Tuesday, August 03, 2004


It's more important to keep your job than to speak the truth. Whores.

I hear that political journalist Howard Fineman is in very hot water with his bosses at MSNBC for comments he made on the air about "Hardball" host Chris Matthews.

Fineman, a "Hardball" regular who has moonlighted at MSNBC and NBC for the past six years while writing for Newsweek magazine, went on Don Imus' radio show Friday and compared the ratings-challenged "Hardball" to Matthews' much more popular syndicated Sunday show.

"One reason why Chris Matthews' Sunday show is so successful is that the producer there tells Chris, 'Shut up!'" Fineman told Imus, who was goading him to criticize Matthews. "And he does, and the rest of us get to talk."

I'm told that the sleep-deprived Fineman, who was a "Hardball" panelist all week at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, realized his mistake as soon as the words were out of his mouth.

On MSNBC.com a couple of hours later, Fineman wrote: "Sometimes when you are tired - when you've been yakking all week and racing from a convention hall to a political reception to an interview - you screw up, big time, as Dick Cheney would say.

"Well, I did that this morning by failing to defend the best political mind on TV, my loyal colleague and host Chris Matthews ... Matthews is the best thing on political TV."

But Fineman's apology has come too late, and I hear that MSNBC president Rick Kaplan, "Hardball" executive producer Tammy Haddad and especially Matthews remain angry with him.

Yesterday, it wasn't clear whether Fineman would be punished with an unpaid suspension from the cable network.

Fineman and MSNBC declined to comment, and Matthews and Haddad didn't return phone calls.

He should now lose his job at Newsweek, after he's admitted what he is.

...as Ailes says:

There's a man who won't sell his soul for less than spot on a cable show with sub-basement ratings. You can always trust Howard -- to kiss the biggest ass in town.

(thanks to bkny)