Satire Goes Over Chris Matthews' Head

Chris Matthews, on Monday's "Hardball," ridiculed Republican Congressman Wally Herger, for calling a townhaller a "Great American," because the questioner described himself as a "right wing terrorist." Since satire seems to be above Chris Matthews' head he failed to realize the townhaller was probably mocking those in the liberal media, like the Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein, who actually called Republicans "terrorists."

An appalled Matthews argued the Congressman's praise of the man could lead to trouble:

MATTHEWS: Next up, here's one from Republican Congressman Wally Herger of California. At his town hall meeting some guy yelled out, bragging that he was quote, "A proud right wing terrorist." To which the Congressman responded, "Amen. God bless ya! Now there's a great American." A great American. A guy who thinks it's okay, in this day and age, to call himself a right wing terrorist. This is the dangerous edge, in which these people, including some elected officials are now dancing. We've been here before. Words lead to actions, words create the national mood, the mood creates a license. People take that license and use it. I'm not spelling it out any further because I don't want to.

The following outbursts were aired on the August 24 edition of "Hardball":

CHRIS MATTHEWS: And can you imagine a U.S. congressman responding to an audience member who called himself a quote, "Proud right wing terrorist," by saying, "Amen, God bless you. Now there's a great American?" Well it happened and we'll tell you who said it in the "Hardball Sideshow" tonight.

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MATTHEWS: Up next a U.S. congressman calls a self-described – you'll love this – "right wing terrorist" a "great American." That's his reaction. That profile in courage coming up in the "Sideshow." By the way the "Sideshow," is getting very well-named these days by the behavior by the wingnuts. You're watching "Hardball," only on MSNBC.

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MATTHEWS: Next up, here's one from Republican Congressman Wally Herger of California. At his town hall meeting some guy yelled out, bragging that he was quote, "A proud right wing terrorist." To which the Congressman responded, "Amen. God bless ya! Now there's a great American." A great American. A guy who thinks it's okay, in this day and age, to call himself a right wing terrorist. This is the dangerous edge, in which these people, including some elected officials are now dancing. We've been here before. Words lead to actions, words create the national mood, the mood creates a license. People take that license and use it. I'm not spelling it out any further because I don't want to.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.