Chris Matthews Talks Down A Bishop

Bishop Tobin on MSNBC last night was treated awfully by Chris Matthews.

29 Responses to Chris Matthews Talks Down A Bishop

  1. Tito Edwards says:

    Thanks Eric for posting this. One less thing I was going to do tonight.

  2. daledog says:

    Bishop Tobin was a fool for going on this show.

  3. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Well the good news is that it was MSNBC which means that almost no one was watching. Hardball averages 379,000 viewers. Here is the take of the Catholic League.

    “Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the way MSNBC host Chris Matthews handled his interview with Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin last night on “Hardball”:

    We were deluged with phone calls, faxes and e-mails after what happened yesterday on “Hardball.” After watching the first portion of the interview between Chris Matthews and Bishop Tobin, I wondered what all the fuss was all about: Chris was just being his usual aggressive self. But it didn’t take long before Matthews literally spun out of control.

    Matthews proceeded with an extended and quite insulting lecture. He had absolutely no interest in a discussion on the question of the morality and legality of abortion—all he wanted to do was to make the bishop sit there and listen to his rant. Indeed, his tirade was simply over-the-top.

    No non-Catholic would ever treat a bishop this way. But too many liberal Catholics, especially Irish Catholics, think they are exempt from the same standards of civility that apply to others. They are flatly wrong.

    I was on MSNBC twice yesterday on this same subject and was treated with respect both times. Ed Schultz, who can be quite tough, was totally respectful, and I’m a lay person. Chris could learn a thing or two from Ed, who not only does not insult his guests, he actually gives them a chance to respond.”

    Bishops need to be well prepared if they are going to appear in hostile venues.

  4. Donna V. says:

    I get the feeling Chris Matthews was avenging himself for getting his knuckles rapped by Sr. Mary Margaret back in 1958.

  5. Rick Lugari says:

    I take it this means Matthews didn’t get a thrill going up his leg last night.

  6. Mr. H says:

    Bishop Tobin appeared on the O’Reilly Factor tonight.

    Unlike Chris Matthews, Bill O’Reilly was respectful and let the Bishop speak.

    Here’s the video:

  7. Big Tex says:

    Boy, Mr. Matthews obfuscates and obfuscates.

  8. Paula Brooks says:

    Awww poor Bishop Tobin… He wants to play politics… but does not want to be treated like a politician…

    The Bishop asked for this…

  9. Donald R. McClarey says:

    The Bishop is not playing politics Paula. Patrick Kennedy is in favor of legalized abortion. That goes against 2000 years of Church teaching. In 2007, as a result, Bishop Tobin told Kennedy privately that he should not receive communion. Kennedy reveals this recently, not the Bishop. Politics is being played here, but not by the Bishop, but rather by Kennedy who is attempting to rouse hatred of the Church for his own political benefit. Despicable is too mild a term for the dirty game Kennedy is playing.

  10. Dale Price says:

    “Awww poor Bishop Tobin… He wants to play politics… but does not want to be treated like a politician Chris Matthews and I hate

    Fixed it for you, Paula.

    “The Bishop asked for this…”

    So you’ll be whooping it up the next time Lou Dobbs uncorks on the Bishops re: immigration reform? Or the death penalty?

    Or is that kind of “political” advocacy simply being prophetic and standing with the weak?

    Situational quietism pretty well refutes itself.

  11. Paula Brooks says:

    Donald R. McClarey 675,000 viewers for the first segment… and 721,000 viewers in the second run

    But then fact are always a problem when we are talking about Bishops aren’t they?

  12. Donald R. McClarey says:

    I was giving the average viewership Paula for Hardball. The viewership totals you give are still pathetic.

    On his appearance on the Factor, by comparison, assuming average ratings, Bishop Tobin was probably seen by over five million people during the first run at 8:00 PM and the 11:00 PM rerun.

  13. Paula Brooks says:

    What you were doing is what you folks always do…

    you were bending facts to suit your views and were not at all concerned if they were correct.

  14. Donald R. McClarey says:

    No Paula, what I was doing was seeking to show you the error of your ways, but you prefer to quibble about viewer statistics rather than address the main issue of Bishop Tobin and Patrick Kennedy. Since your position is indefensible, I am not surprised.

  15. c matt says:

    What you folks always do? Does your middle name begin with K, ’cause then it would be a perfect – PKB – Pot Kettle Black.

  16. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Deleted your last comment Paula. You are banned from this site. The American Catholic does not provide a forum so that anti-Catholic bigots like yourself might vent their hatred of the Catholic Church.

  17. Dale Price says:

    “my little gay site will let you say anything you like”

    Anything? Anything at all? Really? Nonsense. Everyone has no-go limits. Even the First Amendment does.

    At least Don’s up-front about his.

  18. Todd says:

    My goodness, Paula seems to have gotten under a few skins.

    What would Bishop Tobin expect? These networks, including Fox, aren’t about news or even talk. It’s about Entertainment. And selling the corporate product.

