The G20 convened in Germany last week, and there were plenty of alarums and excursions for the American media to occupy themselves with.
There were contentions over America’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the usual ineffectual leftist street protests in which the storefronts of Hamburg were held to account for their role in globalism and inequality and stuff, and even the preposterous “non-handshake” between President Donald Trump and the first lady of Poland — all of these were perfectly agreeable ways to fill out 24 hours of basic cable bloat.
Not for Chris Matthews, though. No, MSNBC’s sentient blob of modeling clay, caffeine and bad manners dug a bit deeper and found the “big story” to come out of the summit in Hamburg last week: manspreading. Specifically, manspreading of the Trumpist and Putinesque variety.
On Friday, the “Hardball” host introduced a clip of Trump and Putin meeting at the summit with the comment, “Well, note the manspreading there by the two gentlemen,” according to The Daily Caller.
You might have thought that was a throwaway comment on Matthews’ part, and you’d be wrong. He went back to the “incident” at the end of the show.
“Did you see how these two men sat today?” Matthews began. “Both tried to sit as far forward as they could in those big chairs up there in Hamburg, Germany. Putin, a much smaller fellow, seemed a bit dwarfed.”
“The big story was the way they both engaged in the art of manspreading,” he continued, “widening their legs out as far as the wings of those chairs allowed them.”
“‘Nobody’s gonna outmanspread me!’ you can hear their little psyches urging them on.”
Now, first, let’s point out that manspreading usually involves men spreading their legs out in public seating arrangements — you know, like subways, planes, bleachers, etcetera. Putin and Trump, you may notice, were in individual chairs. What were they crowding out by “manspreading” — the padding in the chairs?
Secondly, let me point out that Matthews has been a fixture on the MSNBC schedule for two decads. He’s gotten there because he’s purportedly a shrewd political operator who can pick up on things other reporters don’t.
So, what does he take away from this whole thing? Manspreading — a trendy, contrived phenomenon of allegedly-misogynist body language. That’s what he thinks is the “big story” to come out of a meeting of two major world leaders. Talk about turning your network into a laughingstock.
This is what you’re paying this guy for, MSNBC? For 20 years? If layoffs are necessary over at the Maddow Channel, I would like to note that it may not behoove them to apply the “last hired, first fired” standard to decide who goes. Chris Matthews has been manspreading across an entire hour of cable airtime for far too long, and his bizarre rant last Friday is the latest confirmation that he’s long past the point of diminishing returns.
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