With the elections getting very close, Chris Matthews appears even more rabid, if that's possible. Recently, he's taken to speaking for others. Not just for other liberals, but for everyone everywhere.

Last night's "Hardball" offered an example of this. The topic was the political ads Michael J. Fox is doing for Democrats around the country. There's considerable controversy - and misunderstanding - about what Rush Limbaugh said about Fox's ads and the entire question of Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews invited the Dixie Chicks on last night's Hardball to promote the new documentary Shut Up and Sing and asked them if they felt their anti-Iraq position has been vindicated, to which the Chicks responded in martyred terms of being put on Free Republic's and "Christian fundamentalist" country fans' "hate list."

On last night's Hardball, Chris Matthews hinted at what he had in mind regarding the ad the RNC ran in Tennessee about Dem senatorial candidate Harold Ford, Jr. Claimed Chris:

"It has ethnic overtones, sexual overtones."

Tonight, Matthews took an ugly, explicit leap down into the atavistic mud. Interviewing Sen. Dick Durbin [D-IL] - who was relatively reserved in his comments - Matthews began by asserting that the RNC's goal in running the ad was to "get their point across to perhaps angry white voters, or people who had a problem with a black senator already."

Later, Matthews embraced the absolutely worst stereotype of a racist South, claiming the RNC was:

"playing on white sensitivities about losing white women to black guys. It was so obvious what they were doing there."

Referring to an RNC ad as the "Mehlman cesspool," Chris Matthews was being non-partisan. Really - he told us so!

On last night’s Hardball, Bill Clinton was depicted as a unifying "Moses"-like figure while Karl Rove was portrayed as a divisive "evil genius." In describing Bill Clinton on a campaign stop at Georgetown University, NBC’s Kevin Corke used biblical terms: "It was as if Moses himself had returned.

NBC's efforts to reestablish itself have gone poorly, and its cable network MSNBC is still stuck in last place. Execs are considering putting MSNBC's two biggest stars, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, on business channel CNBC, and using the rest of MSNBC for taped programming about "murder mysteries" and similar tabloid material. From Broadcasting and Cable:

There's nothing the MSM loves more than a renegade Republican. The GOP maverick-of-the-MSM-week is David Kuo. He is the former #2 man in the Bush administration's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, and has written a book, Tempting Faith, claiming that the operation was a cynical attempt to woo faith-based voters whom top aides including Karl Rove looked at contemptuously.

Chris Matthews predictably had Kuo on this afternoon's Hardball. At one point, Matthews asked whether President Bush has "used faith to get votes" and then "how about the issues like stem cell - do you think he's using them politically?"

Replied Kuo:

"I think you're conflagrating a couple of different things here."

Doth Chris Matthews protest too much?

On this afternoon's 'Hardball,' interviewing James Baker about his new book on a life in politics, Matthews alluded to the risk of a political party fracturing in the course of a presidential primary campaign:

"How do you hold your party together when you have people, secular candidates like John McCain who's often in that [guest] chair, and Rudy Giuliani running against Brownback, and people like that, Frist and George Allen perhaps, who are real cultural conservatives?"

Riposted Baker: "We hold it together the same way that you hold your party together."

Interjected Matthews: "Well, it's not my party anymore."

"Didn't the MSM get the memo? Keep Foley on the front page!" That seemed to be Chris Matthews' attitude when he was interviewed on this afternoon's MSNBC Live regarding Pres. Bush's press conference of this morning.

The show bills itself as 'Hardball.'  But in surrounding himself with regulars who are either certified liberals or renegade Republicans, doesn't Chris Matthews prove himself to be a softy, unwilling or unable to take the high heat from true-blue Republican flamethrowers?

Late on Friday night's edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," former Bush administration aide Ron Christie, author of "Black in the White House," pressed host Chris Matthews on the suggestion that if Republican Sen.

What's worse:

A. telling a story in which the n-word is liberally used, or

B. driving through a black neighborhood, flaunting rifles and yelling racial epithets?

I'm going with 'B.'  So why did Chris Matthews devote the first half of this afternoon's "Hardball" to the n-word story, and not one second to the driving-through-the-black-neighborhood story?