Reading The Pictures: Leeching Chris Matthews

This post is not about Ann Coulter.

I try very hard not to feed the vampire, except for the occasional psychological profile. In this case, however, I have to make an exception -- in order to highlight a classic image of media intimidation.

Leaving aside the argument why hyper-Chris would stoop to give troubled Ann a platform in the first place, I was interested in what happened in yesterday's so-called interview immediately after Elizabeth Edwards called in to confront AC.

Matthews must have been terrified after Edwards challenged Coulter for making hay off the death of her child. After Edwards hung up, a journalist with any real substance would have immediately taken on his dissembling invitee for using Edwards as a pin cushion. So, where did the Hardball king go instead?

Well why, Chris suddenly wanted to know, did mean ole Ann attack Hillary for having "chubby legs?"

It got even more pathetic than that, though. Not only did Chris drop the subject of Edwards, asking a 2008% weaker question than Edwards asked, he lost his nerve completely when Coulter played dumb and demanded he quote her the exact sentence he was referring to. (You can see in the screen shot how she got off on it.)

The image that will stick with me is that scene on the left half of the screen. There's the flustered, angry and intimidated Matthews (his head comically juxtaposed with the Hardball tag line "First Read") submissively thumbing through Coulter's latest hate manifesto to actually find the quote!

See video at thinkprogress.

For more of the visual, visit

(image: msnbc)