On last night's edition of Hardball, Chris Matthews made up a quote that First Lady Laura Bush did not say. Matthews claims that Bush said "God wants us to rebuild New Orleans", when no such words came out of her mouth. However, Bush did say "she didn't really think she could speak for God" and then added that she "believes Nagin wants New Orleans to be rebuilt".
On a various segments, Matthews claimed that Bush said "God wants us to rebuild New Orleans" and questioned several guests about it. One of those guests, adviser of Former President George H. W. Bush's Strategist Ed Rogers, was called "ignorant" for not knowing this and not commenting on it. Matthews later brought it up when interviewing Mike Allen of Time Magazine, saying that she said the "same thing" as Mayor Ray Nagin did.
After NBC's Andrea Mitchell attacked Laura Bush when she called her a "potent political weapon" and says that Bush can say "partisan things without appearing partisan", she defends Hillary Clinton's recent comparison of the House with a slave plantation. Mitchell says that Republicans, specifically Newt Gingrich, can "get away with it", while Clinton "can say the same thing" and anything "controversial" will be used to "bludgeon her". She also notes that Clinton "has to be extra special careful" because she is "the opposite of the Teflon first lady".
She adds that Hillary was "with a friendly audience" and speaking to an "audience that wanted to hear that", which apparently makes it okay to make the comments according to Mitchell.
Apparently even Chris Matthews has his limits when it comes to swallowing Dem BS. The proof came on tonight's Hardball, when Matthews clearly wasn't buying Al Sharpton's transparently lame defense of Hillary Clinton's allegation, at an MLK Day event, that "the House of Representatives has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about."
Sharpton's theater of the absurd reached its apotheosis when he claimed that Hillary "did not make the comments at a Harlem church". Even the New York Times had to admit that she had spoken in "at the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem," and Hardball rolled footage of her speaking at a lectern in the church draped with fabric decorated with a cross.
On tonight's edition of Hardball, host Chris Matthews makes it look like that we would not being this way if it wasn't for the oil resources in Iraq. His proof? Because Vice President Cheney CEO of Halliburton.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why is the President saying it's wrong to say this war was about oil or Israel. I can see where the Israel part would be sensitive, but why is he denying this was about oil? Does he think anybody think we would go into Iraq if it was down in the Congo or Bolivia. It's oil that makes that such a sensitive area, isn't it?
RICHARD HAASS: On one level, you're right. It's the strategic background to everything we do in the Persian Gulf. But it is fair to say that oil was not the thing that led the United States to pull the trigger. The people who are arguing for this war were not basing it on access to oil. They were arguing it on weapons of mass destruction, on the idea we would transform Iraq or the region politically. This was not a war about control of oil.
MATTHEWS: Even though there were promises made around the edges that we would get cheaper gas?
HAASS: Some people thought that. But as you know now, it's producing less oil been of that the war it was never a war about gaining oil supplies. It's always the left that talks about the economic motives to American foreign policy. The kind of thing the Marxists did for years, they were wrong then and they're wrong now.American foreign policy -- for better or for worse -- tends to be motivated by ideas, not things like oil.
MATTHEWS: Do you think that's true of Cheney?
HAASS: Very much.
MATTHEWS: Really? I think of the first resident Bush and Jimmy Baker who said the issue of going into Iraq the first time was jobs, jobs, jobs, he was right there saying it wasw about oil. These are guys from the oil patch. You've got a Vice President from Halliburton. You're telling me this has nothing to do with oil, that fact that we're over there fighting these wars?
During the time Matthews was going on about his conspiracy theories of why (the last thing he said) we're over there because of oil, Richard Haass was laughing.
