In Mocking Palin, Chris Matthews Gets Facts on 'John Adams' Wrong

October 23rd, 2008 5:32 PM

Is Chris Matthews so excited to pounce on any perceived Sarah Palin controversy that he can not get his facts straight? As NewsBusters previously reported, Matthews, in mocking Governor Palin’s alleged ignorance on the role of the vice president, stated incorrect facts on the history of the vice presidency. A further investigation finds that Chris Matthews mangled his facts over the HBO miniseries, "John Adams," as well. First his quote to McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer on the October 22 edition of "Hardball."

"Either she’s right about the vice presidency or I’m wrong. I say the role of the vice presidency, under the Constitution, is limited to breaking ties in the U.S. Senate. It has nothing to do with policy making, nothing to do with Senate leadership on either side of the aisle. There is no policy role whatever for the vice president. If you’ve even watch ‘John Adams’ on television a few months ago, you would know that going in to the very beginning of our democracy. The vice president has a formal role only. She believes somehow that the vice president of the United States has some sort of commanding policy development role and can lead the U.S. Senate. Where does she get this from?"

Matthews apparently forgot a key scene in "John Adams." In the opening scene of the fifth episode of "John Adams," the episode covering Adams’ vice presidency, the newly elected vice president John Adams is proposing, you guessed it, legislation to the Senate. Specifically, Adams is proposing a title for the president of the United States. Many senators mocked Vice President Adams’ proposal and soundly rejected it.

After making such a blatant error in his attempt to embarrass Sarah Palin, will the MSNBC host issue a correction or apology? Not likely.