Chris Matthews's Pop Culture Fail: Santorum Fighting ObamaCare Is Like Snoopy Vs. the 'Red Dragon'

 

For someone who loves to make pop culture references, Chris Matthews can't seem to get them right. On Friday night, the Hardball host sneered at Rick Santorum comparing his fight against ObamaCare to Nelson Mandela's struggle against apartheid. A cocky Matthews derided, "That's like Snoopy fighting the Red Dragon." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] As any Peanuts fan will tell you, Snoopy fought the Red Baron.

On March 28, 2013, the MSNBC anchor mocked pro-Second Amendment voices as just like Nazis. He compared, "You know that scene in Casablanca when the French police captain shoots the Nazi, Major Strasser?" Of course, Humphrey Bogart's character shoots the Nazi, not the French captain. In another segment on Friday, Matthews used Mandela's death to shill for his book.

After spending several segments discussed the South African leader's passing, the host closed by touting:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'll never forget sitting with a largely African-American delegation led by Philadelphia's Bill Gray as the last white South African holdout, the Prime Minister P.W. Botha rejected the very notion that the United States should take a hand in forcing an end to white supremacy down in that country. Nor will I forget that Ronald Reagan vetoed that sanctions bill Congress passed by the House that June and the Senate that August. Nor did I forget that there was an overwhelming bipartisan vote in both houses that October to override Reagan's veto.

Matthews offered no context about Reagan's actions or South African support for the Soviet Union. Instead, he used Mandela's death to tout his political book:

MATTHEWS: It was all part of my political coming of age, the story I tell in my new book out there in bookstores this weekend, Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked. It would be great for you, me and the country if you went out there and got a copy and maybe several copies for Hardball fans out there.

It would be great "for the country" if you bought Matthews's book? Despite using the occassion of Mandel's death as a hook, the South African's name isn't mentioned in the index to Tip and the Gipper. Other figures, such as Mikhail Gorbachev, get over ten mentions.

A partial transcript of the December 6 segment is below:


7:13

CHRIS MATTHEWS: And speaking of the clown car, let it be Rick Santorum to compare Nelson Mandela's fight against apartheid to Rick Santorum's personal fight against "Obama care." That's like Snoopy fighting the Red Dragon [sic].

MATTHEWS: Last night, on FOX television, Bill O'Reilly and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum took a weirdly different approach in assessing Nelson Mandela's legacy.

BILL O'REILLY: I have spent some time in South Africa. He was a communist, this man.

RICK SANTORUM: Yes.

O'REIILLY: He was a communist. All right? But he was a great man. What he did for his people was stunning, the sacrifices that he made. He could have repudiated and got out of that prison. He wouldn't do it. He was a great man. But he was a communist.

SANTORUM: You're right. I mean, what he was advocating for was -- wasn't necessarily the right answer, but he was fighting against some great injustice.

And I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with -- with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people's lives. And Obamacare is front and center in that.

7:58

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this. As I said earlier, in 1986, I traveled with an American congressional delegation to South Africa. The purpose was to encourage action on that Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. What we called then the CAAA. I'll never forget sitting with a largely African-American delegation led by Philadelphia's Bill Gray as the last white South African holdout, the Prime Minister P.W. Botha rejected the very notion that the United States should take a hand in forcing an end to white supremacy down in that country. Nor will I forget that Ronald Reagan vetoed that sanctions bill Congress passed by the House that June and the Senate that August. Nor did I forget that there was an overwhelming bipartisan vote in both houses that October to override Reagan's veto.

It was all part of my political coming of age, the story I tell in my new book out there in bookstores this weekend, "Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked." It would be great for you, me and the country if you went out there and got a copy and maybe several copies for Hardball fans out there. You know and love those people. Give them a Hardball book. Anyway, you Hardballers, go at it this weekend.

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