Dan from Philly

    The man's got a book to sell, plain and simple.

    February 22, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. AJ

    I totally agree and think Hillary Clinton would have been a much better President than Obama and don't credit the American electorate with much intelligence, but we need to give Obama a chance. The critics have already started and the guys only been in office for a month. He might surprise us!

    February 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Garry

    Goldberg is nothing more than a pandering, Fox News lackey who will bash Democrats and their admirers at the drop of a hat. He's Chris Matthew's evil Republican twin, so why is he so bent out of shape if Matthews expresses his admiration for Obama (as does a healthy majority of the country?)

    February 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Kirk Tirakian

    I understand 90% of talk radio is conservative yet the mere thought of putting on someone opposite Rush and Hannity and the rest of their mob for a little friendly competition and you'd think we reanimated Stalin and Hitler and put them in the White House. Go figure media bias? Only when it isn't for your side.

    February 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Gumdrops

    This is so funny! Hang in there, Chris. I felt the same thrill and still do and I'm not even in the media!!!!

    February 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. SAH

    jesus, I just dont know what this blogger is talking about. Plesae, setop the methaphores and the hyperboles and tell us what the matter is here.

    February 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Jimmy D.

    "Goldberg also faulted political journalists for not digging up controversial sermons of the president's longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright..."

    But we DID hear the sermons... They were posted up on YouTube, Fox played them constantly, even the "liberal" media played them to illustrate what the "conservative" media was crying about.

    And guess what? The American people spoke: WE DO NOT CARE!

    We've known for well over a century what many preachers speak about in African-American churches, and for the most part, completely agree. If anything, we're tired of bigotted white America giving the non-bigotted white America a bad name and not only accept but EXPECT that sort of venting to occur. It's the inevitable end-result of the slave-economy which has dominated NEARLY EVERY CULTURE that has ever existed up until recent times.

    2000 years ago, you'd have heard the same sermons preached by Jewish rabbis in lands dominated by Rome.

    February 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. jason

    i find it amusing that conservative commentators go on about "elite liberals." this coming from the same party that thinks they know how to raise my children better than i do, and thinks they know what's best for me in my bedroom, and generally thinks they know how to live my life better than i do.

    February 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. greg

    jim doyle... haha never say any thing bad on cnn ,,, its gonna be the next,, at 11 here is NZI on channel 5.. we have put to death 34,345 people , who do not agree with our leader. MASTER OBAMA..we have a few million , we have not spoken too,,, back to wolf

    February 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Vic

    Everything and everyone else aside, it was slobbering Chris Matthews, aided by his slandering sidekicks Olbermann, Schuster, and Andrea Mitchell, who not only continued to feel the thrill of Obama's voice, but coild never find enough ways to trash Hillary Clinton. Schuster called Hillary a "pimp" because her daughter campaigned for her. Olbermann was foul-mouthed in general, and Bernie was right about Matthews and his Obama leg tingle.

    I personally like President Obama and wish him the best, but I really don't believe even he could "stomach" all the MSNBC gibberish. This cable station lost a lot of viewers due to its presidential race coverage, and I wonder how much longer they will put up with these insulting people.

    February 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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