In response to Chris Matthews' claim that his job is to make the Barack Obama presidency a success, the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief Doyle McManus suggested the MSNBC host needs to see a neurologist.
Although I agree that Matthews clearly has a fixation that needs attention, I'm not sure it's physiological rather than purely psychological.
Regardless of the cause, the symptom was the source of discussion on Sunday's "Reliable Sources":
DOYLE MCMANUS, LOS ANGELES TIMES: That is not the job of the reporters covering Barack Obama. Chris Matthews you will recall is the pundit who had a thrill running all the way up his leg when he heard Barack Obama speak, so...
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: And apparently it hasn't vanished.
MCMANUS: I guess it's still there. I think he needs to see a neurologist.
A few minutes later during a different segment, the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page also took issue with Matthews:
I think Chris Matthews, reported him earlier, he misspoke. I think he meant to say his job is to support the institution of the presidency. And I think that's the job of all of us. How can that job be done better regardless of who is there.
That's an interesting take, Clarence. Do you think that's what journalists have done to the current president in the past five years, especially since Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, and they collectively destroyed his second term by blaming this entire natural disaster on him?
Sadly, Kurtz didn't ask Page such a followup, which didn't surprise me for Howard wasn't his normal self on Sunday. In fact, in an earlier segment about the continued attacks on Sarah Palin, he actually said, with a straight face no less, "I think journalists were reluctant to come out and say just how prepared they thought she was for the vice presidency for fear of looking biased."
Don't believe me? Forward the following video to minute 3:00:
Are you joking, Howard? Since McCain named her as his running mate on August 29, such statements have been 24/7, constant, headline, front-page news.
Where have you been?