Libby Trial: Chris' Big-House Bubba Fantasy

Has Chris Matthews watched one too many episodes of "Oz," the hyper-graphic HBO original series about prison life?

Discussing the Scooter Libby trial on the 7 PM ET edition of this evening's Hardball, Chris spun a sanguine scenario in which Libby, facing the prospect of a long prison sentence in a vulnerable environment, might turn on Vice-President Cheney.

Matthews: "If Scooter's convicted, if you're looking at the number of counts facing him. If that jury really does go to town -- and I hope they're not watching -- and hits him with four or five counts, they add up to big time in some federal penitentiary, not necessarily Allenwood [known as the country club of federal prisons]. Someplace where a guy like Scooter Libby would not be very protected from the fellow prisoners. If he faces 20 years somewhere in maximum security, he's going to think again about his situation, isn't he?"

View video here.

Former special prosecutor Sol Wisenberg dashed Chris' Big House fantasies. "I don't think so. He's not going to face 20 years. It's going to be a guideline sentence, it's probably going to be two to three years, something like that."

Chris tried to keep hope alive: "with all these counts facing him?"

Wisenberg: "Doesn't matter in the guideline system. They cumulate the counts. He'll probably be in a minimum-security camp."

Matthews had to face the disappointing reality: "So he'll be playing tennis somewhere."

Wisenberg drove a final stake into Chris' fondest hopes: "Yeah. I don't think he's going to be the kind of person who's going to flip anyway."

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Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.