During a break at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s town hall event earlier this week, a hot mic picked up a conversation between the presidential contender and the event’s moderator and MSNBC host Chris Matthews.
One of the things they discussed in their hot mic conversation was why MSNBC covers Trump so much. Hillary Clinton said, “You guys can’t stop covering him…He is a dangerous presence. It’s just like candy by the bushel.”
Matthews responded that it’s hard for a network to know whom to give coverage to: “Nobody can tell what works, what people want to watch.”
Clinton replied, “Yeah, people must think they want to watch him.”
“You can laugh at him,” Matthews responded.
The conversation shifted to two of Donald Trump’s endorsers, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Dr. Ben Carson.
Of Chris Christie, Chris Matthews joked that overweight people shouldn’t sit in “wingback” chairs. “You know, wingback chairs are the enemy of overweight people.” Of Ben Carson, Matthews joked that he sounded like Tom Smothers, “very slow,” but both Clinton and Matthews spoke highly of the doctor. Clinton remarked that he was a “brilliant surgeon by all accounts.”
Hillary Clinton asked Matthews why Chris Christie would endorse someone like Trump. Clinton wondered, “Did he have a debt to pay?” Matthews replied that his endorsement was strictly to secure a political future, since a Republican in New Jersey would have a hard time gaining traction:
“They all want a future. They want a future… Christie’s not going to beat Cory Booker…Cory Booker is there. Cory Booker’s not going anywhere. There’s nowhere for Christie to go,” he said.
It is true about networks not necessarily knowing what to cover. They go where they think they’ll get the most viewers. As a business, they go where they’re most likely to cash in on higher ratings.