The fun begins!

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on "a subject I love to talk about, gender." Fasten your seat belts, everybody!

Published April 26, 2007 10:07PM (EDT)

I get in a lot of trouble when I say this, but I really enjoy MSNBC's Chris Matthews. I don't know him personally, he may in fact be stark raving mad, he can be terribly unfair to Democrats, but he is happy to be crazy in the service of good television, and I appreciate it. When he's paired with Keith Olbermann on big news nights like tonight, poor KO always looks a little wary, like anything could happen, and not in a good way. But Olbermann is learning to roll with it.

On the pre-debate warmup show, Matthews quickly announced, "Let me not miss a chance to talk about a subject I love to talk about, gender!" Oh God, I couldn't wait. I've written about his odd man-crushes on macho guys like Jim Webb; his odd enmity toward Hillary Clinton. What was he going to say now? But alas, all he gave up was the obvious observation that the boys onstage tonight will get in trouble if they try to rough up the only girl, like Rick Lazio did in 2000.

Much funnier was his earlier back and forth with Olbermann, telling viewers to "fasten their seat belts" for a wild ride tonight. Naturally, that reminded Matthews of Bette Davis in "All About Eve," and suddenly he's comparing Hillary Clinton to Bette Davis with Barack Obama as Eve Harrington. (Can we talk about the gender implications there?) Olbermann looked scared again, but then decided to fasten his seat belt and enjoy the ride. Soon Matthews was honking out that crazy laugh at Olbermann's commentary, and they were having fun.

Oh, and can I say: I really like Gene Robinson on television. More Gene Robinson, please.

By Joan Walsh

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