Apparently, Hardball anchor Chris Matthews doesn't watch his own network. On Wednesday, the liberal cable host piously proclaimed that liberals would never compare a conservative to a dictator such as Joseph Stalin: "...People don't do that," he sputtered. However, on February 14, 2012, MSNBC host Martin Bashir outrageously linked Rick Santorum to genocidal murderer Joseph Stalin. [See video of both clips below. MP3 audio here.]
After highlighting a critic who insisted the Republican was straight out of the 13th century, Bashir smeared, "If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III." Yet, according to Matthews on April 18th, "But if you were to say that to a conservative...you're really on a slippery slope to extreme rightism...you're basically over there with Mussolini and Hitler- But people don't do that." Maybe just MSNBC hosts do such things?
Matthews's comments came out of a discussion of Congressman Allen West's claim that there are "communists" within the congressional Democratic delegation.
The anchor complained about "This charge that if you are a liberal...then you're just a slippery slope away from Joe Stalin and the detention camps and the gulag and everything else."
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Yes, because comparing a political leader would be out of bounce...unless you're a MSNBC host sliming a Republican.
A transcript of the April 18 exchange, which aired at 5:08pm EDT, follows:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: What's so interesting is how the right has done this. This charge that if you are a liberal- in other words, you believe in a role for government, mixed capitalism, some government, some private enterprise- then you're just a slippery slope away from Joe Stalin and the detention camps and the gulag and everything else. But if you were to say that to a conservative- in other words, if you're a moderate conservative, then you're really on a slippery slope to extreme rightism and you're over there -- you're basically over there with Mussolini and Hitler. But people don't do that.
DAVID CORN: But people don't do that. And if they did do that, there'd be an uproar for, you know, asking people to- you know, if Hilary Rosen had said something like that, that Mitt Romney's a fascist, then she'd be in even hotter water. But you know, you're right about the slippery slope idea because Mitt Romney doesn't talk this way. But what does he say? He says Barack Obama doesn't understand America. He apologizes for America. He doesn't really believe in America.
MATTHEWS: He's not the home team. He's not the home team.
CORN: He's not the home team.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Right.
MATTHEWS: Don't believe this is going away between now and November.
ROBINSON: Oh, no.
MATTHEWS: I think, on the- we're on the road to a very rough campaign. I don't -- I'm not saying that the Democrats are above doing some rough stuff. But along the road to November, we're going to hear this alienation number on Obama. Maybe not he's a birther, but that will allow for the fact-
ROBINSON: We've been hearing it for four years. We're going to continue hearing it and it's going to intensify.
CORN: He's a secret Muslim. He want born here. And he doesn't get America. He's not one of us, even after being president for four years.