Matthews Explains His Bin Laden "Sounds Like an Over-The-Top Michael Moore" Remark

MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews got himself into some hot water Thursday evening when he suggested that Osama bin Laden in his recently released tape sounded “like an over-the-top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore” (video link to follow). On last night’s installment, Matthews invited on MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to discuss this issue in greater detail (video link to follow).

After being asked by Matthews if bin Laden was playing politician, Scarborough moved the discussion in a media direction: “You look at, like, for instance, him saying that George Bush went to war because of -- because he wanted to help his buddies out, his oil buddies out. Well, that sounds a lot like not only Michael Moore, it also sounds like Ted Kennedy who said this whole thing was invented, this war was invented in Texas by Karl Rove to help his political supporters out.”

Matthews then asked:

“Why is he doing it? Why is he trying to track what he picks up in the Internet and from the media as the lingo of the left in America, like Moore? Why would he start to talk like Moore?”

Matthews then tried to explain his comments from the previous evening:

“People misunderstood what I said last night. I think he`s getting some advice from people, he`s getting some lingo, some wordage that he hears working somewhere in the United States about this being for war profiteers and he`s jumping on every opportunity. Is that what you`re saying, Joe?”

Scarborough responded: “Listen, if somebody can`t look at the words that bin Laden said last night and match them up with what Michael Moore said…”

What follows is a full transcript of this exchange with a video link, along with a video link to Matthews’ comments on Thursday evening concerning bin Laden and Moore. Both video links are courtesy of Crooks and Liars.

MATTHEWS: Next up, warning shot -- Osama bin Laden threatened new attacks on the U.S. this week, but this time he says he`s open to a long- term truce with Americans.

Joe, is bin Laden playing politician here?

SCARBOROUGH: Well, I think he`s a guy that understands the United States is not going to back down, that he crossed a president who, again, really doesn`t care what Americans think when it comes to his war policy, that he`s going to do what he thinks is right.

Now, you know, this past week, of course, he bombed Pakistan, parts of Pakistan, may have killed a couple al Qaeda leaders.

And, you know, the president is just not going to back down, and so bin Laden is actually parroting a lot of what we`ve heard from Democratic leaders across America over the past two or three years and also, of course, Michael Moore and other leftists.

You look at, like, for instance, him saying that George Bush went to war because of -- because he wanted to help his buddies out, his oil buddies out. Well, that sounds a lot like not only Michael Moore, it also sounds like Ted Kennedy who said this whole thing was invented, this war was invented in Texas by Karl Rove to help his political supporters out.

It said a lot of other things that show that he`s astute and he`s astute in this way: that he is listening to the civil discourse in America, he is listening to people that are attacking the president`s policy and actually, he`s parroting the Democrats.

The Democrats aren`t parroting him. He`s parroting some of the more extreme voices out of Washington.

MATTHEWS: Why is he doing it? Why is he trying to track what he picks up in the Internet and from the media as the lingo of the left in America, like Moore? Why would he start to talk like Moore?

People misunderstood what I said last night. I think he`s getting some advice from people, he`s getting some lingo, some wordage that he hears working somewhere in the United States about this being for war profiteers and he`s jumping on every opportunity.

Is that what you`re saying, Joe?

SCARBOROUGH: Listen, if somebody can`t look at the words that bin Laden said last night and match them up with what Michael Moore said; with what John Kerry said on "Face the Nation" when he said Americans were terrorizing Iraqi women and children in their homes at night, which is what bin Laden, in effect, said; what Ted Kennedy has been saying that -- remember, he said after Abu Ghraib that Saddam`s torture chambers have been turned over to new management, U.S. troops.

That`s the same exact theme that bin Laden hit on. I mean, he`s doing it because he`s trying to divide America and he`s stupid enough to believe that somehow it`s going to work.

All he does when he shows his ugly mug on TV is help the president, help Republicans, help conservative Democrats like Lieberman, who believe that the NSA should have more power, the CIA should have more power, this president should have more power to execute the war on terror.

Video Link of 1/19/06 Show

Video Link of 1/20/06 Show

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