Why Chris Matthews, anyway?
St. Pete Times columnist Howard Troxler wasn't the first to ask why "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, a Beltway insider, will moderate next week's second gubernatorial debate between Charlie Crist and Jim Davis. Check out Troxler's rant-filled piece here.
Crist media adviser Stuart Stevens asked why the Florida media passively accepts an outsider moderating a crucial face-off between Crist and Davis when, he said, there appear to be abundant Florida journalists with deeper knowledge of the candidates and issues.
The answer is, most of the Florida media had no say in the matter. The Oct. 30 debate, to be broadcast from WFLA-Channel 8 in Tampa, is produced by the NBC stations, and they're eager to showcase their news stars such as Matthews and Tim Russert of Meet the Press in a debate in the nation's biggest battleground state.
As WFLA news director Don North told The Buzz: "They have a huge profile, and in these types of situations, they do a good job. It adds a certain profile to the debates." (WFLA is owned by Media General, which also owns The Tampa Tribune).