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On last night's (Monday's) Hardball Norah O'Donnell, subbing for Chris Matthews, threw out the old feminist canards about the gender and wage gaps at National Review's Kate O'Beirne. During her description of her new book Women Who Make the World Worse, O'Beirne called the gender gap, "phony," to which O'Donnell blurted: "But there is a gender gap! There is a gender gap that exists, that, that there are more women who vote for Democrats. This President tried to court the so-called security moms. There is a gender gap. Men and women vote differently." Then later in the interview O'Donnell brought up the wage gap: "But don’t you think feminists, to some degree, have at least brought attention to issues like inequity in health care. That there isn’t amount the same amount of research on women as men. That they brought attention to the issue that women are still paid less than men." O'Beirne adroitly dispelled the myths as you can see in the following exchange:
It's always curious when liberal-media types start hailing the brilliance of conservatives when their arguments line up with liberal wishes. Since the Jack Abramoff plea, both Newt Gingrich and National Review Online have suggested it would be nice for House Republicans to find a Majority Leader with a more reformist image. To MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, these people are suddenly brilliant and impressive, as he declared in a "Today" pundit segment on Friday. MRC's Scott Whitlock took it down yesterday.
"Well, Newt Gingrich isn't, maybe, the most popular guy in the country. But he is ruthlessly brilliant. And he knows that this is the time to nail this guy. And he's going out and said, let's get rid of Delay, now. And you've got the National Review, the historically conservative, very impressive magazine all these years for the conservative movement, started by Bill Buckley. That's come out now and called for him to get out of the way. I think the big casualty here, to the delight of the liberals and chagrin of the people who helped build the Republican majorities, Tom Delay looks like victim number one here. I'm not sure the party's going to be the victim by next November. Because one of the great ironies of politics is that when you get the body out of the way, the party that suffered the loss doesn't seem to look so bad."
Before introducing his guest Byron York, Matthews gave the following segue:
Now The National Review, one of the staunchest defenders, a big conservative magazine has said Delay must go.
The above statement was followed with "we're joined right now by Byron York of The National Review and Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The Nation." There was no mention that The Nation is a liberal magazine or that Katrina Vanden Heuvel is a staunch liberal.
York was asked the first question about the recent scandal involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and was hurried and cut off to give his answer. When Vanden Heuvel was asked a similar question, she was given all the time to answer it with a liberal spin. In fact, she praised Sen. Russ Feingold (D) for having "one of the best lobbying and ethics reforms plans". Not so quick, Katrina. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is reporting that Sen. Feingold has received at least $1,250 from Abramoff or his associates. I guess the saying is right, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Of course host Chris Matthews didn't question her, in fact he just completely changed the subject.
As 2005 winds down, it's a good time to recall some of the worst journalistic moments of the year. The Media Research Center polled 52 distinguished media experts -- talk show hosts, columnists, journalism professors and other keen observers -- who generously supplied their picks for The Best Notable Quotables of 2005.
A few of the highlights:
Newsweek's Managing Editor Jon Meacham won the "Madness of King George Award for Bush Bashing" for recoiling when the current President toured the former captive nations of Eastern Europe and apologized for the deal FDR made with Stalin back at Yalta in 1945: "It’s like he stuck a broomstick in his wheelchair wheels," Meacham complained on MSNBC.
Anyone who thought Hardball with Chris Matthews couldn't get any more antagonistic to the Bush administration should have watched the show with Norah O'Donnell substituting tonight. Not that Matthews is exactly Mr. Fair & Balanced, but Norah didn't even attempt to disguise her disdain for all things Republican.
For her first panel, the two lawyers she chose to discuss the Plame matter fell over each other in agreeing that it was absolutely inescapable that Karl Rove would be indicted. Even that wasn't quite enough to satisfy Norah, as she avidly inquired as to the prospects that VP Cheney would face prosecution.
Norah took a parting shot suggesting that revelations by DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff could lead to congressional indictments, mentioning only Republicans DeLay and Ney as possible targets despite Abramoff's ecumenism in doling out donations across party lines.
Chris Matthews might be off tonight, but with Andrea Mitchell sitting in, the hysterical anti-Bush beat goes on at Hardball.