    While Donald is breathing easy that Mr Matthews doesn’t get Super Bowl numbers, consider what the alternatives are for tv at Hardball’s hour. Personally, I’d rather be watching Discovery Science or Nat Geo, if you twisted my arm to watch tv at all. But given the ratings for pseudo-serious tv, and who’s being out-watched by Hardball?

  19. Andrew says:

    As much as I hate to say it the questions were pretty answerable and predictable. Matthews first went down the line of the Church not interfering in politics (but when no one says its murder, it really doesn’t matter what hat you are wearing at that point) and then down the very predictable line of trying to make the bishop look mean spirited by saying that abortion should be a punishable offense. But the presence of law is love and the absence is hate. Punishing an offender is not mean spirited. Its an act of love for the common good! And really for the offender as well.

    Actually I thought Matthews held back a little (don’t watch him much though so I can’t be authoritative on that.).

  20. Phillip says:

    “…or tell an inconvenient truth.”

    Is Paula Al Gore?

  21. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “My goodness, Paula seems to have gotten under a few skins.”

    Actually Todd my main emotional reaction to anti-Catholic bigots is one of pity. However, I am not going to allow them to act as trolls on this site and have the threads populated by people who simply come here to vent their spleen against the Catholic Church.

    During Hardball’s time period Glen Beck dominates:

    Glenn Beck – 2,847,000 viewers (738,000) (1,316,000) on November 23.

  22. Dale Price says:

    “My goodness, Paula seems to have gotten under a few skins.”

    So do Head-On commercials. The irritant quality of an argument says nothing about its value.

  23. American Knight says:

    I am confused.

    Is that man asserting that values and morals have no bearing on the law?

    Did he really say that you can view murder as immoral but that doesn’t necessarily make it a crime?

    If one’s faith is not informing one’s life and work and for legislators that means their law making decisions then what is? I suppose we should all respond to the homosexual, idolatorous, feeling of fornication that runs up our legs in making all of our decisions.

    This guy is an idiot.

    I support the bishop; however, what is really gained by going on this insignificant show? Did he reach anyone who hasn’t seen him somewhere else?

    Mathew’s has probably been seen more times today on the Internet thanks to Bishop Tobin that all last month on PCNBC, er, MSNBC.

  24. Tito Edwards says:


    Did you vote for President Obama in the last election?

  25. Todd says:

    You seem to think this is about Paula. It’s not. It’s about your commentariat: “Fixed it for you, Paula … Does your middle name begin with K … Is Paula Al Gore? … ”

    Like it or not, the world is a tough place. You can try to insulate yourselves on the internet in safe little groups. I’m not impressed.

    Nor is the pc-speak “troll” very persuasive. All the term means is a commenter who speaks outside the echo chamber. Catholics can and should take the higher ground. You had a better way to deal with her and her argument. Bishop Tobin had better options, too. Mr Matthews wasn’t as hard on him as he could have been.

    Last word, guys: it’s all yours.

  26. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “I’m not impressed.”

    Somehow we’ll have to soldier on Todd.

  27. Joe Hargrave says:


    What exactly do you think you’re going to accomplish here? Have you ever changed a mind?

  28. Dale Price says:

    Couldn’t care less, Todd. Really couldn’t.

    “Arguments” like Paula’s presume Tobin and the Borg collective “the Bishops” are acting in bad faith.

    She came, she saw, she pontificated. Mission accomplished.

  29. Greta says:

    Mathews point was that JFK made a statement which he seems to think is equal to canon law or the non negotiable teaching of the Catholic Church. JFK was first of all president back at a time before Roe and there is no proof he would have been a pro abortion president. He was also a well known to be bringing women into the white house, had negotiated with the mob to kill Castro and had approved the murder of the President of South Vietnam. He was also a known liar on his support of civil rights and tried everything possible to stay out of the civil rights issue even faced with the lynching of blacks. His state was about as racist as Mississippi as witnessed when they were forced to bus white and black kids and almost had riots. But Mathews is quoting JFK like this is the position of the Catholic Church in how it should teach the responsibility of Catholic politicians to follow Church teaching. This alone shows how warped Mathews understanding of his faith is and how lost his soul must be at this point. We need to pray for Mathews and support a bishop who tries to save the soul of Patrick Kennedy.
    His harping on what the bishop would write into law could have been answered if Mathews had given any chance for the bishop to respond. As to what criminal penalties should be, the bishop was right that this was not his job, but he could have responded by asking Mathews what a thug who kills a black child in a Chicago ghetto should receive for both are killing children. Does he think the thug should be told it is legal and OK and that the federal government should fund the thugs cost with a large profit with Mathews tax money? What about a white lynch mob who kills a black child by horrible means such as pulling their arms and legs off and ripping off the childs head? What should this lynch mob get? that it is legal and should have federal protection and funding? What about a person who takes a child in as a slave today? Should slavery be legal and funded? Why does Mathews think it is OK to kill an innocent child with abortion and that no one should face punishment over this crime?

%d bloggers like this: