Chris Matthews: Weiner Press Conference 'Sort of Like the Hanging of Saddam Hussein'

Chris Matthews came up with a bizarre analogy on Thursday, suggesting that Anthony Weiner's resignation press conference was "sort of like the hanging of Saddam Hussein." While offering criticism of Weiner, the Hardball anchor also praised the event: "At his best, he had dignity today. He had a measure of class, which has been missing in all of this."

Matthews made the weird comparison to the execution of a dictator while talking to Ben Smith of Politico. The host complained of hecklers at the press conference, opining, "Ben, it reminded me of the Saddam Hussein hanging today. Even they couldn't do that right. The grossness of affair led to the grossness of the finale."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Showing sympathy for Weiner, Matthews marveled, "He kept talking. He did his job, in the end. I think Weiner did very well today."

The liberal journalist hopefully added, "...Maybe for his good and the good of his wife and his family, his parents who must be suffering through this, he'll be back to being a human being after all this."

Matthews did have some tough words for Weiner, chiding, "You don't lie your way through [a scandal]. You don't say I want to call a lawyer. I'm going to call a doctor. I'm waiting for my wife to get home. You get it over with." 
 
A partial transcript of the June 16 exchange can be found below:


CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, let me go to Ben Smith, who has been doing great reporting on this very sleazy story. But, you've been great. Let me ask you, Ben, it reminded me of the Saddam Hussein hanging today. Even they couldn't do that right. The grossness of affair led to the grossness of the finale. Who were those clowns in the audience making a disgusting situation even more disgusting? Was that a Howard Stern guy? Who was yelling? What was that line, something about seven inches?

5:11
   
MATTHEWS: Here's more Weiner, by the way, a little more, those who missed the event today. It was, as I said, sort of like the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Gross, even in its conclusion. It was interrupted by hecklers calling out really obscene stuff. I'm sure you can hear it. Let's listen.

ANTHONY WEINER: I want to thank my colleagues in the House of Representatives. Democrats and Republicans alike. They come from different places around the country but, fundamentally, we all agree. They're all patriots and I will miss them all.

MAN: Are you more than seven inches?

WEINER: Thank you. I also want to express my gratitude to members of my staff. They're young people not paid very much. They are people that work very hard and very long hours. Ultimately, those people define the notion of service.

MATTHEWS: Well, I guess, Ben that-, you were there. I want to close on this. That certainly is an example of keeping on message, despite what we all heard on television. The gross comment by that Howard Stern guy. He kept talking. He did his job, in the end. I think Weiner did very well today. I'm going to leave it at that. I think Weiner did a very good job of- At his best, he had dignity today. He had a measure of class, which has been missing in all of this. And maybe for his good and the good of his wife and his family, his parents who must be suffering through this., he'll be back to being a human being after all this.

...

MATTHEWS: This is not how you deal with a problem. You don't lie your way through it. You don't say I want to call a lawyer. I'm going to call a doctor. I'm waiting for my wife to get home. You get it over with.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org