THE LIVE taping of "Hardball with Chris Matthews" on Independence Mall yesterday was billed as a roundtable discussion on education, but turned into yet another Weiner roast.
Matthews, with a black Phillies cap on his head, hosted the show from his hometown as part of NBC's "Education Nation On the Road" tour.
Toward the end, Mayor Nutter and his wife, Lisa, president of Philadelphia Academies, spoke briefly about the struggle to get the community to reinvest in public education and prepare students for a changing job market.
Nutter mentioned that the school district has to do more to help students go to college and gain skill sets to help them compete in a "green economy," in which more jobs are focused on environmentally sustainable alternatives to older industrial trades.
"There are new job opportunities in this green economy that you can in fact go and get a job," Nutter said. "We need to invest in our young people just like we would invest in our businesses."
Before the Nutters' segment, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and Montgomery County Commissioner James Matthews - Chris Matthews' brother - spoke briefly about public education and other issues.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson were also guests, but mostly discussed whether U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., may have addiction issues, or should resign over his lewd tweeting.
During the taping, students with the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools stood in the crowd holding signs blaming the school district for creating what they called a classroom-to-prison pipeline.
They complained that discussions surrounding a mountain of problems the district is faced with, and the NBC initiative itself, seem to lack input from public-school students.
Matthews ended the show by soliciting comments from teens in the audience.
"What we really want to see is actually young people having a spot in this conversation," said Azeem Hill, 17, a senior at West Philadelphia High School.
"They keep telling us what is supposed to happen, but we know what happens best."