Chris Matthews is quite proud of penning all the work that’s published under his name. Matthews bristles at the very question of whether he might not have written every sentence of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, as posed by Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici.
Kennedy won a Pulitzer for the book even though he farmed out most of the actual writing to an uncredited co-author, his aide Ted Sorensen. Did Matthews have a Sorensen of his own, I wonder?
Matthews’ genial, boyish face darkens. “Forget you,” he says.
(Only he doesn’t say “forget you.” Both Matthews and my editor asked me not to print what he actually said, so I rely here on my readers’ familiarity with both the original and radio versions of a certain Cee-Lo Green song.)
He continues on at length: “Why do you think I’m like that? It’s amazing to me that you think I’m some lightweight, glib bullshit artist that has somebody do his work for him. The writing is the hard part, the composition.”
We feel you (especially on that last bit), Chris. But to borrow from another writer who might not have done all his own work: The gentleman doth protest too much?