Fellow MSNBC host Keith Olbermann is on Chris Matthews' shit list, as you knew, while Race For The White House host David Gregory makes him nervous, because Gregory is an obvious possible replacement for Matthews, according to a leaked copy of a forthcoming Times magazine profile obtained by FishbowlDC. More embarrassing: fellow network personality Tim Russert, who Matthews kind of idolizes, supposedly can't stand the high-volume Hardball host. Profiler Mark Leibovich was of course sure to include a fresh batch of Matthews' leering comments toward women:
"Did you get a load of Lou Rawls's wife?" Matthews said as he left the spin room. Apparently the Rev. Jesse Jackson was introducing the widow of the R&B singer at the media center. "She was an absolute knockout," Matthews declared. It's a common Matthews designation. The actress Kerry Washington was also a "total knockout," according to Matthews...
Matthews grabbed [Washington's] hand, and Phil Griffin, the head of MSNBC who was seated across the table, vowed to get her on the show.
"I know why he wants you on," Matthews said to Washington while looking at Griffin... "He wants you on because you're beautiful," Matthews said. "And because you're black." He handed Washington a business card and told her to call anytime "if you ever want to hang out with Chris Matthews."
Tim — as in Russert, the inquisitive jackhammer host of "Meet the Press" — is a particular obsession of Matthews's. Matthews craves Russert's approval like that of an older brother. He is often solicitous.
A number of people I spoke with at NBC said that Russert can be disdainful of Matthews, whose act he often sees as clownish. They also told me that Russert believes Matthews is something of a loose cannon who brings him undue headaches in his capacity as NBC's Washing-ton bureau chief.
Matthews is probably cagey because NBC wants to cut his pay significantly below its current $5 million-per-year levels. But it sounds he'd give some ground just to keep his ego fed on the high of having his own show:
At one point, Mat-thews suddenly became hypnotized by a TV over the bar set to a rebroadcast of "Hardball." "Hey, there I am — it's me," he said, staring at himself on the screen. "It's me."