On last night's Hardball, leftist and Pacifica radio talk show host Amy Goodman patted Chris Matthews on his back for his long held anti-war stance. Prior to a big anniversary celebration at Rockfeller Center, Goodman started to congratulate Matthews on MSNBC's 10th year in business but then took the moment to slam its executives for firing Phil Donahue for his anti-war stance. Goodman roared: "they didn't want him to be the face of this network, an anti-war face at a time when the other networks were waving the flag." However when Matthews reminded Goodman that: "if being against the war was a problem here, I'd have been out of here about four years ago, " the Democracy Now host quickly realized her error and made good by congratulating Matthews.
The following exchange occurred outside during an audience participation segment:
Amy Goodman: "Well, I just wanted to say one thing before I answer that question. You said, since you said all the executives are up at the top of the Rock. I want to congratulate you, Chris, on 10 years of MSNBC. But I wish standing with you was Phil Donahue. He shouldn't have been fired for expressing an anti-war point of view on the eve of the election. His point of view and the people he brought on were..."
Matthews: "I don't know what the reasons were, but I doubt it was that."
Goodman: "Well, we have the NBC memo that was a secret memo that came out that said they didn't want him to be the face of this network, an anti-war face at a time when the other networks were waving the flag....Phil Donahue is a great patriot."
After Matthews' other guest, Michael Smerconish answered an audience member's question Matthews defended his network's stance on anti-war hosts:
Matthews: "Well, if being against the war was a problem here, I'd have been out of here about four years ago, because I`ve been against this war from day one, and that didn't cost me a job."
Goodman: "Yeah, I congratulate you, Chris."
Matthews: "So let me just say, they're not against anti-war people. But there's always conservative tendencies in corporate America. You know that."