The Churchillian side of Chris Matthews will be revealed on Oct. 25.

Media criticism.
Oct. 18 2007 7:26 PM

The Churchillian Side of Chris Matthews

To be revealed on Oct. 25 at an awards ceremony.

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Just like Churchill.

Matthews is no stranger to the Churchill Centre, having served as master of ceremonies at its 2005 in Chicago, when the Reves Award went to Tom Brokaw [ PDF ]. That night, Matthews proved once again that he'll say anything to please a crowd by calling Brokaw "perhaps the most accomplished journalist of our time." Brokaw is OK, but if an accurate roster of the top 500 of journalists of our time exists, he's not even on the waiting list.

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But journalism awards given by outfits like the Churchill Centre aren't meant to compete with the Pulitzer Prizes. They're fund-raisers, and they exist to sell enough tax-deductible tickets to support the nonprofit's various programs. According to the Churchill Centre's IRS Form 990s for 2005 and 2006, available through Guidestar.org, the 2005 awards ceremony honoring Brokaw was a smash, netting the organization about $175,000.

It's just a show, and you're not expected to believe anything you hear there. Sort of like Chris Matthews' Hardball.

Addendum: Watch Jon Stewart blister Matthews on the Daily Show.

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Chris Matthews' official bio states that he won the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism in 2004. Except for learning (via Nexis) Bernard Shaw has won the award and that Barry University has given it out, I know practically nothing about it. Fill me in with e-mail to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum, in a future article, or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.