Hardball

By Matthew Balan | February 11, 2014 | 2:39 PM EST

CNN president Jeff Zucker praised MSNBC guest host Michael Smerconish on Tuesday as he announced that the the cable news network would be giving the radio talk show host a weekly program: "We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN...At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN."

Smerconish's record, especially at MSNBC, actually does not point to independence, but liberalism. Here are the worst examples of the talker's slant to the left from the Media Research Center's archives: [video included below the jump for select quotes]

By Jeffrey Meyer | February 11, 2014 | 1:54 PM EST

At 4:57 on Monday afternoon, MSNBC’s Alex Wagner hyped “Breaking news from the Treasury Department. The White House has announced a second delay to part of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. Details on that are next.”  But the next “details” did not come for 12 and a half hours at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning during MSNBC’s Way Too Early broadcast.

In between, MSNBC ran 9 full stories on Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) and the “Bridgegate” scandal surrounding his administration. Rachel Maddow, devoted nearly half of her broadcast, 29 minutes to the Christie scandal. The rest of her primetime colleagues similarly couldn’t be bothered to inform their viewers of the latest ObamaCare delay, despite Wagner’s promise: “details on that are next.”

By Matt Hadro | February 6, 2014 | 9:08 PM EST

MSNBC's Chris Matthews ranted on Thursday that every Republican criticism of Obama – Benghazi, the IRS scandal, ObamaCare – is just a cover for the party's hatred of him.

"Let me finish tonight with something that's been bothering me. Why do people hate this president so much?" Matthews lamented. He then embarked on a rambling wreck of straw man fallacies and concluded that "Whatever comes along, like the CBO report yesterday, becomes another way to find a way to explain hating the guy."

By Jeffrey Meyer | February 6, 2014 | 12:37 PM EST

Chris Matthews really is the last person to be lecturing someone about using extreme rhetoric to score cheap political points. The man who just this week said that GOP concerns over executive orders is “second term birtherism” and who repeatedly blasted Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich as demonic was at it again on February 5.

"Anything that’s nasty about this guy has become the Amen chorus of the Republican Party," Matthews whined to his Wednesday program's liberal guests Joy-Ann Reid and Ron Reagan. [See video below.] 

By Scott Whitlock | February 3, 2014 | 12:35 PM EST

 

Chris Matthews is at it again. The liberal MSNBC anchor on Friday found a new way to deride conservative concern over Barack Obama's use of executive orders to get around Congress. Matthews dismissed it as unthinking and tribal, sneering, "I think it's a second term birtherism. 'He was illegitimately elected. Now he is behaving illegitimately.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Using his typical broad generalizations, Matthews railed, "This goes back to the whole notion that the right has. 'He really wasn't a law-abiding or even legally, legitimately elected president.'" According to the host, the concern over Obama's plan to sidestep Congress isn't even rational: "And this seems to be based upon ideology rather than events or even behaviors of the President."

By Scott Whitlock | January 24, 2014 | 4:29 PM EST

 

Chris Matthews played his favorite type of game on Thursday, using the comments of one Republican to generalize the entire conservative movement. This time, the Hardball host pounced on remarks by Mike Huckabee regarding the so-called "war on women." The former Republican presidential candidate said that Democrats "insult" women by suggesting that they are "helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in" to provide " prescription each month for birth control."

From this, Matthews sneered, "And given that, what is it in the Republican DNA that makes them talk as if they've never talked with women?" He added, "Why do they speak as if they are the party of cave dwellers who come out of their habitats every four years, say, or so, to grunt something so retro, so awkward, so Cro-Magnon as this?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | January 23, 2014 | 4:22 PM EST

 

Excited about the possibility of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie no longer being a viable presidential contender, Hardball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday swooned about the Democratic potential for 2016: "This could be like the 1964 election with Lyndon Johnson being portrayed this time by Hillary Clinton, grabbing 60 percent of the vote because she grabs the middle." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Matthews continued his hypothetical sequence, speculating, "[Clinton] could grab the middle. The Republicans run a wacko bird, as John McCain calls them. We have a sweeping election." It should be pointed out that, as of January 23, 2014, November 8, 2016 is two years and 288 days away. So, a lot "could" happen.

By Scott Whitlock | January 21, 2014 | 12:44 PM EST

Chris Matthews really doesn’t listen when he speaks.  On every program since Chris Christie’s bridge scandal broke on January 8, the MSNBC anchor has smeared the Republican governor as just like Richard Nixon in Watergate. Matthews has done this for nine straight shows, including the January 20 edition.

However, on the same program, with no sense of self awareness, a thought occurred to the anchor.  He announced that if “it is discovered that Governor Christie did not encourage political revenge, did not signal that this is the way he wanted political business conducted, then he will be exonerated before the eyes of the country. The facts will decide it. And that`s the way it should be.”  [See video below.]

By Scott Whitlock | January 17, 2014 | 1:04 PM EST

 

For seven straight days, Chris Matthews and his Hardball guests have hyperbolically compared Chris Christie's bridge scandal in New Jersey to the constitutional crisis that ended Richard Nixon's presidency. On every single program since January 8, Matthews and guests have linked last fall's traffic jam to Watergate. On Thursday, GOP strategist John Feehery reminded, "They're completely different...There were high crimes and misdemeanor with President Nixon." The MSNBC journalist responded, "Wait, a break-in was worse than this?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] 

On January 8, the day the scandal erupted, Matthews immediately jumped to the comparison, muttering, "Nixonian. It's so Nixonian." On January 9, while talking about Christie's innocence or guilt, the host connected, "...When people say they feel sorry for the Watergate people....Their lives were ruined. I always say I got a worse one for you -- they got away with it."

By Scott Whitlock | January 16, 2014 | 12:33 PM EST

 

Chris Matthews, always eager for hyperbolic predictions of Republican doom, on Wednesday insisted that Chris Christie's bridge scandal in New Jersey is pretty much like Richard Nixon's Watergate. Comparing a severe traffic jam to a scandal that paralyzed the United States government and brought down a President, Matthews suggested, "Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

To make the comparison simple, Matthews played a clip of the New Jersey Republican claiming he wasn't "a bully" and then showed a clip of Nixon famously defending, "I am not a crook." Matthews offered, "Not a crook, not a bully." The host allowed that there is "no direct evidence that ties Christie directly," but added that "the entire scandal has an eerily familiar ring, doesn't it?" The graphic for the story wondered, "Tricky Christie?" 

By Matt Hadro | January 15, 2014 | 4:16 PM EST

Comedian Bill Maher compared Bridget Kelly, the former Christie aide connected to "Bridge-gate," to the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday's Hardball.

Both persons carried out the shady business ordered by a higher authority, Maher explained: "Remember when Benedict was the 'god's rottweiler' or the 'pope's rottweiler' they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she [Kelly] is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told."

By Matt Hadro | January 14, 2014 | 5:03 PM EST

Two months ago, MSNBC's Chris Matthews called Sen. Rand Paul a "pissant" for ranting about what Matthews is now hyping as yet another problem for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

In November, Sen. Paul called "offensive" Christie's appearance in a federally-funded tourism video for New Jersey during an election year. Matthews, sticking up for the governor, branded Paul a "pissant" and said his rant "makes him smaller." Yet on Monday's Hardball, Matthews reported a federal investigation into the video as another headache for Christie: "When it rains, it pours."