Now that Barack Obama is assuming the presidency, partisan criticism is suddenly so passé. Just ask Chris Matthews. In the course of cheerleading anchoring the MSNBC coverage of Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing today, Matthews suggested that the media shouldn't cover the Republican National Committee's criticism of Clinton.
The comments came during the Hardball host's chat with Newsweek's Jonathan Alter. A few minutes earlier, Matthews had assured us that those who had the privilege of knowing Hillary personally were aware of what a "wonderful" person she is. Then it was time to attack Republicans for refusing to join the Hillary love-fest.
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JONATHAN ALTER: What I thought was a little surprising was that the Republican National Committee fired some shots this morning and some blast emails, revisiting differences between Clinton and Obama on the campaign trail. And it had the whiff of something old and kind of out of synch with where our politics are right now. And I think there are a lot of Republicans who actually would say it's not the time for the Republican party to be picking at those scabs, but moving forward. If they have other disagreements with Hillary Clinton based on administration policy, then they can raise those at the time, but this kind of partisanship right now feels a little old-fashioned.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well isn't that staff-driven snarkiness? Isn't that what we're watching here? The kind of thing that staff people get paid to do, so they come out with this tired, old partisan cheap shots, and they throw them across the bow, and they get the principal, whoever it is at the time, to sign onto them.
It's so tired. And it's so predictable, and the press, unfortunately, uses it as news-helper, and puts it in its news accounts. As if it's actual news. I'm doing media a criticism here. I should never be a media critic --
ALTER: No, you're absolutely right.
MATTHEWS: -- but I don't understand why it's even news when some staff-level person writes some snarky material for the principal person. It's put out under the name of Republican National Committee, revisiting some old dispute between contestants in primaries, as if that's clever.