We are in the middle of an intense election cycle, we all know. Both parties are, for the first time in many years, completely undecided as to which of their candidates is "the" candidate. It's pretty exciting for a political junkie. So, what does the Associated Press give us? What political news is of the utmost importance to help us all in this supremely important decision, so urgent that the AP felt we needed to know about it? Why, it's that Chris Matthews has made a few lefties mad at him for helping Hillary win in New Hampshire, of course! The AP is trying to drum up sympathy for Matthews who is supposedly on the receiving end of a "backlash" for his supposed attacks on Hillary Clinton.

Chris Matthews a target for people who believe media backlash helped Hillary Clinton

He’s become the target for critics who think a backlash against the media played a part in Hillary Clinton’s surprise win in New Hampshire. Chris Matthews laughs off that idea, and insists he has a lot of respect for her.

Geeze, give me a break.

Yes, it was Chris Matthews:

On Sunday’s The Chris Matthews Show, the host used one of Mike Huckabee’s Iowa photo-ops as an excuse to launch into an elitist attack on Republicans and hunters. “Who made killing small animals the test of Republican manhood?” Matthews challenged at the top of his show. Over a clip of a vintage Looney Tunes cartoon, Matthews further upped the ante: “Who declared war on Bugs Bunny?!”

Later with his panel, an appalled Matthews noted how Huckabee “told a reporter that he loved to bag squirrels because he fried ’em up and ate ’em with biscuits and a Coca-Cola. What have we come to!”

Noticing how NBC News chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell was squirming, Matthews asked her, “Are you upset by this Andrea? You must be!”

“Absolutely,” Mitchell confirmed, adding a unique sexist angle: “You don’t see any women out there with a gun.”

NewsBusters and affiliate The Business & Media Institute have been reporting for many months the continuous, bearish assessments of economic gloom and doom by America's press.

Of course, this all comes despite 24 straight quarters of Gross Domestic Product growth, 50 consecutive months of job gains, higher wages for virtually all Americans, and last month's consumer spending explosion.

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Quoth Wes Craven: Nevermore
Message for Chris Matthews: Hollywood 1984 called, and it wants its sweater back.

On location today in Hanover, New Hampshire, Matthews climbed out of the Wardrobe Wayback Machine - Slasher Flick Edition sporting a Halloween-shaded version of Freddy Krueger's trademark "A Nightmare on Elm Street" pull-over.

As NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein reported, Sunday's "This Week" wasn't a good omen for Hillary Clinton or her supporters.

Fortunately, for those of us that enjoy Hillary bashing as much as a Gershwin tune (how 'bout you?), dessert was served on "The Chris Matthews Show" as panelists including Dan Rather, Norah O'Donnell, Katty Kay, and Andrew Sullivan gave conservatives an early Clinton kicking Christmas present to savor.

Is this still payback for Bill and Hillary chastising Tim Russert for his behavior during October's debate in Philadelphia? Maybe more important, have press members decided that if they continue to pile on the supposedly inevitable one, the Democrats' only chance in 2008 is if Mike Huckabee is the Republican nominee?

Before we get there, here are some marvelous examples of Hillary bashing from seemingly unlikely sources to brighten your day:

Since the Norman Hsu campaign finance scandal first broke weeks ago, conservatives have wondered when liberal media members will get concerned about how this might impact the presidential aspirations of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

If Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show" is a barometer, the news is not good for Hillary supporters.

As The Anchoress accurately reported Saturday, NBC's Andrea Mitchell made a statement concerning the Clintons that was absolutely shocking:

[Updated w/video clip, 14:21 Eastern, July 30]

Something happened on Sunday's "Chris Matthews Show" that likely shocked virtually all viewers on both sides of the aisle: the panel, stocked with liberal media members as usual, actually discussed reasons why America shouldn't pull troops out of Iraq.

In fact, not only was this issue seriously debated, but some of the statements made could have come from well-known conservative columnists like Fred Barnes, Bill Kristol, and Charles Krauthammer.

Video (3:09): Real (2.29 MB) or Windows (1.91 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.06 MB).

Yet, this panel was comprised of the Washington Post's David Ignatius, Time's Michael Duffy, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, and U.S. News and World Report's Gloria Borger.

The shocking discussion was set up thusly by host Matthews: