For months, NewsBusters has been alerting readers that the media scrutiny on every word uttered by Republican presidential candidates this election cycle will be like nothing we've ever experienced.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews perfectly demonstrated this on Monday's "Hardball" when he not only took Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to task for mistaking the name of the town John Wayne was born in, he also expressed shocked that she would say "Iowa" fourteen times during a speech given in - wait for it! - Iowa (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Next, Bachmann plays fast and loose with the facts -- again. Here she is in Iowa talking up the state's favorite son, the man known as the Duke, John Wayne.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELE BACHMANN: What I want them to know is just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit I have, too. It's really about not being ashamed of America. It's embracing America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, she almost got it right. Actor John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, about three hours away, though his parents briefly did live in Waterloo, before he was born.
Isn't that terrible? Bachmann mistook Waterloo for Winterset.
To put this in some perspective, as NewsBusters reported last week, President Obama on Thursday said he had literally awarded a Medal of Honor to one Jared Monti, meaning in person while he was alive.
Unfortunately, Monti was bestowed this honor posthumously in 2009 having been killed in Afghanistan three years prior. Obama later apologized to the family for his misstatement.
Despite the seriousness of this gaffe, Matthews has yet to report it. In fact, according to LexisNexis, through Sunday, not one television news network has.
But in Matthews' sickeningly biased world, a Republican presidential candidate mistaking the names of two small towns in Iowa is far more calamitous.
Not done with the Bachmann bashing, the "Hardball" host next took issue with her actually referring to Iowa while speaking in Iowa:
MATTHEWS: Speaking of Bachmann, it’s time for tonight's big number. Besides that John Wayne gaffe, the Congresswoman today left no doubt as to the focus of her campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BACHMANN: It is so great to be here in Iowa…I grew up here in Iowa…This part of Iowa…My Iowa roots…Iowa values...Iowa roots…Iowans…Iowa's…Iowa..Iowa…Iowa… Thank you, Iowa.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MATTHEWS: Wow. Well, all in all, fourteen mentions of Iowa in a short speech. The kickoff, fourteen mentions, tonight's big number.
Short speech? Hardly. It lasted 22 minutes, which means Bachmann referred to Iowa roughly every one a a half minutes.
Imagine that - a political candidate actually repeating numerous times the name of the state she not only grew up in, but was also speaking in front of.
But Americans shouldn't be shocked by this.
As I've been predicting for months, if you thought the behavior of our news media in 2008 was deplorable, what they're going to do in the next roughly year and a half in order to get Obama reelected is going to be like nothing you imagined in your wildest dreams.
Every "i" not dotted and "t" not crossed by a Republican candidate is going to be played over and over again by the current White House resident's press minions.
By contrast, Obama will be able to step over his tongue at will - even claiming a fallen soldier is actually alive - and these same media members will totally ignore it.
What this means is GOPers are going to have to pitch a perfect game every time they're in public, for there are people in the new and old media waiting to record and publish every so-called misstep - even the number of times the name of a state is repeated.
As Bette Davis famously said in "All About Eve," "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."