Mitchell interviewed a panel in which far-left Jonathan Alter was 'balanced' by the politically-androgynous David Gergen.
When Alter surmised that the impeachment of President Bush is a real possibility in light of the NSA surveillance matter, Mitchell, rather than bursting into laughter, asked Gergen with a straight face:
"Are we headed toward a constitutional crisis?"
Gergen didn't seem to think so, but, ever the suck-up, later bent over backwards to congratulate Alter on his "excellent" column in Newsweek.
Newsweek correspondant Howard Fineman and New York Times' writer Anne Kornblut appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews to discuss the Times report that the NSA was given permission by the Bush administration to spy on potential terrorists. This report just so happened to be printed on the front page of the Times a day after the successful election in Iraq. Surprisingly, Chris Matthews wanted to get the reason why the newspaper decided to print this information on the front page when the historic event in Iraq should have been the only story receiving big headlines. Matthews asked Kornblut "why did you break it today", only to get a simple response that "there was room in the paper". Matthews later followed up with "you have no criticism on this" [referring to the Times' decision to put this on the front page], Kornblut said "I was working on other things today so I don't know". How convenient.
On Monday's edition of Hardball, host Chris Matthews claimed that Americans were brainwashed into believing there was "a connection to 9/11" and Iraq. Matthews went on to insinuate that the Bush administration brain washed us with the way American soldiers would be greeted and the use of cheap oil.
On MSNBC's Hardball Friday night, four weeks to the day after he devoted his show to trying to convince viewers that the Bush administration tried to make the American public believe Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks to sell the Iraq War (see earlier Newsbusters posting for details), Matthews again pushed this myth, claiming that "many, many times" between the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq invasion, "the case was made that we were going after them, the people that had attacked us. It was clear, it was emotional, it was strongly passionate." The Hardball host also proclaimed, "This isn't an argument. It's a fact," and referred to "a very aggressive campaign to connect 9/11 and Iraq." In wrapping up the segment, he even threw in the charge that the administration argued that an Iraq invasion would be a "cakewalk," which is debunked by direct quotes, featured farther down, from administration officials dating back to several months before the war started.
While appearing on MSNBC's Hardball on Friday December 9, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, reacting to a clip of John Kerry saying he would not vote to authorize the Iraq War if he had it to do again because, in his words, he was "misled about the intelligence," Mitchell responded by claiming, "It's true they were lied to, misled, however you want to characterize it."
Returning from a commercial break, a clip from that morning's Imus in the Morning was shown in which John Kerry was asked by Don Imus, "Knowing what you know now ... would you still vote to authorize the President's use of force?" Kerry responded, "Absolutely not, not a possibility," and then said that what changed his mind is, "the intelligence, above all. We've learned the ways in which we really were misled about the intelligence, and the intelligence that we believe, if you had that knowledge today, we wouldn't even have a vote."
Recently, Hardball with Chris Matthews has done a nightly segment called "Ending the War". The segment usually features one Republican and one left-wing Democrat to discuss how the war is going, the intelligence leading up to the War, and how the US can get out. On Thursday night's Hardball, Matthews said the following:
MATTHEWS: Did you—when you look back on the Vietnam War, if you remember—they used to have votes all the time in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. They‘d have the Cooper-Church Amendment, there would be another amendment being offered at different times. You know, Mark Hathid (ph) always had an amendment to try to return the troops. How come we‘re not saying these test votes? I don‘t understand it. If there‘s a dispute over whether to come relatively soon, like Murtha said so, and the president says, “stay until the job gets done,” how come we don‘t see this coming to a vote ever?
Perhaps it was a slip of the mind, but there was a "test vote" last month. On Novemeber 17, House Republicans entered a resolution that would pull US troops out of Iraq. The bill failed miserably.
