Does Chris Matthews Not Get Hyperbole? Hardball Host Insists Jindal Really Wants to Abolish Court

June 29th, 2015 9:18 PM

Does Chris Matthews not get hyperbole? Back behind the desk at Hardball tonight after a few days off, the MSNBC host didn't seem to get that presidential candidate Bobby Jindal was being rhetorically hyperbolic when he quipped that given how political the Supreme Court has become, he kind of wouldn't mind abolishing the high court.

Matthews complained about Jindal's quip at a few points during a panel segment with Mother Jones writer David Corn and Republican strategist John Feehery centered on Republican presidential candidates' reactions to Friday's Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

Here's the relevant transcript from the June 29 Hardball (emphasis mine)

June 29, 2015

7:18 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Bobby Jindal says he'd abolish the Court altogether.

Recording of Gov. BOBBY JINDAL (R-La.) from event in Iowa:  So now we've got a Court that says we don't care about the meaning of words and we don't care about the Constitution. A reporter asks me about it, and I say kind of flippantly, "Might as well just get rid of the Supreme Court, save some money." I mean, what's the point? They're not a judicial body any more, they've become a political body.


7:19 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Jindal, I don't know why he's pandering on this thing, and [Sen. Ted] Cruz is just nasty about this.


7:22 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Did you see the crowd? I mean, I know everybody goes for applause lines but he's in some kind of dinette or some kind of room. And Jindal's saying, you know, we go to get rid of the Supreme Court. There was no applause. People know we need the Supreme Court! defines hyperbole as a "deliberate exaggeration of a person, thing, quality, event to emphasize a point external to the object of exaggeration; intentional exaggeration for rhetorical effect."

It's perfectly clear in the recording that Matthews himself aired on Hardball that Jindal deployed hyperbole and that he by no means actually wants to abolish or defund the U.S. Supreme Court as a reaction to the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Of course, this is the same guy whom then-Democratic Sen. Zell Miller (Ga.) slammed in 2004 for not understanding "what a metaphor is."