We at NewsBusters have been calling MSNBC's Chris Matthews a sycophant for Barack Obama since at least February 2008 when the so-called journalist bragged on the air about getting a thrill up his leg at the sound of the former junior senator from Illinois' voice.
It was therefore quite pleasing to hear former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele tell the Hardball host that to his face Thursday during a contentious exchange about the current White House resident's economics policies and who should be blamed for their failure (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Well, you know, I guess the question is, Michael, whether he can win with the argument, I started in a hole, a real mess I was given here in `88 -- in 2008.
MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
MATTHEWS: This guy wants to basically rerun exactly the same policies of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of the financial sector, getting rid of Glass-Steagall, all that stuff.
MATTHEWS: And my question to you, and it`s a tough one -- give me the profound differences between the presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former president George W. Bush when it comes to economic policy. What`s the difference between the two of them.
STEELE: Chris, that is an irrelevant comparison...
MATTHEWS: Well, not when it`s my question for you.
STEELE: But I`m not answering that question simply because...
MATTHEWS: I know why!
STEELE: ... it`s irrelevant...
MATTHEWS: And everybody watching knows why you won`t answer it.
STEELE: Well, I`m being very honest about it because, again, you`re doing exactly what Obama wants us to do, and you`re a good sycophant for it, and that`s looking backwards.
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s pretty rough!
STEELE: You want this -- you want this...
MATTHEWS: What do you call a guy that refuses to answer a question?
STEELE: Hold on!
MATTHEWS: Is he a sycophant for the other side?
Sycophant for the other side? He's the former RNC chairman. Is he supposed to be a sycophant for Democrats? His role is to present the Republican argument.
Surely at the age of 67 and with all of his years as a so-called journalist, Matthews must understand the way this game is played.
Of course, the mistake Matthews has been making since he dropped all pretense of impartiality after George W. Bush was elected in 2001 is that he no longer acts as a moderator in discussions about politics and the economy.
In my view, his goal since 2001 has been to be a full-time shill for the Left, and he was doing a very fine job of it Thursday:
STEELE: You gave the governor the time. Let me have the time.
MATTHEWS: Yes, but my question...
STEELE: This isn`t about...
MATTHEWS: I preceded his time with a question. I preceded your time with a question. My question to you is, give me the differences between W. and Romney.
STEELE: You give me the differences between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. That`s what this election is about. This is not about George Bush. Why are we talking about George Bush? We`re talking about Barack Obama and his policies that have not created the jobs, that has kept unemployment stagnant, that still has some 10 to 15 million people unemployed, looking for work, who have just given up.
What I heard today -- and the governor`s right. The first part of his speech sounded -- began to set the narrative, but then the latter half or even two thirds of it fell off...
STEELE: ... into this sort of defensive mode...
STEELE: ... and that`s what the people are going to focus on, that split vision between these two candidates running for the presidency of the United States.
STEELE: It has nothing to do with George Bush...
MATTHEWS: Well, here`s my...
MATTHEWS: Let me try one more time. If you bought a house and you discovered it had termites and you found out the electricity didn`t work, and every time you plugged the toaster in, you got a short, and by the way, there was a fire because of the bad electrical system.
STEELE: Right. Right.
MATTHEWS: And everything was wrong with that house. Wouldn`t you blame the guy you bought the house from?
STEELE: Well, yes, and the person...
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s what we`re doing!
STEELE: Right. No, no, no!
MATTHEWS: That`s what we`re doing here!
STEELE: Excuse me! Excuse me!
STEELE: Excuse me! Hold up! There`s a new owner in the house. His name is Barack Obama.
MATTHEWS: ... buying a lemon. Let me go to the governor...
STEELE: I`m sorry!
MATTHEWS: ... I`m just moderating this.
MATTHEWS: I want to ask a question.
STEELE: Are you going to give this analogy...
MATTHEWS: Why bring up W.?
Actually, Matthews' analogy was flawed for several reasons.
First off, the defects in the house were known to the buyer before he bought. They were not deceptively withheld by the previous owner. They were fully disclosed prior to the sale.
Obama spent 21 months telling the American people about all the problems in the economy and how he was going to fix them. It was therefore his job to do so and his failure if he didn't.
As such, the better analogy is a handyman comes to us as the owners of a house with a lot of problems saying that we ought to dump our current handyman and hire him. We fully disclose to him all the various defects and flaws in our residence, and he tells us exactly what he's going to do to fix them, and what it will cost.
So, we fire the old one and hire him.
Four years later, after we've spent far more than he promised we would, the problems still exist and there's a fire because of the shoddy electrical system he's failed to repair.
Are we going to allow him to blame it on the previous handyman? Of course not!
But that's what President Obama is doing now, and shills like Matthews are trying to convince the American people that all the problems that still exist in our "home" are the fault of the previous handyman despite the present one promising to fix them and taking a lot of our money to do so.
Sadder still, Matthews and the rest of the sycophants at MSNBC aren't alone in assisting the president with this shameful deception.
The other so-called news organizations are going to play the same chicanery on the public hoping they'll fall for it hook, line, and sinker.