Conservative talk show host Larry Elder on Tuesday grilled Chris Matthews for his hostile treatment of conservatives and dismissed the Hardball anchor's fawning new book about John F. Kennedy. When Matthews objected to the barrage, Elder slapped down his complaints: "I'm sorry for cutting you off the way you cut your guests off!" [MP3 audio of the entire interview here.]
A wounded Matthews responded, "You want to make a point or you want to ask me questions?" Elder played a rant first highlighted by Newsbusters where Matthews frothed that the GOP wants to "get rid" of cops and cause "cruel pain." Elder wondered, "You consider yourself a journalist?" Matthews managed, "No, I'm not down the middle. I'm slightly to the left." (Slightly?)
Elder, who was talking to Matthews on his radio show, challenged the journalist over his revisionist take on Kennedy's actions aboard PT 109 during World War II.
The radio host pushed, "You don’t at all discuss how the boat got into trouble in the first place. A lot of historians feel that it was his own irresponsible handling of PT 109 that caused the boat to get into trouble."
Elder also hit Matthews for leaving out key parts of Kennedy's presidency.
The Hollywood Reporter explained:
Next, when Elder cites historians critical of Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Matthews says: “What is the purpose of this conversation?”
“The purpose right now is to show that you are glossing over Kennedy. You are airbrushing the bad things,” Elder answers.
“Do I have any role in this show, or do I just sit here and listen to your rap?” Matthews says.
“If you wanna hang up, go ahead and hang up, Chris,” Elder says.
[MP3 audio of the interview here.] A partial transcript of the exchange follows:
LARRY ELDER: You consider yourself a journalist?
MATTHEWS: Yeah, I'm a journalist. I'm a columnist. I'm a commentator. I'm an opinion journalist?
ELDER: No, no, no. A journalist. You think you're an objective, down the middle journalist?
MATTHEWS: No, I'm not down the middle. I'm slightly to the left.
ELDER: Slightly to the left?
MATTHEWS: I'd say 40 yardline.
ELDER: Slightly to the left, for example as when you said this?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Here's a party that- I'm just keeping the list. They want more people to fry. They love executions. They want people that don't have insurance to die on the gurney in the hospital bed. They want that to happen. They want- forget about illegal aliens. Gay soldiers, forget about them. They're not- they're to be booed. If you're homeless, foreclose- if you have a home, foreclose on the people. If you're a teacher, fireman or a cop, get rid of the guy! I mean, this attitude of causing cruel pain on people and getting cheers for it, what's that about, Howard?