Chris Matthews sort of lost (or failed to take) control of Hardball last night . What happened? During a loud debate between former Republican Congressman Dick Armey and Salon’s Joan Walsh over “Does Rush [Limbaugh] Rule the GOP?,” an agitated Armey at one point said to Walsh: “I am so damn glad that you could never be my wife, ‘cause I surely wouldn’t have to listen to that prattle from you every day.” While Matthews looked visibly uncomfortable, it took a guest on his next segment, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, to call Armey out. (h/t Michael Calderone)

Said Herbert:

I just would like to make the point Dick Armey was so far out of line in the last segment with his sexist comments and he owes Joan Walsh and your viewers an apology. I just wanted to make that point.

When it later, apparently, dawned on Matthews that he should have “made that point,” Matthews said:

We had a pretty rough back-and-forth. Dick Armey, I like the guy, but I think he went way overboard going after Joan. You have to let the other person make their point without the reference to your wife or whatever this gender aspect that shouldn’t have been brought up…


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.