Cable political coverage has changed... and so has the sensibility that viewers -- particularly young ones -- expect from it. Matthews's bombast is radically at odds with the wry, antipolitical style fashioned by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert or the cutting and finely tuned cynicism of Matthews's MSNBC co-worker Keith Olbermann. These hosts betray none of the reverence for politics or the rituals of Washington that Matthews does. On the contrary, they appeal to the eye-rolling tendencies of a cooler, highly educated urban cohort of the electorate that mostly dismisses an exuberant political animal like Matthews as annoyingly antiquated, like the ranting uncle at the Thanksgiving table whom the kids have learned to tune out.But Matthews's performance is comic, is it not? I think he's more like Stewart and Colbert than Keith Obermann is. But there is something about Matthew's that uncool and loutish/boyish. He's more of a comedian the way Rush Limbaugh is a comedian — and I do think Rush Limbaugh is a comedian, not that he doesn't care about what he cares about. I mean, George Carlin cares about what he cares about, and he's a comedian. Not that Carlin — the best living comedian, right? — is uncool and loutish/boyish — cool and urban either for that matter.
ADDED: The NYT has put the whole article up. Here's the part about the "sexist" attitude toward Hillary:
Matthews says the notion that he is sexist has been pushed unfairly by blogs, women’s groups and, to some degree, the Clinton campaign. His remark that Clinton benefitted because her husband “messed around” triggered much outrage from the Clinton team. Matthews eventually apologized in a rambling on-air explanation, but he hardly sounds contrite now. “I was tonally inaccurate but factually true,” he told me. I had asked him earlier if he was forced into the apology. “Oh, yeah, of course I was forced into that,” he said, laughing. “No, no, no . . . Phil [Griffin] asked me to do that.”
Matthews vigorously denies the broader charge that he demeans women on the air. “I don’t think there’s any evidence of that at all,” he said at brunch. “I’ve gone back and looked. Give me the evidence. No one can give it to me. I went through all my stuff. I can’t find it.”