The MSNBC host attacked Cory Booker for breaking with the Democratic Party line. As a journalist, he ought to celebrate truth-telling.
When the average television viewer sees someone on a public-affairs show making arguments about a political controversy, they presume that the speaker believes whatever he or she is saying. That is the conclusion they're meant to draw. Everyone on TV behaves as if that is the case. But Chris Matthews doesn't think politicians on TV necessarily owe the audience an accurate accounting of their views. As he sees it, anyone who appears on television and is identified as a supporter of President Obama or the Democratic Party is compelled to articulate the party line, even though they aren't told what questions they'll be asked before their appearance.
Why interview "surrogates" at all if their answers are just political theater?
The Hardball host didn't address that question when discussing a much remarked upon weekend appearance by Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Meet the Press. Identifying himself as an Obama surrogate, Booker generally defended the president and touted his record. When asked what he thought of a TV advertisement by host David Gregory, he also expressed discomfort with attacks on Mitt Romney's time at the private-equity firm Bain Capital.