Chris Matthews has never pretended that he's an unbiased journalist. He's a former aide to Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 1980s. His show, Hardball, developed an audience during the late 1990s, as he was one of the few liberal pundits not to accept the Clinton spin, for the most part, during the scandal-ridden 2nd Clinton term. But he's still a liberal, and he's made some utterly outrageous comments over the border in Canada, as reported in the Toronto Sun.
"The period between 9/11 and Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said.
I don't know what he was watching during that 18 month period, but I remember quite a lot of what I'd consider a "robust discussion" of what was happening. The President made his "axis of evil" comments in January of 2002, and the next 14 months were spent clearly headed to a showdown with Iraq. There was discussion in the press. There was discussion in the House of Representatives. There was discussion in the US Senate. There was discussion at the United Nations. There was discussion in print and on the airwaves. I'd wager that there was "robust discussion" on Matthews' own television show.
"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."
Who, exactly, does Chris want to say is not evil? Bin Laden? Hussein? Zarqawi? The Taliban? The men who flew the planes into the twin towers? The bombers of the U.S. Cole? The bombers who blew up the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania? The bombers who first went after the twin towers in 1993? Are those not evil acts? Or are they just evidence of a "different perspective?" And if it is just a "different perspective," what difference does it make? Are we not entitled to look upon a perspective that targets the death of countless innocent civilians as "evil?" An embarassing performance from one of the guiding lights of the Washington punditocracy...
As reported by the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker, the network evening news broadcasts tonight all lead with Congressman John Murtha’s (D-Penn.) call for the removal of American troops from Iraq. Yet, they seemed disinterested in focusing much attention on Rep. Murtha's “denouncement” of the Iraq war more than a year ago. (Please see a May 10, 2004 CNN story stating, “Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, in a news conference with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the problems in Iraq are due to a ‘lack of planning’ by Pentagon chiefs and ‘the direction has got be changed or it is unwinnable.’") Maybe most important, the networks totally ignored the fact that Rep. Murtha has been expressing disgust with the Bush administration’s prosecution of this war since six months after it started.
Rep. Murtha first voiced his displeasure with how things were going in Iraq on September 16, 2003, when he called for the immediate firing of President Bush’s defense leadership team. The network news organizations this evening chose not to inform their viewers of this, and, instead, implied that Rep. Murtha was a "hawk" that has always supported this war, and that his statements today were recent revelations.
Quite the contrary, the New York Times reported on September 17, 2003 (link courtesy of Common Dreams.org):
Bob Woodward's revelations, in a Wednesday Washington Post front page story, “Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago,” seemingly undermined two premises of special prosecutor Peter Fitzgerald's case against Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney's former Chief-of-Staff -- that he was the first to tell a reporter about Valerie Plame and that everyone involved remembers when they were told about Plame. But while the developments animated cable television all day, all the broadcast networks ignored it in the morning and in the evening both CBS and NBC, which led October 28 with multiple stories of Fitzgerald's indictments, spiked the story while ABC's World News Tonight devoted a piddling 31 seconds to Woodward's disclosures. The CBS Evening News found time for supposed dangers to kids of cold medicines and a look at "why the obesity crisis is far worse for African-Americans." The NBC Nightly News provided stories on claims the U.S. used “chemical weapons” in Iraq and on the effectiveness of diet pills. (Story rundown follows.)
At his October 28 press conference, Fitzgerald asserted, as shown tonight on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume: "He [Libby] was at the beginning of the chain of the phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter." In fact, the Post reported that “a senior administration official,” not Libby, told Woodward “about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed” and thus before Libby talked about it with a reporter, a disclosure which provides some support for Libby's contention that he heard about Plame from a journalist. The Post also noted how “the only Post reporter whom Woodward said he remembers telling” in 2003 about Plame's job, Walter Pincus, “does not recall the conversation taking place,” thus boosting Libby's contention that different people can have different recollections of old conversations.
What ABC squeezed in and how MSNBC's Chris Matthews saw nefarious motives (“a confidential source could be using rolling disclosure here for a political purpose” to help Libby) behind Woodward's source allowing him to talk, follows.
