Matthews is a jerk. And while being a jerk is sometimes a useful journalistic tool, Matthews is a jerk for no reason; he doesn’t seem to get the distinction between adversarial, which every journalist should be, and being combative. When Matthews brags about how “independent” he is, what he means is that he’s obnoxious to both sides.
Also, Matthews breaks some news in this TV Guide interview. He says that “three different people” from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office tried to silence him and Matthews adds that even “Hardball”‘s young bookers and producers have felt the heat at times.