The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews explains ‘Oh God’ remark

NEW YORK – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said he was surprised by the “peculiar stagecraft” of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s response to President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress, leading him to quietly say “Oh God” as Jindal approached a microphone.

The remark inspired a brief Internet guessing game about who had said it and questions about whether someone at MSNBC was mocking the Republican governor.

Matthews’ barely audible “Oh God” appeared to be a classic case of someone talking on TV without realizing their microphone was on, and potentially embarrassing to a network many Republicans already regard with suspicion because of left-leaning talk shows by Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

“I was taken aback by that peculiar stagecraft, the walking from somewhere in the back of this narrow hall, the winding staircase looming there, the odd antibellum look of the scene,” Matthews said in a script for his “Hardball” show on Wednesday. “Was this some mimicking of a president walking along the state floor to the East Room?”

Matthews said he wasn’t referring to Jindal himself, or anything he expected the governor to say.

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A clip of the “Oh God” remark quickly made the Internet rounds. Before it was known that Matthews had said it, the Huffington Post asked readers to guess who it was and nearly 7,000 people responded: 32 percent had guessed Matthews, 35 percent said it was Olbermann, his co-anchor, 15 percent said it was an MSNBC camera operator and 18 percent thought it was a producer.

It’s not the first time Matthews’ mouth has gotten him noticed for the wrong reasons. He was ridiculed by some Republicans for saying he “felt this thrill going up my leg” during an Obama speech, but later defended the remark as an objective look at Obama’s ability to inspire through his speeches.

After some protests by women’s groups, Matthews said he was wrong last year to say that the reason Hillary Clinton was a senator and candidate for president “is that her husband messed around.”

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