Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

With respect to the recent ‘College Hardball’ event on campus, a note of sincere thanks is in order for the administration at West Chester University for their efforts to help illustrate what kind of irresponsible commentator Chris Matthews is, particularly for the segment of the student body and staff who might not be familiar with his MSNBC show ‘Hardball.’For some reason, ‘Hardball’ host Chris Matthews has the reputation of being a progressive thinker. This is a fairytale. Matthews has not only been publicly outspoken with his undying support of Senator John McCain (regardless of the war hawk’s frequent misinformed remarks about al Qaeda and his backing of President Bush’s failed foreign policy). The Pennsylvania-born pundit is also a thoughtless lout, lobbing insensitive, misogynistic remarks at the camera about Senator Hillary Clinton – and women everywhere – so much so that he was forced to offer a deceptively limp half-apology some months back.

In the days preceding Senator Barack Obama’s visit to West Chester University, Matthews even stooped to racist stereotyping, concluding on March 31’s episode of ‘Hardball’ that “the fact that [Senator Obama] is good at basketball doesn’t surprise anybody.” During the subsequent episode, he wondered aloud if Obama “connect[ed] with ‘regular’ people” or just “people who come from the African-American community” and “the people who have college or advanced degrees.” The Matthews-led discourse has always stung with the potency of non-alcoholic beer, but indefensibly racist and sexist remarks are a new phenomenon at ‘Hardball.’

When mulling the countless questionable elements of Chris Matthews’ on-air personality, let’s not overlook his enthusiasm for the manipulative architects of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom.’ He has offered fawning praise for devious political strategist Karl Rove (“Well generally where there’s brains, there’s Rove…”), time and time again. Even at our own West Chester University, Matthews gushed over Vice President Dick Cheney, asking Senator Obama, “How do we know you’re as tough as Dick Cheney to ignore public opinion and do what you believe in? Because he’s certainly tough enough to do it.” Rather than cast him as a steadfast leader in front of an audience of moderately impressionable college students, perhaps a more able analyst would have painted Cheney as the propagandist war criminal that he is, a person whose cloaked back-office operations we can link directly to the deadliest, most reckless White House blunder in American history.

As a 2004 West Chester graduate, I cannot express enough gratitude for the individuals responsible for bringing the ‘Hardball’ circus to campus. Cheers to the event planners who were wise enough to alert West Chester’s current student body of who the host of ‘Hardball’ actually is – a shameless, Republican-boosting loudmouth who, in reality, is just a better-dressed Tucker Carlson.

Let’s hope that the rest of the “College Hardball” tour will feature a more relevant sort of discussion, one that will allow the very accomplished and capable Senator Obama to address the primary concerns of voters looking toward November’s election, and not just be forced to deflect nonsensical inquiries from a buffoon who’s evidently forgotten that his diatribes are being broadcast on television screens across the country.

Dominic Umile is a 2004 West Chester graduate. He can be reached at dominic_umile@yahoo.com.

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