“Hardball” host Chris Matthews is obsessed with the intricacies of politics. Polling, optics, strategy, whatever — he’s on it.

Gay Talese is obsessed, as his latest New Yorker article confirms, with oddballs.

These diverging interests explain one awkward moment Tuesday night on MSNBC. It started with Matthews chatting with Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) about the particulars of the primary votes in New York. Israel offered some detailed political analysis based on New York state demographics and electoral projections. There was discussion of how well Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would perform in the Hudson Valley, for example. Then Matthews turned to Talese with this question: “Let me go to Gay Talese, one of my heroes. You know, we just had Jeff Weaver here. He’s one tough, rootin’-tootin’ campaign manager, and he says things like Hillary Clinton sold her soul to the devil. . . . They go after Hillary Clinton for taking speech money. They say she’s basically on the take. How do you reunite come Philadelphia in July, when they’re supposed to get together and hold each other’s hands in the air when you’ve said that kind of stuff?”

Talese, who was introduced as a Sanders supporter, replied, “Well, I think — you had me on the show, but I don’t why you had me on the show.”

“Because you’re Gay Talese,” quipped Matthews.

“Yeah, but I’m not a political junkie,” said Talese.

So Talese didn’t answer the question about convention unity. Matthews turned the discussion to New York culture. Talese didn’t balk at that one.