Hardball with Chris Matthews
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''Hardball with Chris Matthews'' is an American television
talk show A talk show (or chat show in British English) is a television programming or radio programming genre structured around the act of spontaneous conversation.Bernard M. Timberg, Robert J. Erler'' (2010Television Talk: A History of the TV Talk Show' ...
that was hosted by
Chris Matthews Christopher John Matthews (born December 17, 1945) is an American retired political commentator, talk show A talk show (or chat show in British English) is a television programming or radio programming genre structured around the act of spont ...

Chris Matthews
. The program premiered on the now-defunct
America's Talking America's Talking was an American short-lived cable television channel focused mainly on talk based programming, created by NBC and spun off from economic channel CNBC. It was launched on July 4, 1994, and was carried in 10 million American househ ...
network in 1994 (as ''Politics with Chris Matthews'') before moving on
CNBC CNBC is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription business model is a busin ...
, and then to
MSNBC MSNBC is an American news News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different Media (communication), media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through th ...
, where it remained until its cancellation in 2020. The show took its name from Matthews' 1988 book: ''Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told by One Who Knows the Game''. The program primarily featured coverage of political issues and headlines, along with discussion from a panel of analysts and political figures.


History

''Hardball'' was originally broadcast on
CNBC CNBC is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription business model is a busin ...
from 1997 until 1999, after which the program was moved to
MSNBC MSNBC is an American news News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different Media (communication), media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through th ...
. On March 2, 2020, Matthews announced that he had left the program, effective immediately, stating that the "younger generation" was "ready to take the reins", but that he would still "continue to write and talk about politics and cheer on my producers and crew here in Washington in New York and my MSNBC colleagues." His sign-off also included an apology alluding to sexual harassment allegations he had recently faced from a female journalist, remarking that "compliments on a women's appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK, were never OK. Not then and certainly not today". The announcement aired in place of the program (which, thus, aired its final full episode the preceding Friday);
Steve Kornacki Stephan Joseph Kornacki (born August 22, 1979) is an American political journalist, writer, and television host. Kornacki is a national political correspondent for NBC News. He has written articles for ''Salon (website), Salon'', ''The New York O ...

Steve Kornacki
hosted the rest of the hour. The time slot was filled by rotating hosts (under the ''
MSNBC Live ''MSNBC Reports'' (formerly ''MSNBC Live'') is the blanket title for the daytime rolling news programming of the American cable news channel MSNBC MSNBC is an American news broadcasting, news-based pay television cable channel based in New ...
'' banner); on July 9, 2020, it was announced that
Joy Reid Joy-Ann M. Lomena-Reid (born December 8, 1968), known professionally as Joy Reid, is an American cable television host, MSNBC national correspondent, and liberal political commentator. In 2016, ''The Hollywood Reporter'' described her as one of th ...
would host ''The ReidOut'' in the time slot, beginning July 20. ''The Wall Street Journal'' reported that Matthews had been considering retirement from the show, possibly after the
2020 presidential election The following elections were scheduled to occur in 2020. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems maintains a comprehensive list of upcoming elections on its E-Guide Platform. The National Democratic Institute also maintains a calendar o ...
, but that the allegations, as well other controversial remarks he had recently made on-air (such as during an interview of
Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Ann Warren (née__NOTOC__ A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname, the given name or to the entire name. Where births are required to be officially registered, the en ...
, and comments made comparing
Bernie Sanders Bernard Sanders (born September8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior Junior or Juniors may refer to: Sport * Junior athletics, age-based athletic training and completion category * Instances of junior athletic co ...

Bernie Sanders
' Nevada caucus victory to the fall of France to the Nazis), had hastened his departure.


Notable moments

Matthews caused controversy with remarks made off the air at a celebration of ''Hardball''s 10-year anniversary in October 2007. He claimed that the Bush administration—specifically Vice President 's office—had tried to "silence" him by pressuring MSNBC executives to put a stop to Matthews' criticism of the
Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the Second Iraq War referring to the Gulf War as the first Iraq war. The p ...
. The
White House The White House is the official residence An official residence is the House, residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other senio ...
declined to comment.


