Reader Jerry sends a couple of links (Democracy Now and the Huffington Post) where Phil Donahue discusses his firing from MSNBC for, among other things, opposing the Iraq War. Part of the story involves Chris Matthews, peripherally:
I think he saw me as a threat to his supremacy,” Donahue told HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill. “He wanted to be the face of MSNBC and here comes this talk show host. I had the benefit of recognition … I think I was a threat to his goal of being the man at MSNBC. He was quite emotional. He was emotionally upset.”
He said that he had not been prepared for “the fear of the suits at MSNBC” about his show, adding that he was forced to put two conservative guests on for every liberal.
Donahue said he thought corporate pressure had played a key role in his show’s demise.
It’s worth remembering the rest of Tweety’s little war dance. While he did write a Chronicle column opposing the war, the history of his behavior on MSNBC is that he was a cheerleader when everyone else was cheering, and he stacked his show with pro-war voices. After the conventional wisdom flipped to the view that the war was a mistake, he tried to sell the notion that he was against the war from the beginning. And, like the rest of them, he’s still gainfully employed, because, unlike Donohue, he never “opposed” the war in any way that risked his career.