I have to admit that I probably like Chris Matthews more than many here, although I certainly don't take him very seriously. I enjoy "Hardball" mainly because it's straight up politics, with good guests and lively discussion. The orientation is politics as blood sport, not issues, and hence I find it entertaining rather than enlightening--which is fine for the time slot.
But Chris is, of course, an odd duck, and remarkably flawed as a television personality, like some irrepressible child that was given the keys to the car and allowed to drive. You can see everyone adjusting to his presence, right on screen, while the show goes on. His rampant sexism, his narcissism, and his insecurities are all on display. The only thing that makes it all tolerable (for me at least) is his general sense of bonhomie--which of course leads to trivialization of political issues, but at least is a nice relief from the bombastic negativism of Fox News, Rush, Tucker, and many of the other talking heads.
Anyway, on the NYT website there's a preview of a Sunday Times Magazine article on Chris Matthews, which exhaustively explores his personality quirks, places it in the context of contemporary political telejournalism, and is chock full of juicy observations by those who know and work with him. I for one found it to be fascinating, if a bit of a guilty pleasure. I thought some of you other Tweety-watchers might enjoy it as well.