The Story behind the Chris Matthews-Michele Bachmann Election Night Interview

By Chris Ariens 

We wrote about it on the live blog last night, but there is one moment from the TV news coverage of the midterms last night that still has a lot of outlets buzzing today: Chris Matthews’ interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

Last night’s interview was two years in the making. In Oct. 2008 Bachmann was a guest on “Hardball” and called on the media to probe members of Congress to determine who held “anti-American” views. After a barrage of bad press, Bachmann stayed away from the show. TVNewser has learned the Bachmann campaign called “Hardball” last week and told them the congresswoman would be available to appear on election night. So last night, Matthews picked up right where he left off, asking about investigating members of Congress. But Bachmann wasn’t having it:

“Are you hypnotized tonight, because no matter what I ask you you give the same answer?” asked Matthews. “Has someone put you under a trance tonight?”

Bachmann shot back, “I think people are thrilled tonight, I imagine that thrill is probably maybe not quite so tickling on your leg anymore.”

It’s clear Bachmann and her campaign supporters were ready for what occurred (the sign in the liveshot was the first clue), and so was Matthews. No word on whether Bachmann will be back on “Hardball” anytime soon.

• FNC’s Chris Wallace gave his reaction to the interview on Brian Kilmeade’s radio show this morning (via J$P):