While I haven’t always been Chris Matthews’ biggest fan, I was very impressed with what he had to say yesterday as part of Hardball‘s tenth anniversary celebration.
In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, Matthews began his remarks by declaring that he wanted to “make some news” and he certainly didn’t disappoint. After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.
The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.
“Not so this crowd,” he added, explaining that Bush White House officials — especially those from Vice President Cheney’s office — called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. “They will not silence me!” Matthews declared.
That really doesn’t surprise me at all. Given the past behaviour of the Bush administration, the idea that they would try to control the content of news programmes seems to be in character. It says a lot about bad they are – when what should be shocking is normal.
“They’ve finally been caught in their criminality,” Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred. He then drew an obvious Bush-Nixon parallel by saying, “Spiro Agnew was not an American hero.”
Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: “God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We’d all be under a parking lot.”
“Caught in their criminality”. That sums it up pretty well. Sadly, there’s no shame for them. There’s no surprise.
H/T Greg Laden.