Chris Matthews & Michele Bachmann: Manners Are a Dying Art

chris matthews michele bachmannNow that the mid-term election is over, can we please revisit the cringe-worthy moment when MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann if she was "hypnotized"?

The general consensus is that Bachmann bested Matthews by blatantly sidestepping his confrontational questions about whether she would subpoena members of Congress in an investigation of un-American thinking. Moreover, her supporters were gleeful that she got revenge on the host who had embarrassed her on his show a couple years prior.

But I'm actually appalled at both Matthews' and Bachmann's behavior during the awkward exchange. It was practically a contest of who could be the rudest. Does no one have manners anymore?


Matthews' behavior was indefensible: He repeatedly pressed Bachmann on the un-American question and became visibly frustrated when she wouldn't bite, ultimately resorting to this childish rant:

Let me ask you something Congresswoman Bachmann, are you hypnotized tonight ... Has someone hypnotized you? Because no matter what I ask you you give the same answer. Are you hypnotized? Has someone put you under a trance tonight?

But Bachmann herself is no bastion of etiquette. I can't fault her for sidestepping his (what she perceived to be) ridiculous questions, but the fact that she was on the show in the first place is irritating. She clearly wanted to go on just to gloat -- as evidenced by the "How's the Tingle" sign in the background and her "that thrill is maybe not so tingly on your leg anymore" jab. (Both refer to Matthews' comment in 2008 that he "got a thrill up my leg" when listening to a speech by President Obama.)

With so many serious issues confronting our country, is it too much to ask that those who make our laws and those who bring us the news about those laws could at least act respectable and maybe even grow up?

Who do you think was most out of line during this exchange: Matthews or Bachmann?

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