As NewsBusters reported Saturday, George Will this weekend lambasted Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee about separate comments the two have made regarding Barack Obama's background and upbringing.
On Monday, during his fifth day in a row on this subject, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually compared Will's column to William F. Buckley Jr. banning anti-Semitic writers from the National Review in the '50s (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this very important column by George F. Will this weekend. I count it a milestone in conservative positioning. I compare it to the position William F. Buckley Jr. took back in the 1950s against anti-Semitism. As the great Sam Tanenhaus once wrote, “American conservatism then bore its taint of anti-Semitism, and Bill Buckley read that point of view right out of the conservative movement. He cleaned it up from that bit of bad thinking and bad feeling.”
Well this Sunday, in his widely syndicated newspaper column, George F. Will read a different kind of talk out of the presidential selection process for 2012. He heard the words of Mike Huckabee on AM radio last Monday, heard Huckabee echoing and enlarging a canard thrown by Newt Gingrich and dumped the pair of them from the list of plausible candidates. What Huckabee did, and let’s not let this not be covered over in meandering talk, was pander to a radio talk show host who had just asked him what he thought of the President not being able to show any record of who he is. No health records, no college records, no birth certificate. In other words, a fictitious character figure pretending to have been born and grown up in Hawaii to have gone to Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law. In short, an imposter. Some extraordinary case of identity theft. A product of some outrageously bold plot to get a kid, a black American or black African and white American parents named Barack Hussein Obama elected president a half century later.
What was Huckabee’s response to what George Will calls this paranoia? Quote, “I would love to know more,” Huckabee agreed, as if this talk show guy of wild conspiracy theories might be on to something here. “What I know is troubling enough,” Huckabee said, eager to add to the wild speculation. “And one thing I do know is that his having grown up in Kenya, his perspective as growing up in Kenya, with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau revolution in Kenya is very different than ours.”
Well our president never spent a day of his youth in Kenya or anywhere else in Africa. Huckabee knew that, he actually says he knew that. He knew, too, that all this talk about Mau Maus and Kenya would sell with the haters and he was dishing it out to them until he got caught. Newt Gingrich is the guy he apparently got this stuff from. Gingrich calls it a predictive model of what President Obama will do on any given issue. Newt knew he didn't grow up in Kenya. So did Huckabee. He told us he knew it. So why did he get caught telling us this story?
Well, George F. Will should be commended for knowing precisely why he did. He’s removing from the conservative movement or at least a presidential candidate level of it for the same good reasons why Bill Buckley bounced that crowd back in the 1950s, because it doesn't make the rest of the movement look so good to be clowning around with these guys.
For those unfamiliar with this issue, when Buckley was the editor of the American Mercury, he left as a result of what he felt were the magazine's anti-Semitic tendencies. After starting National Review a few years later in 1955, he banned anti-Semitic writers from the publication while going on a personal mission to eliminate such malevolent ideas from the conservative movement.
To compare this to Will calling out Gingrich and Huckabee's views of one man is an insult to Jews all around this country.
No matter what Matthews thinks of the current White House resident, he is indeed one man. Gingrich and Huckabee are entitled to their opinions of this man which, contrary to what Matthews and other pathetic so-called journalists routinely claim, are not borne of racism.
What the "Hardball" host has continually missed in the past five business days as he's focused so much attention on this issue - he once again began and ended his program excoriating Gingrich and Huckabee - is that the concepts they've both addressed regarding Obama's worldview were first offered by Dinesh D'Souza in a Forbes article published last September.
As such, what they are saying is nothing new, and really shouldn't be getting this kind of attention. Matthews likely wouldn't care at all about Gingrich and Huckabee if they weren't amongst the front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination.
It is a metaphysical certitude this matter wouldn't have come up at all let alone been the focus of five "Hardballs" in a row if neither of these conservatives was considering running for president. But Matthews is on a mission to assassinate every possible Republican candidate, and Will's column has for the time being made that easier.
For Will's part, if he disagrees with Gingrich and Huckabee, he's entitled to offer his opinion which I myself found enlightening enough to share with my readers.
As I wrote Saturday, I agree with Will that candidates focusing on Obama's upbringing and background rather than his policies not only distracts from the issues, but is also likely to turn off independent voters that are far more concerned with high unemployment, high gas prices, high food prices, exploding debt, and violence spreading throughout Africa and the Middle East threatening our national security.
But does that make Will's column as historic as Buckley banning anti-Semitic writers from his magazine which I myself have had the great honor of contributing to?
Hardly, and the mere suggestion is offensive.
I'd say that Matthews and his bosses should be ashamed of themselves for making such a comparison, but that seems futile.
The folks at MSNBC are as far in the tank for Obama and the Democrats as any major news outlet in this country, and are therefore beyond shame.
Makes me wonder why I'm part of an industry with so little integrity and such low professional standards.