'Hardball's' Matthews Backtracks on Clinton Comment

With cable TV and radio airwaves becoming more crowded with political pundits and personalities in recent years, some commentators may feel the need to make more outrageous statements to stand apart from the crowd.

"They know the mileage that making a provocative comment will get them, whether they want the mileage or end up having to apologize for it," said Ariens.

"Matthews will continue to say controversial things that get people talking and engaged in a larger discussion -- but I do think he sometimes forgets when he speaks," Ariens said. "It's not uncommon for other commentators to do that, on the left or the right or the middle, but Matthews is in a unique position because he has an hour every night and guests frequently on other shows, and is on air over the weekends."

Even women's rights advocates Gandy and Giessen, who acknowledge Matthews apology last night as a "victory for all women," aren't expecting Matthews to turn over a new leaf.

"We weren't really looking for an apology, we were looking for a behavior change," NOW's Gandy told ABCNEWS.com. "We'll have to wait and see if we'll get what we want. He's a repeat offender, so I'm not sure how much he'll change."

"We're going to take Matthews at his word," said Giessen. "But we're going to continue to monitor him and frankly all of the media in terms of their treatment of women. And if [Matthews] doesn't change, we'll go after him."

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