[UPDATE, 2:45pm EST Thursday: On Thursday morning, CBS held the development to a very brief news update item, NBC squeezed it into the very end of a session with Tim Russert while ABC actually touted it at the top of Good Morning America and provided a full story. See full rundown below.]
[UPDATE #2, Thursday 10:30pm EST: CBS and NBC caught up Thursday night with full stories -- by Gloria Borger on the CBS Evening News, by Andrea Mitchell on the NBC Nightly News.]
On MSNBC's Hardball on Friday night, host Chris Matthews sought to convince viewers that the Bush administration intentionally tried to make the American public believe Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks before the Iraq War "to win support for the war."
In his opening introduction, Matthews plugged the upcoming segment as "a look at the rhetoric the Bush administration used to perpetuate the idea of a connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks," as if this motive were fact. In a setup piece for the segment, MSNBC correspondent David Shuster contended that before the war, President Bush "started claiming that Iraq and the group responsible for 9/11 were one and the same," and backed up this assertion using a soundbite from Bush that was selectively edited to distort an answer Bush made to a reporter’s question.
On Monday's Hardball, Chris Matthews asked former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle if he "share(d) the public view that Dick Cheney knew what his guy was up to, Scooter Libby?"
This was not the first time Matthews referenced a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll that indicated more than half the respondents thought Vice President Dick Cheney was aware of Lewis Libby's actions in leaking the name of a CIA employee.
What Matthews has failed to mention, however, is the level of awareness of the participants in the poll. When asked: "How well do you, personally, understand this case: very well, somewhat well, not too well or not at all," only 22 percent declared they understood the case "very well." More than three out of ten stated they understood the case either not too well or not at all.
The hard-lefties at Fairness and Accuracy in Revolution, I mean Reporting (FAIR) have a new media advisory on Keith Olbermann's assertion to Al Franken that MSNBC brass complained that he had too many liberal guests. This was too much to bear for people still mourning the loss of the Donahue show on MSNBC. But -- get a load! -- FAIR then suggests its hero Olbermann DOESN'T count as a liberal on MSNBC! And neither does Chris Matthews:
If MSNBC management were genuinely worried about ideological balance, then the fact that the channel currently has two one-hour programs hosted by well-known conservatives (Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough) and none hosted by liberals would be of considerable concern. Or MSNBC could fret over Hardball's right-leaning panel discussion after a 2004 election debate...or the Hardball "town meeting" on the Iraq war that skewed heavily towards the pro-war side...The group Media Matters for America (10/21/05) recently documented that Hardball's discussions of the Plame Wilson leak case frequently skewed to the right, citing nine examples of panels that included only conservatives, or conservatives "balanced" by centrists; the group found only one case where a panel similarly leaned to the left.
“The real lingering question for me is,” former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw asserted on the 5pm EDT Friday edition of MSNBC's Hardball, “was this a one-man band, or were there others in the administration who were linked to his efforts?” Brokaw added, as if it were the natural thing to wonder about: “And, of course, the question that will be raised by a lot of people not in any way fans of this administration, 'what did Dick Cheney know and when did he know it?'”
Brokaw, however, also criticized the news media for “all the speculation leading up to this” when “we ended up with one indictment today.” Looking forward, Brokaw predicted that “I don't think that he [Fitzgerald] has an indictment in mind for Karl Rove,” which, Brokaw noted, “is going to be an acute disappointment to a lot of people who are not fans of this administration.” (Brief transcripts of these comments follow.)
MSNBC's Chris Matthews assumed pernicious wrong-doing on the part of Bush officials and cited facts not in evidence as he opened Wednesday's Hardball by presuming Valerie Plame was a victim, though her publicity-seeking husband was incompatible with keeping her employer secret. Matthews declared that the “FBI closes in on the bad guys,” described Plame as “undercover CIA agent” and touted how she “was a courageous spy for her country,” even though she was working at CIA headquarters and her specific status is in dispute. Bob Novak, for instance, reported that her overseas career was over. Matthews proceeded to assert that her neighbors had “no idea” of what job she held “until quote, 'high administration officials,' closed quote, exposed her to America's enemies.” Full transcript of the show opening delivered by Matthews follows.
