Matthews Disses Dittoheads: 'Manipulable'

April 30th, 2008 5:53 PM


Dittoheads, you've been dissed. Chris Matthews has dismissed you as "manipulable"— mind-numbed robots, you might say. CNBC's John Harwood seconded the snub. It happened on this evening's Hardball as Matthews mused about the potential impact of Operation Chaos on the upcoming primaries.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: How much of a move do you hear, John Harwood, the so-called Operation Chaos is going to play next Tuesday in Indianapolis [sic], the effort by Rush Limbaugh, the lovable Rush Limbaugh, I must say, to encourage Republicans, registered Republicans, to go vote for Hillary just to cause chaos and perhaps get her the nomination? How big a role will that be?

JOHN HARWOOD: My suspicion, Chris, is that's a lot more talk than action. I think there aren't that many voters who can be manipulated in that way to go make trouble in a primary election. And one of the things that's striking--

MATTHEWS: But when you call yourself a "dittohead," it seems to me you've already defined yourself as someone who is, uh, let's put it this way—manipulable.

JOHN HARWOOD: That is true. And there are some dittoheads who I suspect will respond to Rush, but I'm just doubting there are all that many of them to make a big difference in this primary.
Matthews might find Rush lovable, but does he ever actually listen to his show? If he did, he'd know, as Rush often explains, that "dittoheads" aren't the proverbial mind-numbed robots, but simply people who appreciate what he does. And speaking of mind-numbed robots, Rush famously debunked the notion in his 1994 address to the incoming House Republican freshmen in 1994, members of the GOP Revolution.
[T]hese reporters who were asking me questions about talk radio were all trying to say in a roundabout way, that I took a bunch of brainless people and converted them to mind-numbed robots and everyday would send out code in my show that would force them to march to the polls on November the 8th and pull the lever I wanted them to pull. And the fact of the matter is that’s not what's happened.

There may be some talk show hosts who do that -- and there may be some talk shows. I don't think they're the majority. I think that the reason you're sitting here tonight and liberals aren't is that you understand that the American people are intelligent; they are aware; they care; and they know what’s going on, and they are not a bunch of mind-numbed robots. They may have been at one time and have awakened from it now.

And what happens on talk radio is real simple: we validate what’s in people’s hearts and minds already. These people are living their lives conservatively. They care about what happens to their kids. They care about their own futures. To think that I came along and got people concerned about those things for the first time in their lives is ludicrous; and I mean this from the bottom of my heart.