MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday decided to wade into the Rick Santorum-Sarah Palin-CPAC dust-up by cherry-picking what the former Pennsylvania Senator told S.E. Cupp on Glenn Beck's online program the day before.
Not surprisingly, by presenting only his biased and abbreviated side of the story, the "Hardball" host attacked both Palin and Santorum (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Back to HARDBALL. Time for the "Sideshow."
First, show me the money.
Yesterday, likely 2012 candidate Rick Santorum took issue with Sarah Palin’s decision to skip that conservative confab CPAC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
S.E. CUPP: What about Sarah Palin turning down the keynote? What do you think happens there, or...
RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: I -- I don’t know. You know, I have a feeling she has some demands on her time.
SANTORUM: And that -- and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I think Rick wished he had those options.
Anyway, he’s saying Palin would rather make money than stand for the cause? Fighting words, words that Santorum wasn’t prepared to stick behind, however. One day later on Twitter, he linked to the Politico report on his comments, writing -- quote -- "This article is garbage. All I said was she’s very busy, period. It’s a reporter trying to create something out of nothing."
Well, something out of nothing? Actually, something that is on videotape. Twitter vs. videotape? Videotape wins. You just saw it.
No you didn't, for Matthews and Company chose to air only fifteen seconds of a 44 second video. They apparently didn't have an additional 29 seconds of air time for "Hardball" viewers to see Santorum's entire response to Cupp's question (H/T Right Scoop):
S.E. CUPP, HOST: And what about the, what about Sarah Palin turning down the keynote? What do you think happened there?
FORMER SENATOR RICK SANTORUM (R-PENNSYLVANIA): I don’t know. You know, I have a feeling she has some demands on her time. (Laughs).
SANTORUM: And a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them. So I’m sure that she’s doing what’s best for her and her family.
CUPP: You wouldn’t have turned it down.
SANTORUM: Well, no, I wouldn’t have turned it down…
SANTORUM: …but, you know, I don’t live in Alaska…
SANTORUM: Right, you know, and I’m not the mother to all these kids and I don’t have other responsibilities like she has, or other opportunities to for, like I said, other business opportunities that may be in conflict with what she was asked to do.
A little different than what was presented by Matthews and Politico's Andy Barr Tuesday in his "Rick Santorum: Sarah Palin Skips CPAC for C-notes" article that started all this nonsense, wouldn't you agree?
As National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez noted Wednesday:
[Santorum] was asked a question. He answered. And his comments about her being a mom with financial concerns doesn’t seem hostile so much as trying to give an honest answer — yes, from someone who also has both a big family and financial concerns.
It's also possible that Santorum didn't want to address the ongoing battle between Palin and David Keene, the head of the American Conservative Union that so happens to be CPAC's primary organizer.
For his part, Matthews, being the spectacular investigative journalist he's known to be, chose not to inform his small viewership of this fact, or that this was the third year in a row that Palin turned down an invitation from CPAC.
Such inconvenient truths would have gotten in the way of his ability to besmirch and degrade two conservatives in one fell swoop.
Just imagine how ugly this is going to get once we get into next year's primaries and the stakes are far greater.
Perish the thought.