MSNBC's Matthews Portrays General Dissed by Sen. Boxer as 'Political Sideshow'

<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=ydaGQuZuZu&amp;c1=0xCE4717&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=ydaGQuZuZu&amp;c1=0xCE4717&... allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>U.S. Army Brigadier General Michael Walsh &quot;learned his lesson the hard way&quot; by crossing a <a href="http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/06/18/boxer-scolds-army-gene... target="_blank">very testy Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)</a> in testimony before a Senate committee yesterday, according to MSNBC's Chris Matthews. [audio <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/06/2009-06-18-MSNBC-HA... target="_blank">available here</a>]<p>Walsh's grave transgression: calling the senator, &quot;ma'am.&quot; For that, the &quot;Hardball&quot; host treated Walsh as part of the day's &quot;political sideshow,&quot; literally, in his June 18 program:</p><blockquote><p>Sen. BARBARA BOXER: Do me a favor. Could you say, &quot;Senator,&quot; instead of &quot;Ma'am&quot;? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title. So I'd appreciate it. Yes, thank you.  </p><p>Brig. Gen. WALSH: Yes, Senator.</p><p>CHRIS MATTHEWS: She sure did, she's been elected three times, by the way. So I guess the question is this: Had he said &quot;sir&quot; to a male senator, would that senator be correct in correcting the general? There is a history, however, and let us not forget, of male-female condescension in the U.S. Senate. Just recall the Anita Hill testimony of not too long ago. </p><!--break--><p>MATTHEWS: That just might encourage a woman senator to insist on the title, senator. That being said, an Army spokesman later today says &quot;sir, ma'am, or senator&quot; are all deemed appropriate under the protocol when addressing a U.S. Senator. That's their story.</p></blockquote><p>So let's get this straight, Boxer, thrice elected and who doubtlessly worked hard to get where she is in politics, is more deserving of respect than a U.S. Army officer who was treating Boxer respectfully and has himself doubtlessly worked hard to achieve what he has in the U.S. military?</p><p>General Walsh was addressing the senator in a manner prescribed by protocol, as doubtless he'd been previously instructed on the proper protocol for U.S. Senate testimony, yet to Matthews, that's simply the Army's &quot;story&quot;, even as Matthews fabricates from whole cloth an excuse for Boxer's boorishness.</p><p>It seems like Chris Matthews is the real sideshow here. </p>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters