"Politics makes strange bedfellows" goes the old saying. In that case, Chris Matthews and Ann Coulter snuggled up under the sheets on tonight's Hardball. After a six-minute roll in the hay – Chris, you stallion! – Matthews thanked Coulter for being on her "best behavior" and gushed that she should come back on air sometime soon.
"Thank you, Ann Coulter. Please come back, you're on your good behavior around here," Matthews gushed, adding, "We don't know how to handle this, but we like it. From our point of view. As long as you're not shooting at us."
Coulter was on tonight's program to discuss Trump's boycott of tomorrow's Fox News-hosted Republican presidential debate. Matthews opened his segment by asking Coulter if she thought Trump would make good on his threat and actually boycott the debate. Coulter replied that she hoped he did, that Trump was the "alpha dog" in the stare-down with Fox and that he was "shaking up the way people look at Fox News as maybe not always our network."
"[M]onopolies can get arrogant and there does seem to be a little bit of arrogance here," Coulter argued as regards the snarkily-worded press release that goaded Trump into his boycott.
This is, of course, was just the latest episode in Matthews's turn from virulent Trump hater to pro-Trump enthusiast. First it was because Trump is Cruz's number one threat to making a run for the GOP nomination and now the motive is because the enemy of his enemy is the ever-so-hated – and wildly successful, unlike MSNBC – Fox News.
Below you'll find a relevant transcript:
January 27, 2016; 7:23 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, Ann, this is an amazing night, because I think it’s a battle of what kind of personality do you like or like least. I mean, Trump, certainly, is big time. He’s bombastic, he’s over-the-top, he’s got an ego, and then I see this guy Cruz trying to match him. I don’t think he’s in the same league, myself.
Your thoughts about the whole theater. I want you on for the theater cuz you know theater. What is going to happen here tomorrow night. Will he or won’t he show up? Donald Trump?
ANN COULTER: I hope he doesn’t. I mean, he’s established himself as the real alpha dog here – as if he hasn’t already – and, look, I like a lot of things about Ted Cruz, but ones of his Achilles’s heels is he does not have a sense of humor.
COULTER: What if NBC had released such a press release to a Republican candidate before a debate. It really is kind of shocking and I think Trump is, is shaking up the way people look at Fox News as maybe not always our network.
MATTHEWS: Why do you think Roger Ailes, who had to sign off, I assume, on any PR that went out – it was sarcastic as Hell – it made fun of Trump. It made fun of him, made fun of the frontrunning candidate for the Republican nomination for president. It made him into sort of a little chicken. And, and, why would, just last question to you, because I want to ask Dana a little bit here, why would Roger Ailes start a fight that could cost him, God, 20, 15, 20 million people tomorrow night?
COULTER: No. That's right. And that's why Trump has established himself as the alpha dog. Well, I suppose because Fox News, um, I mean, I don’t know if Ailes even saw it, um, but monopolies can get arrogant and there does seem to be a little bit of arrogance here.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Ann Coulter, please come back. You’re on your good behavior around here. We don't know how to handle this, but we like it. From our point of view, you know, as long as you're not shooting at us.
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