EXCLUSIVE: Matthews Plugged ‘Star Wars’ After Director Gave To Wife’s Campaign

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MSNBC’s Chris Matthews twice promoted “Star Wars” on his show two months after “The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath donated to Kathleen Matthews’ congressional campaign, something Chris Matthews never disclosed.

Chris Matthews is currently facing calls to suspend his show after it was revealed that 48 of Matthews’ guests on “Hardball” had donated $79,050 to his wife’s congressional campaign, sometimes just before or after appearing on the show.

J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath live and work in California — far from the Maryland district Kathleen Matthews is seeking to represent in Congress. They each gave $1,000 to Matthews’ campaign on Oct. 20, 2015, Federal Election Commission records show. Less than two months later, Abrams’ movie premiered in theaters nationwide on Dec. 18. The Monday and Wednesday after the movie’s opening weekend, Chris Matthews went out of his way to work “The Force Awakens” into his show.

On Monday, Dec. 21, Matthews opened his show with a spoof of Star Wars’ iconic opening credits, breaking his show’s title into two words. While a theme song resembling the classic Star Wars intro played in the background, yellow text against a black background told of a Republican “civil war” and “Trump’s appeal to the DARK SIDE of American politics.”

Matthews then began his opening monologue by stating: “The dark side. Anyway, good evening. I’m Chris Matthews in Washington, obviously, coming off what you might call or must call a ‘Star Wars’ weekend.”

He then started talking about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton while a picture of the two flashed onscreen under a “Star Wars” banner.

Two days later, Matthews found another way to plug “Star Wars” in a show about politics.

As “Hardball” headed into a commercial break, Matthews announced he would have “a little fun now” by talking about movies. He added: “And I’m not talking about the long line at ‘Star Wars.’ This is the place for politics.”

But as soon as the commercial break ended, Matthews went right back to discussing Star Wars: “When it comes to Hollywood hits this year, ‘Star Wars’ is the king of the galaxy. The latest episode in the space epic broke records last weekend. And in just days, it’s earned $700 million worldwide. Movies make — $700 million is just beyond anything.”

Once finished heaping praise on “Star Wars,” Matthews pivoted to talk about movies he argued were political in nature. “The Intern,” for example, is a comedy starring Anne Hathaway. But Matthews claimed it was really a movie “about women and the plight they face just trying to make it in a tough world.”

Despite facing calls to suspend his show due to his wife’s campaign, Chris Matthews has remained silent. MSNBC did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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