Matthews: Clinton the Perfect 'Music Man' Con Artist

Salesman on train: How far you going, friend?
Harold Hill: Wherever the people are as green as the money, friend. -- The Music Man, 1962
Among the many gaps in my knowledge is a broad unfamiliarity with Broadway musicals. So when Chris Matthews said that Bill Clinton would make a perfect Harold Hill in The Music Man, I scampered Googleward and discovered that the Hardball host had just called the former President of the United States . . . a con man. Appearing on today's Morning Joe, what set Matthews off was footage of Clinton slickly making the case to an Indiana crowd yesterday that Hillary is the only Dem who can win in November.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's not get into Cloud Nine here and start thinking the way Bill Clinton wants your mind to think.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: But, but, but, but --
MATTHEWS: That was delusionary that speech, yesterday.
It was a bit later that Chris made his Music Man analogy.
MATTHEWS: Let's remake the Music Man, I think I've got a great guy to play him, Harold Hill. Let's, I'm serious, I'm dead serious. Meredith Willson's been waiting for this guy to come along for years. He'd be perfect as the Music Man.
Later, Matthews dropped a reference to one of Bill's most famous fudgings of the truth.
MATTHEWS: The problem Mika is that the Clinton campaign has been very successful in convincing some people that the way to be even-handed in our coverage is to call this race even. That's not objective journalism: this race is not even. One candidate is ahead, the other is clearly behind. One has to do something dramatic to change it. Perhaps it's to change the definition of 'is'.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, uh, OK, OK, hehe, uh, I get what you're saying. But let me, let me show you something here that may, I don't know, may sway you here a little bit, because the polls--

MATTHEWS: Quoting Bill Clinton is not a route to finding objective truth.
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.