On skewed Hardball panel, Matthews touted Rosen's Dem credentials while failing to note that other guests are Republicans

››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER

While hosting a conservative-skewed panel on the December 15 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews repeatedly emphasized that guest Hilary Rosen is a "Democratic advocate," while failing to note that his other two guests -- Robert George and Susan Molinari -- are Republicans.

George is former director of coalitions for the Republican National Committee and is currently a columnist for the conservative National Review and editorial writer for the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post. Molinari is a former Republican congresswoman from New York who served on the Republican Majority Leadership and was keynote speaker at the 1996 Republican National Convention.

While Rosen is a self-described Democrat, Media Matters for America found no evidence that she has ever been employed by the party or run for political office. Rosen is the former chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America and is currently interim director of the bipartisan gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender political organization Human Rights Campaign.

The panel discussed former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who recently withdrew himself from consideration to be Homeland Security Secretary; Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; the December 14 Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony; and Social Security.

From the December 15 edition of Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Robert George, editor [sic] of the New York Post. Susan Molinari is a former New York City congresswoman, and Hilary Rosen is a former head of the Recording Industry Association of America. And more importantly, a Democratic activist, which she is to this day.

[...]

MATTHEWS: We're back with former U.S. Congresswoman Susan Molinari, Democratic advocate -- I love that word -- Hilary Rosen, and the New York Post's Robert George.

[...]

MATTHEWS: We'll be back with former U.S. Congresswoman Susan Molinari, Democratic advocate Hilary Rosen, and the New York Post's Robert George when Hardball returns.

[...]

MATTHEWS: We're back with former U.S. Congresswoman Susan Molinari, Democratic advocate -- I love that word -- Hilary Rosen, and the New York Post's Robert George.

[...]

MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Susan Molinari. Thank you, advocate Hilary Rosen. And thank you, columnist Robert George of the New York Post.

MOLINARI: I want to be the advocate next time.

GEORGE: Thank you.

As Media Matters has previously noted, Matthews often presents panels that skew rightward. His panels during MSNBC's coverage of the presidential debates consistently featured conservatives such as former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, former Republican congressman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and Republican attorney Ben Ginsberg without any Democratic or progressive counterparts. And of the 46 panels convened thus far in 2004 on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, 22 skewed to the right, twelve were balanced, seven skewed to the left, and five featured a conservative who supported Senator John Kerry on an otherwise balanced panel.

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