Michele Bachmann

On October 17, 2008,
Minnesota Minnesota () is a U.S. state, state in the Upper Midwest, upper Midwestern United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 12th largest U.S. state in area and the List of U.S. states and territories by population, 22nd mo ...

Minnesota
representative
Michele Bachmann Michele Marie Bachmann (; née Amble; born April 6, 1956) is an American politician and a member of the Republican Party Republican Party is a name used by many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candi ...

Michele Bachmann
gave an interview on ''Hardball'' in support of the presidential campaign of Senator
John McCain John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) was an American politician, statesman, and United States Navy officer who served as a United States Senator for Arizona from 1987 until his death in 2018. He previously served ...

John McCain
. In speaking of Senator
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of ...

Barack Obama
, Bachmann said: "we know that he is the most liberal senator in the United States Senate and that's just after one year of being there ... ith_Nancy_Pelosi_and_Harry_Reid.html" ;"title="Nancy_Pelosi.html" ;"title="ith Nancy Pelosi">ith Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid">Nancy_Pelosi.html" ;"title="ith Nancy Pelosi">ith Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid] you have a Troika (triumvirate), Troika of the most leftist administration in the history of our country." In reference to Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's comment about "pro-America areas of this great nation", Bachmann was asked which areas are anti-American and responded, "I don't think it's geography. I think it is people who don't like America, who detest America ... you’ll find them in all walks of life all throughout America." When asked by Matthews about Democratic Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid, Bachmann said, "I am not going to say if they are anti-American or pro-American." When asked, "How many people in the Congress of the United States do you suspect as being anti-American?", she replied, "What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating exposé and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an exposé like that." Bachmann's comments had an immediate impact on her re-election campaign. A campaign urging Congress to officially censure Bachmann was launched with over 35,000 signatures in the first 24 hours after her ''Hardball'' appearance. In less than 72 hours, her congressional election opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg received $740,000 in donations. Tinklenberg said that he heard "in that kind of a call echoes of the House Un-American Activities Committee." However, Bachmann defeated Tinklenberg 46.4% to 43.4% in the November 4, 2008 election.


Confrontations


Michelle Malkin

On August 19, 2004, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin appeared on the show and raised the question of whether Democratic candidate John Kerry's Vietnam War wounds could have been "self-inflicted", saying that such questions were "legitimate". Matthews repeatedly asked Malkin if she thought that Kerry "shot himself on purpose" in order to avoid combat or to gain accolades, noting that such an act would constitute a criminal offense. Matthews challenged Malkin to "say to me right now that you believe he shot himself to get credit for a Purple Heart—on purpose." Malkin refused to answer, instead referring to allegations made by some of Kerry's former fellow soldiers. Matthews told Malkin that ''Hardball'' "is not a show for this kind of talk." Malkin asked if Matthews didn't wonder whether Kerry's wounds may have been self-inflicted, to which the host responded, "No! I don't, it's never occurred to me."


Zell Miller

Days later, then-U.S. Senator Zell Miller, (Democratic Party (United States), D–Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia), a Democrat who supported then-Republican President George W. Bush, appeared on ''Hardball''. Miller had just given the keynote address at the Republican 2004 Republican National Convention, convention. Matthews took Miller to task for his statement that soldiers, not reporters, are responsible for freedom of the press, accusing the senator of making the comment only "to get an applause line against the media at a conservative convention." Miller had also criticized Kerry's record on national defense issues during his speech, prompting Matthews to ask if the senator believed that Kerry did not want to "defend the country." During a heated exchange in which each man interrupted the other several times, Miller shouted at Matthews to "get out of my face" and angrily stated that he wished "we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel." He also made reference to the Malkin interview, telling Matthews not to "pull that stuff on me like you did that young lady, when you had her there browbeating her to death. I'm not her."


