Hardball

By Ken Shepherd | July 1, 2014 | 8:46 PM EDT

You may recall how, on Monday's Hardball, guest Michelle Bernard held forth with her view that the Hobby Lobby ruling would help Democrats rope in massive numbers of women voters in the 2016 presidential cycle. 

Well, tonight, perhaps to build on that theme, guest host Steve Kornacki moderated a discussion segment featuring Democratic pollster Margie Onero and McCain presidential campaign alumnus Steve Schmidt centered on how both political parties were reacting to the case to build up energy with their respective bases and, of course, improve their fundraising hauls. For his part, Schmidt both failed to push back against any of Onero's misleading talking points -- he protested there wasn't any time for that --  and, predictably added his own lament that the GOP was at risk of being too socially conservative to appeal to female voters in the next presidential election year (emphases mine):

By Ken Shepherd | June 30, 2014 | 9:35 PM EDT

The Hobby Lobby ruling will be a blessing in disguise for Democrats, possibly this November but most certainly for 2016. That's the argument put forward by two MSNBC contributors on Hardball this evening, Washington Post columnist Melinda Henneberger and Michelle Bernard of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics, & Public Policy.

"I see this ruling as, definitely on the political front, being a good thing for the Democrats, because people are furious and thinking, I think it goes further than it does," Henneberger argued to guest host Steve Kornacki. Minutes later, Bernard saw a big problem for Republicans with women in 2016, if not 2014, insisting that Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" line and "corporate personhood" would be instrumental in locking down droves of female voters for Democrats in 2016:

By Connor Williams | June 26, 2014 | 11:15 AM EDT

On the June 25 edition of Hardball, fill-in host Steve Kornacki and his guests discussed the implications of Thad Cochran’s surprising upset of Chris McDaniel in the Mississippi GOP Senate runoff. The panel mocked the Tea Party’s outrage at Thad Cochran over his courting of Democratic voters in the primary.

Kornacki laughed off Chris McDaniel’s assertion that the outcome was unbecoming of the party of Ronald Reagan, explaining: “That is the same Ronald Reagan who we named the Reagan Democrats after because he cultivated all that Democratic support when he ran for President.” David Corn agreed, criticizing the Tea Party because the “Republican Party has been trying to get black people to vote for them for a long time, and finally when it happens Tea Partiers get upset.” [MP3 audio; video below]

By Laura Flint | June 25, 2014 | 3:30 PM EDT

On the June 24 edition of Hardball With Chris Matthews, the MSNBC anchor invited Adam Brandon of the Tea Party organization FreedomWorks onto the show in an attempt to portray the Tea Party as targeting black voters in the Republican Mississippi primary run-off. Matthews claimed McDaniel’s supporters were citing a “Jim Crow-era law from 1942" to try to stifle votes by African-American voters for Sen. Thad Cochran (R).

Of course the law in question is not racist in construction, but is rather intended to prevent Democrats or Republicans from utilizing crossover strategic voting in another party’s primary. It is obviously unenforceable due to the secrecy of the ballot. However Matthews went out of the way to characterize how the Tea Party is abusing this law as a way to stop Black Democrats from voting, stating that “Mississippi's attorney general” is on edge, and “fears racial profiling...and intimidation tactics might be used to suppress the black vote.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

By Scott Whitlock | June 24, 2014 | 11:33 AM EDT

Want to see the hypocrisy of Chris Matthews exposed? The Media Research Center has done just that with a must-see montage. [Video below.  MP3 audio here.]  Americans across the country were shocked on June 11 as Matthews defended the Tea Party and lashed out against their critics. He lectured the liberal Ronan Farrow: "This looking down our noses at Tea Party people has got to stop. They have a message, they're as American as any liberal is." Welcome remarks, especially on MSNBC. However, Matthews clearly doesn't listen to himself talk. This same person has assailed Tea Partiers and conservatives as "racist," "stupid" "Nazis." 

Trashing a Tea Party senator on October 29, 2013, he wondered, "Is Ted Cruz the Republican Freddy Krueger?" Talking about conservative opposition to the President's position on the birth control mandate, Matthews on October 22, 2012 sneered, "Is it in society's interests for her boss to be able to be the birth control Nazi to decide who gets it and who doesn't? On March 20, 2013, the anchor wondered whether Tea Partiers want to return to an America where "where blacks were slaves...Is this what they want?" 

