In the aftermath of Megyn Kelly's tough interview with Dick Cheney, the Fox News Channel anchor has received praise from some unusual sources. One of these was Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball weekday program, who said the host of the weeknight Kelly File show was “great” when she threw some hardballs of her own at the former vice president over his role in the Iraq War more than a decade ago.
Also approving Kelly's behavior during the interview was faux conservative Stephen Colbert, who “defended” her questions, including her quoting a leftist blogger and asking: “With almost $1 trillion spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”
Matthews made his comments during an appearance on Friday's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, when he bluntly called the former vice president “awful” because he violated “a protocol in this country that when you left office after your eight years in the White House as vice president, you left town.”
The Hardball host declared that Kelly was “great” when she stood up to Cheney, as well as when she “stood up to Karl Rove on Election Night,” when his prediction of the outcome in the 2012 presidential contest was wrong. “She keeps earning her spurs as a journalist.”
Scarborough then challenged Matthews by stating that other former occupants of the White House, such as Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, returned to the spotlight while promoting charities or disaster relief.
“There was a decent interval” between serving as president and remaining in the public eye, the liberal host responded. “This guy hasn't been decent.”
Also chiming in on the Kelly interview was Stephen Colbert, faux-onservative host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Channel late at night during the week. He began the segment by stating:
I've told you all about the recent surge of violence in Iraq. But you know what they say: “Every brutal terrorist onslaught has a silver lining.”
In this case, it's brought back my old pals, the “Iraq Pack,” and they are singing the same old tunes.
Next came a clip of Paul Wolfowitz, secretary of defense during the George W. Bush administration, stating: “We should have found a way to keep an American presence” in Iraq.
“President Bush did exactly the right thing in overthrowing Saddam Hussein,” stated John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “I'm not responsible for Iraq today. That's because of what Barack Obama did.”
Finally, GOP senator John McCain declared: “General Petraeus had the conflict won thanks to the surge, and we had a stable government,” which Colbert called a “peaceful, smoldering democracy.”
Nevertheless, “it's especially nice to see the return of the leader of the Iraq Pack, “Old Dead Eyes [Cheney],” who “crawled out from under his undisclosed rock” to “point an icy finger of truth at Barack Obama.”
Colbert said that in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Cheney wrote: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”
“Yes, rarely,” Colbert agreed before inferring that it also might have happened in George W. Bush's presidency.
“Of course, the liberal media went right after him, especially 'left-wing loon' Megyn Kelly.”
He then played a segment in which the Fox News Channel anchor noted:
Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong … on Iraq, Sir. You said there were no doubts that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators.
You said that the Iraq insurgency was in the last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to “rethink their strategy of jihad.”
“Now, with almost $1 trillion spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there,” she continued, “what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”
Cheney replied: “I fundamentally disagree, Reagan—Megyn,” a stumble Colbert said “was no mistake. As a true conservative, every sentence has to contain at least one 'Reagan.'"
“And he just fundamentally disagrees with reality,” the host continued.
The former vice president then said: “You've got to go back and look at the track record. We inherited a situation where there was no doubt in anybody's mind about the extent of Saddam's involvement in weapons of mass destruction.”
“Yes, there was no doubt, but we did the right thing and invaded anyway,” Colbert responded before asserting that it takes a lot of guts “to blame the outcome of a war you started on the man who ended it.”
Let's hope praising someone on the other side of the political aisle for doing a good job will continue so that liberals who cover Obama and vice president Joe Biden will earn the same kind of praise from conservative Republicans.