Michael Steele Scolds Chris Matthews: You're Wrong - Ryan Plan Doesn't Kill Medicare

MSNBC's Chris Matthews has for weeks been dishonestly telling his viewers Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget proposal would kill Medicare.

On Wednesday's "Hardball," former Republican National Committee chair just-turned MSNBC contributor Michael Steele struck back (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC: the bottom line is the Ryan plan is a step to get us into the discussion about what we need to do with what is a serious problem for the country. Now, as you go through this process, our presidential candidates, each of them will come out with their plan on how to deal with this. It may or may not be the Ryan plan or some variation.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Would you tell a candidate for Congress running this year for next year to sport Ryan plan and be for phasing out Medicare at the age of people above 65?

STEELE: But, see? But that’s the problem. This is not about phasing out Medicare. This is about reforming the system.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: No. No. No.

STEELE: Hold on, let me make this one point? Can I just make this one point and I will be quiet. Make this one point --

CORN: I bet you won’t. But go ahead.

STEELE: You are talking about eliminating Medicare and that is not what the Ryan plan does.What it does is it puts in, it puts in a premium support that was based on, based on what Bill Clinton himself did…

MATTHEWS: Basically it’s putting in a gift certificate that won’t cover healthcare.

STEELE: It’s not. It’s not. You’re wrong. You’re wrong.

MATTHEWS: Okay, thanks Michael. Michael Steele, Michael Steele for the defense.

As a little background, on April 3, Ryan went on "Fox News Sunday" to preview his budget to be released the following week. He presciently told host Chris Matthews, "They are going to demagogue us, and -- and it's that demagoguery that has always prevented political leaders in the past from actually trying to fix the problem. We can't keep kicking this can down the road."

Five days later, after Ryan's budget had been officially released, Newsweek's Evan Thomas said on PBS's "Inside Washington," "What I fear is going on here is the Democrats are just going to demagogue their way to reelection in 2012 for Obama because of what Ryan did, because of what we talked about. He did the brave thing with entitlements.The Democrats will now accuse the Republicans – it’s an old page in their playbook – will accuse the Republicans, accuse the Republicans of throwing Granny in the snow."

True to form, on the Monday following Thomas's prediction, Matthews told his "Hardball" viewers Ryan's plan "is going to kill half the people who watch this show."

And that was just the beginning, as Matthews ever since has routinely misinformed his viewers about this matter continually telling his audience falsehoods about the condition of Medicare and what the Wisconsin Congressman's proposal would do to it.

To try to combat the disinformation campaign, Ryan went on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday and said, "There is a Medicare story to be told here -- the Medicare story that is being told here is the president and his party have decided to shamelessly distort and demagogue Medicare. So we're going to see a Mediscare reform campaign here."

Later that day, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly the media are actively supporting the Democrat lies about this plan.

Matthews is one of those press members Krauthammer was referring to, and unless there's someone like Steele on "Hardball" to counter the host's lies, viewers are going to be exposed to nothing but falsehoods about this issue.

Less than two weeks ago, a report from the Medicare Trustees said the nation's senior healthcare program will go bankrupt in 2024 if changes aren't made to it.

Ryan and the Republicans are trying to do something about that. Unfortunately, the Left and their media minions are doing everything in their power to prevent a solution from being enacted.

This is exactly what happened in 2005 when President Bush and his Party tried to reform Social Security only to be stonewalled by the Democrats and their supporters in the press.

How "journalism" has devolved to such a point that "news" outlet after "news" outlet can intentionally lie to the public in order to assist a sitting president and his Party should scare every American more than the threat of a terrorist attack or a deadly tornado.

Is entitlement reform possible in this country with the media we currently have, or will solutions only be allowed by these so-called "journalists" when Social Security and Medicare indeed go bankrupt?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.