Chris Matthews and his crew had a very contentious end to the Republican National Convention.
The close of the forum that officially nominated Mitt Romney for president brought with it twin stories of scuffles and shouting matches between Matthews, or members of his producing team, and delegates at the convention.
First, there was the shoving match that reportedly ensued between some hecklers and an MSNBC producer on Thursday. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the hecklers started shouting, "Hey Chris, how's that tingle up your leg?" This is a reference to Matthews' infamous comment that he felt a "thrill" going up his leg after hearing one of President Obama's speeches. He often gets snark thrown his way when he's in Republican settings; a 2010 interview with Michele Bachmann featured both a large sign mocking him for it and a jibe from Bachmann herself.
An MSNBC spokesperson dismissed the allegations in a statement.
"This story has been grossly exaggerated," the spokesperson said. "A few disruptive men in the audience were asked to be respectful during a live broadcast. No one was hurt. There is no investigation and police were never involved."
Matthews' popularity with the Republican crowd probably wasn't helped by his scorched-earth confrontation with RNC chair Reince Priebus on Monday.
Matthews himself had a run-in with some delegates at a restaurant early Friday morning. The Hill reported that, as Matthews was leaving the restaurant, he started getting booed and jeered, and went back in to confront his hecklers. Matthews said he told the group, "What is this, a douchebag convention?" He told The Hill that he was referring explicitly to the group of people he was talking to, not to the convention as a whole.
“I was trying in my way to engage as I often do with critics, hoping to find some common ground," he said. "Sometimes it works out better than this.”
Matthews can certainly expect a better time at the Democratic convention, which starts on Tuesday in Charlotte.
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