Matthews, Who Once Compared Tea Party to the Muslim Brotherhood, Now Admits Group 'Has a Point'

Chris Matthews, who has repeatedly denounced the "hateful" Tea Partiers and once compared them to the Muslim Brotherhood, admitted on Thursday that the conservative protesters have "a point." The admission came during an attempt to suggest that both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have failings. [MP3 audio here.]

The Hardball host conceded, "I may surprise some people with this, but both of the movements, right as well as left, had a point, a good point to make. Both of them. Government is spending too much money. If you mean it's spending more than people are willing to finance in taxes." Could it be that Matthews is souring on the Occupy crowd, now that there are reports of defecating on cars and rapes?

Matthews didn't directly address the crime part of the OWS protests. Instead, he chastised, "But, even as the occupiers are being pushed from their encampments, they fail to speak out in clear terms about what they want done and that is deadly. That is a deadly failure. Demonstrators need most of all to demonstrate, tell us what we need to do."

He did make sure to suggest that they are "right" in their frustration of Wall Street.

Speaking of the federal government, Matthews surprisingly allowed, "It's spending 25 percent of our economy. Taxing just 15 percent. It would seem to most people that that 25 number we spend is almost, almost as out of whack as the 15 percent in taxes."

The anchor made sure to attack the Tea Party for just being "against" things, a constant refrain.

But, on February 1, 2011, he compared the conservative group to terrorists: "So, the Muslim Brotherhood has a parallel role here with the Tea Party, they're the ones who keep you honest and decide whether you've stayed too long?"

On May 16, 2011, Matthews frothed that the Tea Party were "haters," doing so ten times in under two minutes.

So, his new tone is apparently an attempt at a "plague on both your houses" critique. Of course, one side is constantly threatening violence, dealing with rapes and public defecation and one side isn't.

A transcript of the November 17 segment, which aired at 5:57pm EST, follows:


CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this: We're looking now at what appears to be the exasperation of the country's most alive political movements. The Tea Party and Occupy Wall street. Exasperation. It's when a felt need, a passion even fails to be satisfied. It's when you want something and can't get it. Like in the song. Can't get no- can't get no- satisfaction. But, I'm speaking here with dead seriousness about forces that appear to be deadly serious. The one on the right that gained tremendous and proven force the summer before last and then in the fall elections a year ago and the Occupy Wall Street movement that has replicated itself across the country. One movement, the Tea Party, stands today as totally, are you listening to this, incapable, incompetent I would say in selecting a leader, someone fit to run for president. They ain't got one. No, no, no. They ain't got one. They looked at Trump, yes Trump, and Bachmann, Perry, and Cain and they're dallying with Newt. Not a real leader in sit. In fact, if you look across the months to the summer of last year they never have and that tells you something about the negativity of their cause.

They are against and that is not enough to lead this country. The Occupy Wall Street movement has had a different failure. In some way worse, in some way not. They can't come up with a clear voice, a clear statement that put the focus where it belongs. Wall Street. Well, that's where they've been right. They've been in sync with the country on where to go. They put the blame on Wall Street. More to the point, to the clout Wall Street has in our government down in Washington.

But, even as the occupiers are being pushed from their encampments, they fail to speak out in clear terms about what they want done and that is deadly. That is a deadly failure. Demonstrators need most of all to demonstrate, tell us what we need to do. I may surprise some people with this, but both of the movements, right as well as left, had a point, a good point to make. Both of them. Government is spending too much money. If you mean it's spending more than people are willing to finance in taxes. It's spending 25 percent of our economy. Taxing just 15 percent. It would seem to most people that that 25 number we spend is almost, almost as out of whack as the 15 percent in taxes. Occupy certainly has a great point to make. Both parties rely too much on Wall Street for their money and he who pays the piper, calls the tune. But exasperation isn't enough to fix our problems. That's what politicians are supposed to do. We've got an election coming up to force that one, to force them to do what we want them to do- lead us.

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