This week's Mainstream Media Scream features MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews delighting in the revelation from Washington Post's Sally Quinn in her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir, that she put hexes on people.

Interviewing Quinn, the former wife of the late Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, and now a blogger on religion for the newspaper, Matthews cackled: "What I liked is the hexes of course. How can I not like the fact you knocked off some people just by wishing them evil?"

Matthews on the Friday, September 29 Hardball:

"Sally Quinn has always been one of the most frightening people in Washington. Glamorous, yes, I'll give you that -- but when you wrote for the Washington Post, when you went after people like Steve Martindale or what's-his-name, Hamilton Jordan -- they died. You wrote these huge -- I used to read them on the bus, these gigantic takeout pieces in the Washington Post -- when your husband was running the paper, which is a hugely successful paper -- the Washington Post, it crackled with excitement.

"And now you write a book where you say, ‘If you think I was scary as a reporter, I can put a hex on you.' Talk about the spiritual power of wishing someone to die. How's that work? This is a book you got to read because it's the only book I've read about D.C. and the spiritual power that comes alive with a really smart person with strong focus...

"But the parts I liked to read -- I got them in galley form -- what I liked is the hexes of course. How can I not like the fact you knocked off some people just by wishing them evil?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: "No matter how lighthearted Matthews treated the topic, in a time of such political vitriol, how wise is it to laugh about a journalist who boasts about putting deadly hexes on political leaders? Matthews would have been better advised to have played a little hardball with her on Hardball."

Rating: Three out of five screams.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com