-By Warner Todd Huston
The Old Media establishment doesn't seem much interested in the story, but apparently a producer for MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews started a shoving match with a pair of GOP fans who where heckling Matthews over his leg "tingles."
Host Matthews was taping a portion of his show on an outdoor stage next to the Tampa Bay Times Forum the evening Mitt Romney accepted his party's nomination when a pair of hecklers started making fun of Matthews' ill-advised 2008 "tingles" comments.
You may recall Matthews' silly claim in 2008 that Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg, a claim that even the windy Keith Olbermann thought was a bit goofy (When Chris said it, Olbermann sarcastically replied, "steady").
According to witnesses, the two men yelled out, "Hey Chris, how's that tingle up your leg?" Others in the audience were similarly laughing at Matthews when from out of the blue a producer for MSNBC came running up and pushed the two heckling men.
"Then this short dude who works for MSNBC pushed them," said Toby David, who came to the defense of the two hecklers. Another witness, Kim Churchman, added, "One of them was smiling and didn't know it was coming, and the guy just shoved him."
Said David: "He kept pushing them around, so I rolled over there. And the MSNBC guy says, 'You wanna get in trouble too?’ I said: ‘Who are you? A cop? If not, maybe I should make a call and we'll see who's in trouble.' The MSNBC guy was just talking tough."
The MSNBC employee that started the melee identified himself as a producer for Chris Matthews' show but did not give his name.
Imagine if this had been a Fox News employee that began pushing Democrat fans? It would have been front page news, of course. But an MSNBC employee starts accosting people and the media goes deaf and dumb.
Kim Churchman of Tampa also gave The Hollywood Reporter an eyewitness account of the shoving match.