Matthews: 'Liberal Media' Going Soft on 'Crazy' Huckabee

According to MSNBC host Chris Matthews, 2008 Republican candidate Mike Huckabee has been given "the biggest free ride from the liberal media that I have ever seen in my life." Appearing on Monday's edition of "Morning Joe," the "Hardball" anchor speculated that left-wingers would enjoy seeing the GOP "chaos" that a Huckabee victory in Iowa would produce and, as a result, are ignoring the Republican's "crazy" views on gun control. Matthews derided as "black helicopter stuff," the former Arkansas governor's assertion that owning a gun gives Americans the ability to fight tyranny. "It sounds crazy," he told "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough.

It's interesting to note that it wasn't Huckabee's position on taxes or immigration, which have been attacked as liberal by other conservatives, that Matthews objected to. The "Hardball" host lamented that a "sophisticated" media is allowing the '08 contender's position on guns to fly "under the radar." When Scarborough protested that conservatives view gun rights as meaning more just hunting, Matthews dismissively replied, "You really believe the only thing protecting you from the federal government coming into your neighborhood with helicopters and seizing you is your guns?" He then condescendingly claimed that the Founding Fathers designed the Second Amendment only for fighting the British and added, "I hate to tell you that the United States government is our government now."

Also during the segment, Scarborough mentioned GOP contender Fred Thompson and his recent appearance on Fox News. The ex-senator scolded FNC for constantly criticizing him. Scarborough marveled, "Attacking Fox in a Republican primary! It's like going to a Olbermann show and attacking Olbermann if you're a Democrat!" So, in the space of one segment, it appears as though Matthews and Scarborough admitted the existence of a liberal media and also the friendly reception that Democrats receive from Keith Olbermann.

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:41am on November 26, follows:

WILLIE GEIST: Hey, Chris. It's Willie. We were watching Fox News yesterday and Fred Thompson goes in, basically talking to his base on Fox News's air. I want to show you this clip and get your reaction to it.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay. All right.

["Fox News Sunday" clip]

FORMER SENATOR FRED THOMPSON: This is been a constant mantra of Fox, to tell you the truth. And I saw the promo for this bill and I think it was kind of-- for this show, and it was kind of featuring the New Hampshire poll. Let's put things in context a little built to start with.

CHRIS WALLACE: I don't -- I mean -- I don't know that Fox has been going after you. And I certainly don't think Charles Krauthammer and Fred Barnes --

THOMPSON: From, from, from day one, they said I got in too late. I couldn't do it.

WALLACE: A lot of people besides Fox have said that.

[Clip ends]

GEIST: Chris, doesn't look like a smart play from where we're sitting. What's your reaction?

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Attacking Fox in a Republican primary! It's like going to a Olbermann show and attacking Olbermann if you're a Democrat!

MATTHEWS: It's certainly, it's certainly a new message for the world that Fox is isn't pro-Republican enough. Well, I don't know. It seems to me that Fred is an honest guy and he's in the media. And he knows that we're all human beings and that there are all kinds of bias and games going on. Is he accusing Fox of backing Rudy? Is that what he's saying? What is the real story here? What are they up to?

SCARBOROUGH: He's just saying that they're overly negative. And I think that's the underlying current. Maybe taking it from Judith Regan's lawsuit and people have accused Hannity of being in Giuliani's back pocket. I think that's the underlying current here--

MATTHEWS: Yeah. I like that. I like the way you talk. Let's talk dirty here. Let's talk about the way that people are really talking which is Fred Thompson is not doing well in this campaign. He's tired of picking up the newspaper and reading that he's slow and tired an lazy and, you know, he belongs in a La-Z-Boy recliner and-- you know-- [Laughs]

Mika Brzezinski: He just can't seem to pull himself out of that type of coverage. I mean, every time he goes on, it doesn't get better. And I'm not sure why and I'm not sure if it's fair.

MATTHEWS: Yeah, well maybe-- I always thought, you know, he'd make a perfect running mate for Rudy. So, I don't know how this thing is going to end up. I mean, Rudy desperately, if he pulls this thing off, is desperately going to need a southern boy from the Bible Belt, somebody that can do what he can't do, which is go around the south and in that part of the country that's very religious and be the straight arrow, but--

SCARBOROUGH: What about Huckabee, who Novak just goes after?

MATTHEWS: I think Huckabee has got the biggest free ride from the liberal media that I have ever seen in my life. I mean, you want to get into conspiracy theories. I mean, why is everybody who is liberal pushing Huckabee? Give me a break.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, why is everybody who is liberal pushing-

MATTHEWS: Because it creates complete chaos in the Republican Party. If he wins in Iowa, what does that tell you about anything? He's not going to win the nomination. It's going to tell you that people have rejected Romney and selected some guy who's a country boy, who's the purest of the pure seed, the absolute Second Amendment guy. I mean, have you heard what he says about the Second Amendment? He doesn't say keep a gun so you can be a sportsman. He doesn't say keep a gun to protect yourself. He doesn't say keep a gun to protect yourself. He says you need guns to protect you from your government. If you don't have a gun, then all your other rights are no longer inalienable. They can be taken from you at a moment, so you need to have guns to fight tyranny. This is the black helicopter stuff and he's selling that out there and it's under the radar. And the media is sophisticated --

SCARBOROUGH: Hell, Chris that's not under the radar. I haven't heard a southern conservative not say that over the past 20, 30 years.

MATTHEWS: It's-- But-- I'm sorry, it sounds crazy. It makes -- You really believe the only thing protecting you from the federal government coming into your neighborhood with helicopters and seizing you is your guns?

SCARBOROUGH: Well, Chris, what conservatives would tell you is that the Second Amendment wasn't drafted for duck hunting and that's the point that people like Mike Huckabee have always said.

MATTHEWS: Yeah, it was drafted because we were fighting the British. I hate to tell you, that the United States government is our government now. Conditions have changed.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org