What the heck is a "tangy meringue of maudlin and giddy?" Check out this overwrought introduction from last night's Hardball:
Chris Matthews: "In Washington, where no one`s ever late for a hanging, the sky is grim and cloudy. The mood, a tangy meringue of maudlin and giddy. The President today called the CIA leak probe a very serious investigation, is reported to be cranky and bitter, pointing blame at his top aides and the Vice President who he has reported to have said got too deep into the intel use to sell the Iraq war. Let`s play Hardball."
Later on Hardball special correspondent David Shuster went so far out on a limb in his forecast of doom for Karl Rove and Scooter Libby that even the New York Daily News' Tom DeFrank felt the need to distance himself from his report. First Shuster's dire forecast:
The first words out of Chris Matthews' mouth, at the top of Wednesday's Hardball on MSNBC, raised the specter of Watergate: "What did the President know and when did he know it?” Matthews proceeded to trumpet “the New York Daily News now out in front on this story, reported this morning that President Bush rebuked ramrod Karl Rove over the leak story.” Repeating his tease, Matthews previewed his first segment: “So tonight on Hardball, we try to figure it out again if people in the Bush administration crossed the line separating political hardball -- tough, clean, Machiavellian politics -- and criminality. We're led tonight by the news coverage to that unsavory tandem of questions: What did the President know and when did he know it?”
On Tuesday night, Matthews opened with a dire scenario for a Vice President with a bad temper: “Did the fierce battle of leaks between elements of the Central Intelligence Agency who opposed going to war in Iraq and the hawks in the Vice President's office escalate to actual law breaking? Did the Vice President in an effort to defend himself from an onslaught of charges by Joseph Wilson urge his staff to silence the former ambassador? Did Cheney, through anger or loss of temper, create a climate for political hardball and worse? Did he stoke his staff in the late spring and early summer of 2003 to such a level of ferocity that some of its members crossed the line into illegality? And will Patrick Fitzgerald determine that in doing so, he crossed that dire line himself?"
On last night's Hardball Chris Matthews claimed his colleagues at the current White House Press Corps weren't tough enough, declared current Republican problems worse than Watergate and thought Reagan, "got away with a lot."
The following is the relevant portion of Matthews interview with Craig Crawford on his new book:
Chris Matthews: "Welcome back to Hardball. Are politicians partly responsibility for America`s distrust of the media? Congressional Quarterly columnist Craig Crawford thinks so. He argues in his new book Attacking the Messengers: That [sic] Politicians Have Deflected Criticisms of Themselves by Convincing Americans to Blame the Media. Welcome."
Craig Crawford, Congressional Quarterly: "Hi."
Matthews: "Who has succeeded with this new device of blaming the messenger?"
The opposition from the religious right faced by the fictional Republican presidential candidate on NBC's The West Wing, symbolizes for Jim Warren, the former Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune who is now a Deputy Managing Editor for the paper, how real-life conservatives, upset over the Harriet Miers pick, will never be satisfied. On Tuesday's Hardball on MSNBC, Warren admired how the fictional drama's Alan Alda character “confronts a top Christian Right official who insists on a public pledge that Alan Alda, if elected President, will only pick anti-abortion judges to the federal court. And Alan Alda, seeing the world as much more complicated, declines to do that.” Warren asked and answered his own question: “Why is that relevant? I think it's relevant because just like Bill Clinton could never satisfy his left, it seems that Bush can never satisfy a group for whom he has cut taxes, delivered Saddam Hussein on a platter, done what they want on late term abortion and stem cell research, come out against gay marriage and picked a whole lot of conservative judges.”
