An epic cover story in next Sunday's New York Times magazine profiles Chris Matthews, the CNBC anchor whose casual sexism maybe got you riled up a few months ago, but then you stopped caring; well start caring again. In an opening scene he comes across the Obama-supporting actress Kerry Washington, who says she likes Hardball, on whom he has a huge crush, and after his producer vows to get her on the show he says:
"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."
It's a telling moment for a lot of reasons, but let's cut to the chase: Kerry Washington: really? Kerry Washington is so overrated. Anna and I have been silently loathing Kerry Washington for many years now, for no good reason other than the fact that we don't really feel like there was a good reason to know her to begin with.
And yet, she is ubiquitous — in ads, in "Green issue" special features about her environmentally friendly interior designer. That and she went to school with Gwyneth Paltrow. She's beautiful, and black. So are a lot of people. She's a big fucking token and that's what Chris Matthews loves about her; look, he fucking said so himself.
Chris Matthews' contract probably won't be renewed. Chris Matthews is slipping in relevance. He's been eclipsed by Keith Olbermann, dissed by his hero Tim Russert. Chris Matthews is something of a relic: yes, that's the point of the story. People are protective of relics. Tokens, too. But fuck all that noise; it's hard to think a form of relicism love wasn't behind Matthews' support for Obama the way it's hard to thing "tokenism" wasn't what people really meant when they dismissed the Obama "hype."
So yeah, anyway, I still think Kerry Washington is a lot of hype but Chris Matthews is just a distraction. Fire his ass! He can churn out those extemporaneous musings for a blog like the rest of us.
ADDENDUM: Look, let me just say I hate the tokenism, not the token. I liked Ray but Regina King acted her under the table. Sanaa Lathan acts her under the table. Taraji Henson, J-Hud, the lady who played the mom in Baby Boy, everyone who was in this movie How She Move...I'm just saying it's annoying she gets all the endorsement contracts when there's so much supergood underappreciated black actress talent out there. That is all. But she is pretty. And she supports Obama so what the fuck am I complaining about? Just that I have to run my mouth all goddamn day for you people and people are bound to misinterpret me etc. etc. I feel for ya Chris.