Last night's "Hardball" kicked off with a curious back and forth between host Chris Matthews and Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway.
In the opening segment, Conway and Matthews were simulcasting on each other's shows, in a segment that was intended to focus on the upcoming debate in Sioux City, Iowa. Conway is uniquely qualified to speak on the GOP candidates as he has interviewed almost all of them in the run-up to next month's primary.
The fireworks started almost immediately when Conway welcomed Matthews to his show and referred to the MSNBC host as a "Democrat." It got testy after that, with Matthews firing back and Conway replying, "You're clearly working for the re-election of Barack Obama."
Watch it below:
Matthews has two hours of prime programming on a major cable network where he regularly rails against almost every member of the GOP, while supporting a majority of Democratic initiatives. Hot Air is a little baffled:
He welcomed Axelrod to the show yesterday by telling him he was in “friendly territory.” A few weeks ago he complained that Obama hasn’t given him/us our “orders” yet. He’s never made a secret of his man-crush on The One; on the contrary, there’s a reason the world has come to know him as Tingles. Maybe this is another weird, arbitrary distinction created by the MSNBC brass in which Matthews isn’t allowed to declare his preference overtly but is allowed to describe the euphoric physiological reactions he has to Obama’s speeches? I don’t get it. Be who you are, Chris.
You are probably wondering - How did this Iowa-based talker with a British accent end up on MSNBC, talking to their elder statesman? Simon was featured in the New York Times just yesterday:
Mr. Conway, while cutting and often brash, does not fit the conservative talk radio mold. For one, he is British by birth, and his thick accent can be somewhat disorienting as it booms from stereos here in the heartland. He also happens to be Jewish, a fact that seems lost on many listeners, especially those wishing him Merry Christmas.
Here's how the same interview looked on Simon's end.