On my Comcast TV guide grid, Chris Mattews is described as "forever wired." I assume they mean to the Washington scene as an insider, not his ultra-caffeinated personality.
Matthews once patterned himself a representative of Joe Lunchbucket Democrats and independents. Now, he's such an insider that he is clueless about what's going on out here in — what has become to him — flyover country.
Friday night, Matthews had a fevered discussion about former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's upcoming book, in which the incredible bombshell is dropped that Ridge "wonders" if politics was the reason he was urged to raise the threat level on the eve of the 2004 election.
Never mind that the argument among top Bush Administration security people followed a video warning of an attack from Osama bin Laden—and the alert level was not raised. Matthews and every guest he talked to that night, agreed this was proof positive that Bush, Rumsfeld — and especially Matthews's object of obsession Dick Cheney — used the color-coded warning system to "scare people" into voting Republican.
If Chris ever left the MSNBC echo chamber and talked to real people anymore, he'd know we haveno idea what the threat color of the day is—or even if the system is still in place.
But never mind that. We have seen countless examples of Chris not understanding what's going on in town meetings, from claiming they are staged, to charging racism, to frothing at the mouth that armed militias are behind it all.
Monday night's Hardball Sideshow was aptly named. Matthews missed some obvious sarcasm, and finally decided he had found A REAL TERRORIST THREAT!
Here's how he teased the segment:
Up next: A U.S. congressman calls a self-described—you will love this—right-wing terrorist a great American. That's his reaction—that profile in courage coming up in the "Sideshow." By the way, the "Sideshow" is getting very well-named these days by the behavior by the wing nuts.
Sound's terrible, right? Instead, it was the unintentional laugh of the day, as Chris in all seriousness tried to put a deadly spin on a sarcastic exchange.
Next up: Here is one from Republican Congressman Wally Herger of California. At his town hall meeting, some guy yelled out bragging that he was—quote—"a proud right-wing terrorist," to which the congressman responded: "Amen. God bless you. Now, there's a great American, a great American" — a guy who thinks it's OK in this day and age to call himself a right-wing terrorist.
This is the dangerous edge on which these people, including some elected officials, are now dancing. We have been here before. Words lead to actions. Words create the national mood. The mood creates a license. People take that license and use it.
I'm not spelling it out any further, because I don't want to.
Many, including the American Legion, took great offense to this "report."
Since MSNBC hosts have begun trying to smear town hall protesters as racists, armed militias, disguised lobbyists, ignoramuses, mobsters, and potential assassins, it's quite common for people in group gatherings to stand up and ironically refer to themselves as you have tried to label them.
The sarcastic audience member could have meant any of the following:
• I have a pro-life bumper sticker
• I'm a returning Iraq War veteran
• I attended a Tea Party or a town hall meeting
• I own a gun
The audience member at Congressman Herger's town meeting was making fun of you as much as anything else, Chris. Way to jump in with both feet. Kind of makes one wonder how many times you fell for the "Kick Me" sign taped to your back in high school.
One more thing, Chris: In case you're ever wondering why your ratings don't even approach those of Fox News, and you can't expand your reach beyond a niche audience and connect with Middle America, feel free to refer to this post.