This has been something of a rough week for Chris Matthews.
On a personal level, he got exposed as nothing more than the loud-mouthed, flip-flopping political troll that he is when he was forced to cover the Boston Marathon bombings – something slightly outside of his comfort zone. Rather than buckling down and doing his best Shep Smith impression, though, Matthews opted to go full-on reverse Sean Hannity: "It’s filing day for the federal income tax, which does cause some emotions around the country, sometimes in the wrong parts of the brain anyway," he suggested, clearly insinuating that some anti-government, tax-hating nutjob was responsible for the explosions.
Beyond that, on a professional level, he took a hit along with everyone else at MSNBC when the network’s opinion-only attitude landed them dead last in Tuesday’s ratings.
During Thursday's program, Matthews’ streak of unbearable, cringeworthy awfulness continued when, after photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were released, his first reaction was to racially profile.
“To be blunt, and not to be getting into political profiling or racial profiling, but when you look at a picture that we’re looking at now, are there people in the FBI that can look at that picture, study it ethnographically and figure what the odds are on a fellow like that being from different parts of the world, say Yemen or any other parts like that? Can they figure it out by looking at a picture?”
After 48 hours of everyone, including his own network, blasting media sources who tried quickly throw a label on the suspects without knowing any of the facts, Matthews' initial inclination was to do just that. His guests, ex-FBI agent Don Borrelli and ex-ATF agent James Cavanaugh, tried to steer him away from that line of questioning, but Matthews wasn’t going to be deterred.
“We can do that with DNA now,” he continued. “You or I can go in and find out where our DNA came from. Can they do that with a face?”
It was just terrible on all levels. Matthews outlived his usefulness at MSNBC a long time ago, and quite frankly, it’s embarrassing that he and a guy who actually brings a lot of substance to the table like Chris Hayes have to share the same network.