In an interview in the June 14 issue of Newsweek, Chris Matthews, host of NBC's Sunday-morning program The Chris Matthews Show, said that he books a panel of "four journalists" each week that he trusts as disseminators of fact. Matthews distinguished the "journalists" on his broadcast network Sunday show panels from the panels on his cable show, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, which, Matthews said, are filled with "advocates."
Matthews told Newsweek:
What I like about Sunday is, I interview people I instinctively believe. I sit down with four journalists. I'm like Perry White in "Superman": "Whaddya got?" What they have to say is going to be fact-based. During the week, I have to contend with advocates and I have to challenge them.
Among the non-advocate "journalists" whom Matthews said he "instinctively believe[s]" and thus does not have to "challenge" are the following conservative pundits:
- David Brooks, New York Times op-ed columnist; Weekly Standard senior editor; and Atlantic Monthly correspondent.
- Tucker Carlson, CNN Crossfire co-host and Weekly Standard contributing editor.
- William J. Bennett, conservative movement leader; Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow; and radio show host.
- Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor.
- Byron York, National Review White House correspondent.
In an April 2004 article in Philadelphia magazine, journalist Sasha Issenberg exposed many of the factual inaccuracies and sweeping generalizations both in Brooks's December 2001 Atlantic Monthly article "One Nation, Slightly Divisible" and in his 2000 book Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There.
As Media Matters for America has previously reported, Carlson misreported and ridiculed Democratic Party outreach to gays and lesbians, and he claimed without support that Democratic activists "have contempt for churchgoers." Gigot oversees an editorial page whose deputy editor, Daniel Henninger, wrote that political opponents of President George W. Bush are "slightly psycho" -- an editorial page that also ran an op-ed by the founder of the anti-Senator John Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John O'Neill, without disclosing O'Neill's partisan ties. Byron York circulated an unverified account of a Vietnam veteran who claimed to have treated Senator John Kerry for a wound he received while serving in Vietnam.