‘Hardball’ still set to appear on campus

It seems the University of Miami still wants to play “Hardball” after the show was postponed last November.

“It’s still on the table and we’re working on it,” said Karla Hernandez, associate director of media relations.

Although no dates have been scheduled, negotiations remain underway to bring “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” to campus this spring. University administrators do not know whether a second lottery will be held if the show does appear on campus.

When the Nov. 26 and Nov. 27 tapings were postponed, both e-Veritas and the IbisNews reported that the event was “canceled due to talent scheduling issues at MSNBC.” Hernandez clarified that the event was postponed because of the issues with talent scheduling along with the dates of the event and the hectic schedule at the BankUnited Center.

Rudy Fernandez, the UM vice president of government affairs, said the university was spearheading conversations with the show’s producers, who remain committed to bringing the show to campus in the spring. He added that talent scheduling was the biggest reason for postponement.

“The college tours are unlike the regular show,” he said. “They want to bring very prominent national figures. It’s not just booking the president but also booking Tom Hanks-type celebrities.”

Fernandez also mentioned the snowball effect that comes with bringing political shows to campus.

“UM is a very popular location to host national politically significant events,” he said. “Candidates believe UM is a major player in elections.”

Fernandez said that several media outlets, including FOX News, have contacted the university about potentially hosting events on campus. He believes President Donna E. Shalala welcomes the attention and is aggressive in finding speakers, shows and events to appear at campus.

This is not the first time “Hardball” was set to appear on campus. Matthews broadcasted from the School of Communication in February 2003. His guest was CBS’s Bernard Goldberg, author of the book, “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts News.”

Benjamin Candea may be contacted at b.candea@umiami.edu.

To Know:

“Hardball” is a politically driven show hosted by Chris Matthews. It appears on MSNBC Monday through Friday at 5 and 7 p.m. EST. According to the MSNBC online profile, Matthews has covered events ranging from of the fall of the Berlin Wall to the funeral of Pope John Paul II. He worked in the White House as Jimmy Carter’s speechwriter and later became involved in print journalism at both The San Francisco Examiner and The San Francisco Chronicle. Matthews has also written four best-selling books.