Full transcript of his proposition, and the West Wing scene, follows.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews led Monday’s Hardball by framing the Valerie Plame case around her husband Joe Wilson’s spin on the case, despite inconsistencies in his claims and how a much more innocent explanation is equally plausible -- that White House officials just wanted to explain why such a publicity-seeking critic, who claimed he was on a mission for the Vice President, would have been sent to Niger to check out whether Iraq sought uranium. “If you don't think this leak case matters,” Matthews intoned, “ask yourself what was the most frightening case you heard for going to war with Iraq? Probably it was that Saddam Hussein was buying uranium yellow cake in Africa to build nuclear weapons.” Matthews insisted that “the Vice President repeated with military precision, almost like a Gatling gun. Saddam Hussein, nuclear weapons. Saddam Hussein, nuclear weapons.” Matthews declared: “But it wasn't true. There's no evidence even now that Saddam tried to buy nuclear materials in Africa.” The British, however, maintain there is such evidence.
Matthews proceeded to provide the most nefarious interpretation of conversations between White House officials and journalists: “Did they try and kill the messenger? Did they use the enormous media power of the White House to discredit the ambassador, his mission and his wife at the CIA who suggested him for the mission? And in doing so, did they abuse the office and the power to which the President was elected? Did they break the law? Did they conspire to punish a critic of the war?”
MSNBC viewers are used to seeing Hardball host Chris Matthews take on Republicans from the left, but in a new twist, he'll being doing the same this weekend on NBC's Sunday drama, The West Wing. As shown on Friday's Hardball, Matthews plays himself in a scene in which the “Josh Lyman” character, the campaign manager for imaginary left-wing Democratic presidential candidate “Matt Santos” (played by Jimmy Smits), cheers on Matthews for his questions to “Arnie Vinick,” the very un-conservative Republican presidential candidate played by Alan Alda. “Lyman” exclaims, "Yeah, welcome to Hardball, Arnie!" and "Chris, baby, keep slugging!"
Following the preview, MSNBC aired a taped interview by Matthews with Alda from the West Wing set. Matthews conceded “the script was written for me,” but he that he “thought it was really smart.” Matthews applauded Hollywood's ideal GOP candidate: “You come off as kind of a Giuliani guy. You're for abortion rights, but you don't like the idea of partial birth. You're kind of a maverick Republican, you're from California. You shine your own shoes. What an interesting guy you are.” Matthews admired how “your character this last season [said] he'd studied the Bible...and you just couldn't go along with having people die because they didn't go to church or didn't honor the Sabbath, but yet slavery was okay in the Bible back in those days.” Matthews fretted: “It's a very thoughtful sort of inquiry, but do you think a guy like that could ever be elected President in this church-going country of ours?"
Indeed, as recounted in an April MRC CyberAlert item: “Hollywood's ideal Republican President, as brought to life two weeks ago by NBC's The West Wing, is 'pro-choice,' 'pro-environment,' will save the party from the 'right wing,' engineers a deal to raise the minimum wage and lectures about keeping religion out of politics.” (See full rundown below)
Geoff Dickens reports that on Hardball last night, Chris Matthews was doing a little exaggerating. He asked Norah O'Donnell: "Norah he’s been charged with money laundering involving a Texas, a set of Texas legislative races down there." Wrong, said the Laura Ingraham radio show crew (two law school grads there): they said there's a separate state law for money laundering, and Earle didn't use that.
O'Donnell quickly recycled the day's "culture of corruption" DNC talking point: "One reporter asked Scott McClellan whether the President is concerned about a stink of corruption surrounding the Republican Party," what with news coverage of Frist, Abramoff, and now DeLay. "The White House said no and sort of rejected that. But clearly there are many political analysts and other observers who are saying this is an issue for the President who’s facing the lowest approval ratings of his presidency and needs to get a Congress and a Republican Party to move forward in his agenda when there’s a lot on the plate." Twenty minutes later, Matthews addressed whether Ronnie Earle is a partisan: