The most memorable moment in Mark Leibovich’s New York Times magazine cover piece on Chris Matthews — in which we learn that Matthews “craves [Tim] Russert’s approval like that of an older brother” and that the Meet the Press host is “a particular obsession of Matthews’” — may actually be (sorry, Chris!) the bit when Russert makes a passing appearance. To wit:

“Russert walked through, straight from a workout, wearing a sweat-drenched Buffalo Bills sweatshirt, long shorts and black rubber-soled shoes with tube socks” and an MSNBC spokesman “tried, after the fact, to declare Russert’s outfit ‘off the record.’”

Leibovich wonders “whether Matthews is a man trapped in a tired caricature” which, Leibovich writes, “touches on the future of his archetype in general—in other words, whither the cable blowhard?” Also, further along in the piece: Matthews’ “overriding professional insecurity…is being confined to the pigeon hole of cable blowhard.”

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.