Chris Matthews Demotes Zarqawi To 'Triple-A' Terrorist

June 10th, 2006 3:22 PM

On Friday, talk show host Laura Ingraham laughed at how MSNBC's Chris Matthews started demoting Zarqawi on Thursday night's "Hardball" as a minor-league threat, a "Triple-A" terrorist instead of a real "World Series" win. MRC's Geoff Dickens passed on the transcript:

"Well could one concern be that if they bragged, and appropriately so bragged, about killing Zarqawi, a real bad guy, who killed Nicholas Berg and a number of other people in the most vicious way, beheading them, that they would expose the fact that they haven’t caught Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, haven’t caught Zawahiri, the number two guy, number three guy over there, and they certainly haven’t caught Bin Laden. Are they concerned that, that bragging at this point would look like bragging about a Triple-A World Series rather than a real one?”

Matthews even asked if perhaps killing Zarqawi was a minus for Americans. NBC reporter Lisa Myers reported al-Qaeda "may not be all that torn up about his death. In some respects, Zarqawi was the problem nephew. His ruthlessness and bloody attacks on fellow Muslims caused problems for the movement. And when Zawahiri told him to knock it off, Zarqawi essentially ignored him. What’s more, Zarqawi has taken money and attention away from bin Laden.” So Matthews asked: “Lisa, bottom line, is Zarqawi, his death a plus or minus for the West, for our forces?” Myers replied: “Well it’s certainly a plus."

Ingraham also mocked MSNBC reporter David Shuster for loading up on negative spin, including anonymous Republican pollsters: One Republican pollster cautioned today that any boost from Zarqawi’s death may not last very long, given that American public opinion over the Iraq war hardened months ago. And to underscore the ongoing challenge to U.S. troops in Iraq, trying to provide security, today, after the Zarqawi announcement there was another string of bombings in Baghdad that killed more than 30 people.

Matthews also stated Thursday night his arguments with "An Inconvenient Truth," the Al Gore documentary: "I just saw the movie the other night. It’s a very stunning movie. I do like the arguments made, the principles. I still doubt that Al Gore is enough of a people person to ever be elected president."