Chris Matthews' New Thrill: Host Hyperbolically Compares Valerie Plame Movie to 'Casablanca'

Hardball host Chris Matthews on Monday rhapsodized over Fair Game, the new Sean Penn movie about the Valerie Plame scandal, even going so far as to compare the film to the classic Casablanca.

In a closing commentary on the lefty movie, Matthews enthused, "This is one fine movie. While there will never be another Casablanca, Fair Game is perfect for our murky time." Matthews, who interviewed Plame's husband, Joe Wilson, earlier in the show, showcased the movie as a bold truth teller.

Casablanca was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest film ever. One wonders if Matthews seriously thinks Fair Game is worthy of such a connection.

Switching into film critic mode, he gushed, "Want to understand Iraq and how we got there? Want a real look at the Bush White House and how they got us there? Want to see on the big screen what our nightly fights here are all about? Go see this movie."

Video after the break.

The Hardball host touted the real life Plame as a "hero." In his editorial and in the interview with Wilson, Matthews mostly ignored the film's inaccuracies and showcased it as fact. (See The Daily Caller for a breakdown of five of the film's myths.)

Barely able to contain himself, Matthews rambled on about the movie's virtues: "And then the crushing waterfall of betrayal. The decision by war hawks in this country, the neo-con crowd holed up in the White House bunker who wanted to protect the case they'd built for the Iraq war, that whole PR campaign they'd ram-rodded out of the White House and the country's op-ed pages that ran roughshod over good journalism and all the other obstacles we need if skepticism and eventually truth is ever to survive the onslaught of propaganda, especially the war-whooping kind that was embraced by this country's establishment after 9/11."

A transcript of the November 9 segment, which aired at 5:58pm EST, follows:


CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with a stirring movie I saw last night. I had heard of the first-rate script, the masterful performances by the leads, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. What I was not prepared for in Fair Game was the story itself, the wondrous dramatic courage of it all. The movie opens with this preternaturally gutsy CIA agent out in the world of terror, trying to stop the spread of nuclear weapons from getting into dangerous hands. I was simply overwhelmed by the sheer guts of Naomi Watts' character, anyone would be, especially in America and especially someone who has children like we do, young adults and thinking how inspiring this must to be them, to have this pull to go out there and risk all for your country like this young woman did. The real-life Valerie Plame Wilson is the true hero of this saga. Her career fighting the dangers facing us, her discipline in keeping it secret, her readiness to honor a loving marriage in the face of it all. And then the crushing waterfall of betrayal. The decision by war hawks in this country, the neo-con crowd holed up in the White House bunker who wanted to protect the case they'd built for the Iraq war, that whole PR campaign they'd ram-rodded out of the White House and the country's op-ed pages that ran roughshod over good journalism and all the other obstacles we need if skepticism and eventually truth is ever to survive the onslaught of propaganda, especially the war-whooping kind that was embraced by this country's establishment after 9/11. This is one fine movie. While there will never be another Casablanca, Fair Game is perfect for our murky time. It's the great story of two people caught up in a dirty, ruthless campaign to justify a war that most Americans can see now was never justified either by fact or the fiction ordered up to sell it. Want to understand Iraq and how we got there? Want a real look at the Bush White House and how they got us there? Want to see on the big screen what our nightly fights here are all about? Go see this movie.

 

— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

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