Oz Backwards: Matthews Tells Matt 'Look Behind Curtain' for McCain Support

If you put stock in the actual results of the Memphis GOP straw poll, you've got things . . . Oz backwards. At least, that's Chris Matthews' view.

In Dorothy's adventure, the Wizard cautioned us to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." But this morning, Chris Matthews told us that the way to understand what happened in Memphis was to do just that - look behind the curtain at the Republican heavy-hitters lining up behind John McCain.

Interviewed by Matt Lauer on this morning's Today show, Matthews claimed:

"The big thing for McCain is the strength he showed not in the straw vote [where he finished at the bottom of the pack] but among powerful people. [Haley] Barbour, Lindsey Graham, Trent Lott and [J.C.] Watts all talked up McCain. I think McCain is building up strength."

Lauer: "Don't pay any attention to the standings over the weekend?"

Mathews: "No, look at who is behind the curtain."

As earlier asked here, is this reliable tea-leaf reading, or an attempt by Matthews and his MSM confreres to put a happy face on a disappointing performance by McCain?

Credit Matthews too with the morning's laugh line. Alluding to the way straw poll winner Bill Frist transported his supporters to the poll, Matthews quipped: "Republicans believe in busing!"

Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY. 'Right Angle', the TV show he hosts, was recently named 'Best of the Best' among public-access shows in his area. Contact him at: mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.