Ann Coulter and Elizabeth Edwards

On June 26, 2007, conservative commentator Ann Coulter was the guest when Elizabeth Edwards, wife of then-Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards, made a surprise (per Coulter, afterwards) call to the program. Coulter had made a speech days earlier in which she said, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot'." Elizabeth Edwards confronted Coulter about the comment, as well as other comments Coulter had made accusing John Edwards of exploiting his son's death for political gain. Edwards asked Coulter to "stop the personal attacks" and accused her of "lowering the political dialogue" in America. Coulter responded that Edwards' complaints were an attempt to raise money for the presidential campaign, and questioned why the candidate himself was not making the call.


Kevin James

On May 15, 2008, Matthews had a confrontation with radio broadcaster Kevin James (broadcaster), Kevin James when he appeared on the show. At issue was a controversial speech made by President George W. Bush in Israel, where he appeared to claim that statements made by United States presidential candidate Barack Obama were tantamount to Neville Chamberlain's actions of "Nazi appeasement" in 1938. James agreed with the notion that Obama's positions were like Chamberlain's policy of appeasement but was unable to elaborate on what exactly Chamberlain did.


In popular culture

The show has been spoofed by ''Saturday Night Live'', with Darrell Hammond portraying Chris Matthews. One of the first instances was during the Florida election recount, following the unclear results of the 2000 United States presidential election. ''Hardball'' appeared on the October 9, 2005 episode of ''The West Wing'', "Message of the Week" (which was written by frequent ''Hardball'' guest Lawrence O'Donnell), with Chris Matthews playing himself. He interviews fictional Republican presidential candidate Arnold Vinick (played by Alan Alda) and pressures him about his views on immigration. The tough nature of Matthews' questions prompts the character of Josh Lyman, a strategist for Vinick's opponent, to shout: "Yeah! Welcome to ''Hardball'', Arnie!" The show was featured in the February 22, 2007 ''30 Rock'' episode "Hard Ball (30 Rock episode), Hard Ball", in which series character Jenna Maroney came on the show to explain about how she was misquoted in Maxim magazine, ''Maxim'' magazine about US military troops. She humiliated herself even further when she confused Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden, after she mentioned whom she would support for U.S. president in 2008. The 2008 film ''Swing Vote (2008 film), Swing Vote'' contains several segments of Chris Matthews delivering commentary on ''Hardball'' that relates to the film's plot line. Matthews received a credited cameo for recording the segments.


The ''Hardball'' Award

The ''Hardball'' Award is an award created in 2009 that recognizes an individual "who displays a combination of guts and political moxie to win not just the day but our fondest admiration." The award is not given on a regular basis; instead, it is given when someone displays character consistent with the award. Recipients: *Roland Burris: Given on January 9, 2009, for his efforts to retain his seat, which was appointed controversially by Rod Blagojevich. *Chesley Sullenberger, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger: Given on January 16, 2009, for his courage in his successful emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River. *Gary Ackerman, Rep. Gary Ackerman: Given on February 6, 2009, for speaking out against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for their failure in regulating and catching Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme. *Hillary Clinton: Given on February 18, 2009, for her service to her country and her historic run at the presidency. *Rush Limbaugh: Given on March 5, 2009, for taking a modest mention by the president and turning it into media gold. *Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Given on March 24, 2009, for balancing motherhood, a successful House campaign, continuous voting, and presidential support for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama while undergoing seven surgeries for breast cancer. *
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of ...

Barack Obama
: Given on April 2, 2009 for "firing" General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, when Wagoner proved ineffective at reorganizing the company.


References


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Hardball With Chris Matthews 1990s American political television series 1997 American television series debuts 2000s American political television series 2010s American political television series 2020 American television series endings 2020s American political television series American television talk shows CNBC original programming English-language television shows MSNBC original programming