Matthews: 'Foul Play' Behind Balloon Drop on Mitchell?

Were those evil Republicans attempting to carpet-bomb Andrea Mitchell with balloons at the RNC last night?  Chris Matthews mused about the possibility on Hardball this afternoon.  The footage of Andrea gamely batting away the balloons has received a lot of play.  This morning, the Today show had fun with it.  But Matthews seemed to conceive a more sinister scenario:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: If you were watching last night, here was a funny moment.  I have to tell you: I love Andrea. Look at this crazy moment. For some reason: I don't know if it was foul play or what it was, a billion balloons went right into her when she was trying to do a report from the floor. She was getting absolutely buried in that post-speech balloon drop.
I wouldn't be surprised that if questioned on it Chris would claim he was kidding. But check out the video and see what you think.  He sounded pretty sincere to me.

How credible is the charge, if Matthews was seriously making it?  Ask yourself what would have been easier:

a. for some Red Baron of the Balloons to hit Andrea; or

b. for Mitchell to have created a memorable TV moment for herself by moving into the line of balloon fire?

Question for Chris: Why would Republicans plot foul play against someone who had such complimentary things to say about Sarah Palin?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.