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November 21, 2007
Matthews plays Fantasy Hardball over McClellan 'Bombshell'
By now you've likely heard your fill of the MSM's overreaction to excerpts of former White House spokesman Scott McClellan's forthcoming book which were released on Monday. But unless you managed to sit through last night's Hardball, you missed the spectacle of a completely euphoric Chris Matthews encouraging virtually every guest to join in his utterly fantastic "smoking gun" spin.
Gloated Matthews at the intro:
The salivating host with the goofy grin then read the teaser to McClellan's book, What Happened, which publisher Public Affairs Books had posted online: [emphasis added throughout]
Now, you'll likely notice that there's nothing in those words to even suggest that George Bush knew anything about any conspiracy. In fact, when asked by Larry King in a March CNN interview whether or not he had been lied to, McClellan responded:
Additionally, the words in question - which ask as many questions as they answer --derived from a book promotion, not sworn testimony.
Nonetheless, Matthews giddily paraded out correspondent David Shuster to perpetuate the complete misinterpretation of what he labeled a "bombshell development."
In what state of consciousness does "were involved in" mean "encouraged?"
Next, David Yepsen of The Des Moines Register, and WaPo's Dan Balz emerged to discuss whether or not, in Matthews' words, "the politicians running for president on the Republican line have to decide whether they`re going to go down with this president on this particular point."
Particular point? Had one somehow slipped past?
Anyway, the next segment had one such Republican hopeful, Mike Huckabee, rolled out, expecting to discuss his sudden rise in the Iowa polls and his use of martial arts star Chuck Norris in a new campaign commercial. But no sooner had the former Arkansas governor opened his mouth than the agitated host lost control once again:
Which he did -- every last one of them - for the 2nd of what would be 3 times, before demanding a response from the visually bewildered candidate.
Later, Chris talked about John McCain being asked at a Monday New Hampshire luncheon whether he would accept campaign help from Karl Rove if he knew it would help win him the election. Remember, Chris reminds us with a smug smile, Rove`s critical role in defaming John McCain back in 2000.
But just when it appeared Matthews might soon be returning to Earth, he added:
So, now "were involved in" translates to "was personally responsible for."
Next, Doris Kearns Goodwin arrived to discuss whether 2008 would be "one of those magic change elections," like Kennedy or Roosevelt. We'll never know. Before the presidential historian could opine, Matthews interrupted:
Okay, I give up. Why not just toss a bunch of Bush-bashers on screen and let them all ramble randomly about their own self-serving interpretation of these 121 vague, contextually deficient, words?
He did, and he dubbed it "the roundtable." And while no Camelot it was certainly born of pure fiction.
Amidst an onslaught of hypothetical wishful narrative from NBC Whitehouse correspondent David Gregory and WaPo's Jonathan Capehart, Matthews finally lost all touch with reality, tripping over his words while fantasizing about an impending Matthews Thanksgiving table conspiracy discussion:
To which Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle obediently replied:
It's likely that the buzz over Public Affairs Books' deliberately misleading blurb will ultimately have its intended impact upon book sales, but little upon the occupants of the West Wing Cabinet Room. But hey, what's the harm in one nutty ex-Jimmy Carter speech writer and his equally deluded Bush-whacking guests playing fantasy Hardball?
It's not as though the program were known for its unbiased critical analysis, or represented MSNBC's only political "talk show."
Plus, with Matthews' intro question lingering conspicuously unanswered, surely the network would follow with a decidedly more sober approach.
Wait, Olbermann's just coming on. What's that Cheshire Cat grin on his face?