MSNBC's Chris Matthews's ratings lag far behind those of his competition, Fox News' Glenn Beck, on a regular basis. So is he perhaps trying to become the anti-Glenn Beck to bolster his stature in the cable news world?
On MSNBC's June 9 "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Matthews commented on the Gadsden flag, as if it represented an attitude that viewed the federal government as a occupying force, comparable to pre-Revolutionary War America.
"You know that Gadsden flag, the ‘Don't Tread on Me Flag' with a rattlesnake is so important," Matthews said. "They believe, a lot of people in the right - that the federal government has replaced the British as the occupying force in North America and they have to be ready to fight it. It's serious business."
But the scary thing, according to Matthews, is these people he has caricatured have guns.
"Some have the guns, some don't," Matthews said. "Some have the Tea Party aspect. But it's always that flag, ‘Don't Tread on Me.' They believe Washington is London."
And while it has been documented that the media have repeatedly - and unsuccessfully - tried to correlate violence with the Tea Party movement, Matthews continued to play the "scary business" card - that this movement was trying to circumvent the role of the Supreme Court as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.
"The scary part of this is, do they really believe in self-government in the end - self-government?" Matthews said. "Or is the government always going to be the enemy? And the other scary part is the Supreme Court doesn't get the right to determine what's constitutional. They do. And they've got guns. Serious business."