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Christopher "Chris" Matthews (born December 17, 1945) is an Americanmarker news anchor and political commentator, known for his nightly hour-long talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, which is televised on the Americanmarker cable television channel MSNBC. On weekends he hosts the syndicated NBC News-produced panel discussion program, The Chris Matthews Show. Matthews makes frequent appearances on many NBC and MSNBC programs. On March 22, 2009, Matthews renewed his contract to do his show on MSNBC through 2012.

Early life, education, and family

Matthews was born in Somertonmarker, Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker to Irish American parents and is a Roman Catholic. He attended La Salle College High Schoolmarker.

He is a 1967 graduate of the College of the Holy Crossmarker in Worcester, Massachusetts, and did graduate work in economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillmarker. Matthews served in the United States Peace Corps in Swazilandmarker from 1968 to 1970 as a trade development advisor.

Matthews is married to Kathleen Matthews, who anchored News 7 on WJLA-TVmarker, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.Cmarker, before accepting a position as an Executive Vice President with J.W. Marriott. The couple has three children: Michael, Thomas and Caroline (currently a student at the University of Pennsylvania). His brother Jim Matthews, a Republican, is a County Commissioner in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

In 2002, Matthews was hospitalized with malaria, which he evidently contracted on one of his visits that year to Africa. He has also had other health problems, including [diabetes] and pneumonia.

Political career and views

When Matthews first arrived in Washington, D.C., he worked as a police officer with the United States Capitol Police. Subsequently, he served on the staffs of four Democratic members of Congress, including Senators Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie. In 1974, he mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, in which he received about 24% of the vote in the primary campaign. Matthews was a presidential speechwriter during the Carter administration. Matthews later worked six years as a top aide to long-time Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O'Neill, playing a direct role in many key political battles with the Reagan administration.

Despite having worked for Democrats, Matthews has said, "I'm more conservative than people think I am. ... I voted for George W. in 2000." Matthews has been accused of having panels of guests that skew to the right by liberal media watchdogs and of supporting Republicans in his own questions and comments. Conversely, he is also often criticized by conservatives for his opposition to the Iraq war among other stances he takes against the Bush administration. Conservative watchdog groups also accuse Matthews of constantly taking Democratic Party positions.

On the April 14, 2008, edition of The Colbert Report, Matthews alluded to a possible run for the United States Senate from Pennsylvania. When directly questioned by Stephen Colbert about his intentions, he stated that there is a difference between celebrities and those who work for the people, and it's a greater thing to work for the people. He also said that his boyhood dream was to be a senator. Four days later, on April 18, 2008, Matthews told Bill Maher that he has "made a commitment to covering politics in a liberal way, starting in 1987, and [he is] honoring that commitment, not getting involved in it." The seat in question would be the one held by Sen. Arlen Specter, whose current term in the Senate ends in 2010. On November 28, 2008, and The Politico reported that Matthews has been in contact with senior staffers of Obama's campaign about a possible run. On January 7, 2009, The New York Times reported that Matthews told his staffers that he would not run for the Senate. On May 25 2009 Chris Matthews appeared on the Charlie Rose show where he stated that he was intending to run for Arlen Specter's senate seat in 2010 stating "I could see myself winning the democratic primary and I could see myself going on to face Arlen in the general [election]," but that he felt he had to decide between being a journalist and being a politician once Specter became a national figure by supporting the stimulus.

Author and talk show host

Matthews during a special edition of Hardball
Matthews worked as a print journalist for 15 years, spending 13 years as Washington, D.C.marker, Bureau Chief for The San Francisco Examiner (1987 – 2000), and two years as a nationally syndicated columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle. Matthews covered the fall of the Berlin Wallmarker, the first all-races election in South Africa and the Good Friday Peace Talks in Northern Irelandmarker. In 1997 and 1998, his research in the National Archivesmarker produced a series of exclusives on the Nixon presidential tapes. Matthews has covered American presidential election campaigns since 1988.

In 1997, Matthews began his own talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, which originally aired on CNBCmarker but is currently on MSNBC. Hardball features pundits and elected officials as guests.

In 2002, The Chris Matthews Show began airing in syndication. The show is formatted as a political roundtable consisting of four journalists and Matthews, who serves as the moderator. He is estimated to earn more than $5 million a year. He also wrote a book called Hardball.

Allegations of Bias and Controversy

During MSNBC's coverage of the Potamac Primary, Matthews had this to say about then presidential candidate Barack Obama;"I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." , leading many on the Right to assert that both he and MSNBC were biased toward Senator Obama.

After controversy following on-air comments that Matthews and Keith Olbermann made during the 2008 Republican National Convention, NBC News correspondent David Gregory replaced them, but Matthews and Olbermann continued as analysts. On November 4–5, he teamed with Rachel Maddow, Eugene Robinson, David Gregory, and Keith Olbermann to cover the presidential election.

On November 6, 2008, he was a guest on the MSNBC television program Morning Joe, where he stated, "I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new Presidency work." Host Joe Scarborough asked if that was his job as a journalist. "Yeah, that’s my job. My job is to help this country," Matthews said.



  1. Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC, August 19, 2008.
  2. October 3, 2003, and February 23, 2004, editions of Hardball
  3. name="lieberman">{{cite news|url=|title=
  4. [ Bill Maher ] » Realtime ~ 18/04/08
  6. "I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new Presidency work."

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