I'm becoming convinced that a gang of frat boys run the control room at MSNBC.
I was just watching a recording of tonight's edition of "Hardball" and Chris Matthews was discussing Hillary Clinton's recent effort to appear likable by appearing on The Tonight Show, and her recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
He tossed the subject to Michelle Bernard, a part of tonight's panel of pundits, and as she began her response, they suddenly put up a full screen shot of .... Madonna.
Huh???!!! Gears ground as my brain tried to figure how this made sense. Some connection between Madonna and Clinton? Had Madonna commented on the race? Madonna? It wasn't going well.
The gleaming publicity shot of the Material Girl stayed on screen with no caption for perhaps 3 or 4 long seconds, then the screen switched to this:
Yep, a national "news" network displaying a photoshopped image of Hillary atop Madonna's infamous pointy bra get-up. (I think of it as the '55 Cadillac outfit... you know, the bumper bullets.)
The graphic occupied the entire screen for maybe another couple seconds before disappearing, going back to showing Michelle Bernard as she continued her response.
While the graphic was up, and as Bernard spoke afterwards, you could detect titters from off camera in a male tone, either Matthews or David Corn, another panelist.
When they finally got back to Matthews I expected some sort of apology or acknowledgement that they'd messed up.
Matthews continued as if nothing had happened and closed the show without ever mentioning the obvious and bizarre incident.
How do you think this happened? Why?
Do these directors/producers/control room people/editors really sit around composing that sort of crap?
Just strikes me as very unprofessional and sloppy, not to mention juvenile.
With Matthews already cowed and justifiably chastised for his weird obsession and history of terribly sexist and just plain mean comments about Clinton stretching back for years, (resulting at last in his having to do an on air mea culpa), and his obvious effort to keep his Clinton hatred in check, this can't help his cause.
Not only that, but it comes on the heels of one of this long campaign season's best quips ever.
Matthews was interviewing Obama last Wednesday night in front of a college audience in Pennsylvania when he asked Obama if, during the campaign so far, he'd ever experienced things that are so funny, so ridiculous or dumb that he can't help but laugh out loud.
Obama immediately shot back, "Of course! Every day!" to great laughter from the crowd. Then displaying perfect comedic timing, as the laughs began to subside, he got a sly look on his face and continued, "But.... then I stopped watching cable news."
Matthews reaction showed that he's much, much worse at taking a swipe than handing them out.
Wonder if they'll be any reaction to this blatantly demeaning graphic of Clinton being shown on "Hardball" come tomorrow. In a lull in campaign season where we see daily efforts to inflate the smallest events or statements into "something", this might qualify.