Having tracked down the video primarily for the novelty of Matthews being civil to Beck, I was taken aback by the transformation of Matthews public politics in the intervening years since the interview. The "sit-down" occurred in November 2003, Glenn Beck was on a tour promoting his book The Real America: Messages from the Heart and Heartland. Beck's appearance on Hardball happened before MSNBC changed its format from news to Progressive Propaganda and before Glenn Beck added a TV show to his radio duties. That what makes the video so interesting.
Glenn Beck was saying similar things back then to what he says today; he talked about the lack of difference between the two major parties, character making a difference,and the people who run partisan politics and the media wanting you to believe that your opinion doesn't matter. Throughout all of these statements, the "Hardball" host was cheering him on interjecting statements such as, "you're great," and "you're amazingly smart."
In other words, Matthews looked as if he had a "man crush" gushing over Beck during the interview for the same kind of statements that provoke his vitriol today (I don't have a DNA test, but I'm sure it's same Chris Matthews). Matthews opinions were left wing at the time but they seemed more moderate than they are today. It seems as if Mr. Hardball may have changed his opinions as MSNBC switched to its all progressive propaganda format. As for Glenn Beck, the interview could have been given today. Headline News and Fox have not made him change his opinions the way MSNBC seems to have changed Matthews.
Although this video was dug up for its novelty value, it teaches us much about the personalities involved. Whether your politics are closer to Chris Matthews' or Glenn Beck's, only one of the two who seems to be taking positions they really believe in. Based on the transformation of the last seven years it is Glenn Beck who really has the courage of his convictions, and it is Chris Matthews who adapts his opinions to please management. Perhaps its that lack of belief in his own opinions that's behind Hardball's low ratings.