By Connor Williams | June 24, 2014 | 11:30 AM EDT

Chris Matthews found yet another opportunity to cheerlead in the push for same-sex marriage by promoting HBO’s The Case Against 8 and recommending a book by lawyers David Boies and Ted Olson titled Redeeming the Dream. The Hardball host took every opportunity to compliment the two men on their successful effort to overturn Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state of California.

Rejecting any hint of impartiality, Matthews declared Boies and Olson to be “my heroes and I think heroes to the country.” Later on in the conversation, Matthews could not conceive why a conservative–or anyone–might ever oppose gay marriage aside from it being a “cultural thing,” explaining in a mocking voice [MP3 audio here; video below]:

By Connor Williams | June 20, 2014 | 1:12 PM EDT

In a screed against an interventionist foreign policy, Hardball’s Chris Matthews virtually insisted that there is a sinister plot among those initial supporters of the Iraq war to dictate the political life of nations throughout the Middle East. For Matthews, simply being wrong on the Iraq war–to the extent that anyone can make a claim like that with any certainty at the present time–is not enough.

In his initial comments on the June 19 edition of Hardball, Matthews railed at any news outlet that would dare give a platform to George W. Bush administration alumni to share their thoughts on how President Obama should proceed with aiding the Iraqi government [MP3 audio here; video below]:

By Connor Williams | June 18, 2014 | 12:20 PM EDT

The ‘Fox News viewers are racist’ meme hasn’t died yet on MSNBC. Analyzing Hillary Clinton’s interview on June 17 with Fox News, Hardball guest Michelle Bernard insisted that Hillary Clinton was “reaching out to those voters that Barack Obama said were the people who get scared of people who are different than them, and they cling to religion, or they cling to guns or have anti-immigrant sentiment.”

She continued: “And I think she’s got to reach out to that demographic. That's what we saw her doing on Fox tonight.” Host Chris Matthews, despite recently coming to the defense of the right, jumped right in to second Bernard’s analysis: “I believe people have been opposing President Obama, many of them because of his background, because of his race, absolutely.” [MP3 audio here; video below]

By Ken Shepherd | June 17, 2014 | 10:25 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton hit a "home run" with her performance in a live CNN "townhall"-style interview hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour,  Chris Matthews enthused at the opening of his June 17 Hardball program.

The MSNBC host also seemed thrilled that Clinton may have taken his on-air coaching to heart regarding Benghazi questions one week ago. First his remarks at the top of the program (emphasis mine; MP3 audio clip here; video follows page break):

By Ken Shepherd | June 16, 2014 | 9:27 PM EDT

Earlier today, Washington Post columnist Melinda Henneberger favorably retweeted a story by NewsBusters alumna and Washington Free Beacon contributor Alana Goodman regarding newly-discovered audiotape of Hillary Clinton from an interview in the mid-1980s in which the likely 2016 presidential aspirant was rather lighthearted and occasionally laughing as she recalled a time where she successfully defended an accused child rapist by working out a plea deal for a much lighter sentence. "Defends man accused of raping 12-yr-old, laughs abt case RT @alanagoodman Hillary Tapes: http://wfb.tc/1iA2uMv v," Henneberger tweeted shortly after midnight on Monday.

Yet on the June 16 Hardball program -- on MSNBC, the nation's premiere "War on Women" network -- neither Henneberger nor Hardball anchor Chris Matthews nor Politico's Roger Simon broached the topic at any time during their discussion about the former secretary of state's rocky rollout of her Hard Choices memoir. Here's an excerpt of the June 15 story from Goodman (emphasis mine):

By Ken Shepherd | June 11, 2014 | 10:10 PM EDT

Comparing Hillary Clinton's book tour to an "out of town play getting ready in New Haven," MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight dismissed the former secretary of state's tone-deaf "dead broke" line from her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer as a "small kind of gaffe, or even a half gaffe." [MP3 audio here; video embed follows page break]

"Once she said we were $12 million in the hole, I think people should have understood what she meant," Matthews asserted to his guest, NBC's Cynthia McFadden, whose fawning interview was aired on Tuesday's Nightly News. Indeed, the former first lady is quite capably "tuning up" her performance as her book tour rolls along. For her part, McFadden seemed to agree, replying:

By Jeffrey Meyer | June 9, 2014 | 8:42 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton is set to give her first television interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Monday night to promote her memoir Hard Choices, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was visibly outraged that an ad would dare criticize her as she begins her book tour.

Appearing on his Hardball program on Monday, June 9, Matthews began his program by declaring that the ad was a “prime time attack” before complaining about the “disgusting event” where a “Right wing group has produced a television ad to air tonight during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first prime time book interview.” [See video below.]