Looks like Hardball is playing hardball with Ann Coulter.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews says it will be “a while” before the incendiary conservative pundit is invited back to the show.
The turning point, Matthews says, was Coulter’s controversial remarks — which many perceived as anti-Semitic — on CNBC’s “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” Oct. 8.
“To me, it has to do with how many people are really offended; who tell me to my face when I bump into them,” Matthews said in an interview before Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia. “I’m affected by that.”
Coulter “can be funny and clever with her sarcasm, or she can be hurtful,” he says. “She doesn’t just do evil as her number. You never know what bell she’s going to ring. She doesn’t know what bell she’s going to ring.”
Asked to respond to Matthews’ comments, Coulter said, through her publicist: “Who?”
Flogging her latest book, Coulter told Deutsch that Christians “just want Jews to be perfected” by becoming Christians themselves. She later tried to backpedal on the remarks.
Oy vey. Where’s our yellow star when we need it?
For Matthews, no slouch himself in the Foot-in-Mouth Dept., it was beyond the pale.
“I can’t believe she went on a show with a guy who is Jewish and said that to his face. Donny is incredibly well mannered and formal; a real charmer. He isn’t some towel-snapping talk show host. I can see her doing it on Fox, but not with Donny Deutsch.”
At Hardball, an unwelcome guest is “in the boat.” As in, sent into exile at sea like Mutiny on the Bounty’s Captain Bligh. (Matthews won’t say if Coulter’s in the boat.)
“Some are in the boat, some get out of the boat,” he says. “We change our minds. We don’t actually advertise who’s in the boat.” Dick Morris, now with Fox News, has been waterlogged for 10 years, Matthews says, because of a “blasphemous” remark on the show.
“I’m not going to dignify my punishment schedule. I’m not the high priest of deciding.”
Conversely, Matthews says he’d be happy to book Jon Stewart after Matthews finishes his book tour. Matthews had “the worst interview of my life” on Stewart’s Daily Show Oct. 2.
“I’d love to have him on. I don’t think he does shows.”
Not true, buckaroo.
Stewart appeared on Bill Moyers‘ PBS show April 29. Last year, he did David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Larry King, according to a Comedy Central rep.