Sam Stein makes a winning suggestion: This happens very rarely.
Last night, the analysts rose from their chairs and cheered—while they were watching Hardball!
The analysts were watching Sam Stein of the Huffington Post as he discussed a new ad by Obama. In the ad, Joe Soptic, a man who got canned by Bain Capital, discusses the subsequent death of his wife.
The analysts weren’t even sure he was right on the merits. But Stein was breaking the rules of the cable world, in a way which might teach liberals and progressives how to win.
This is what the gent had to say about that new ad from Obama:
MATTHEWS (8/7/12): Last word, Sam.Say what? For unknown reasons, Stein was suggesting that liberals should be “equal opportunity” fact-checkers! He was saying that liberals should report problems with Obama’s ads where such problems exist!
STEIN: I mean, I just want to say this ad has been actually fact-checked in the interim. It looks like there are distortions with this one, too.
The wife unfortunately died six years after Bain closed the plant. She also had access to other insurance in the interim. And it's very tough to charge Mitt Romney with being tied to her death. So if we are going to be equal opportunity fact-checkers—
HENDERSON: And he doesn’t do that. He actually doesn’t want to have that—
STEIN: Well, the suggestion—hold on, hold on. The suggestion is obviously made. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have put out the ad. So I think we have to call a spade a spade and say this one probably pushed it.
Needless to say, Chris Matthews and Nia-Malika Henderson seemed a bit confused by these strange ideas. The trio had spent the bulk of this segment describing the bullshit in Romney’s new ad. (To watch the full segment, click here.)
Now, Stein was saying there might be problems with Obama’s ad too! What was up with that?
For ourselves, we don’t know how to judge the implications and claims in Obama’s new ad. For a New York Times AD WATCH, click this.
That said, our analysts knew how to evaluate Stein. Our analysts rose and they cheered!
Their evaluation went something like this:
In Christopher Hayes’ somewhat slippery new book, he correctly notes that the American public widely distrusts our elites. He says that distrust has been earned.
We agree with both these points. Watching Stein, we saw the conduct we have sought since we liberals finally emerged from our long hopeless nap in the woods:
If voters thought they could trust liberal elites to give them straight information and judgments, mightn’t we start regaining their trust? Voters never get straight talk on Matthews’ show, where he used to lie for the GOP, where he now lies and dissembles for us.
A funny thing happened after Stein spoke. Henderson began to explain the things she knew about Obama's ad! In the past few months, Henderson has been turning into a cable hack as she plays more and more Hardball. Now, she expanded the zone:
MATTHEWS (continuing directly): What do you think the guy is saying there? What do you think that guy is saying, though? What do you think he thinks?Henderson had spoken to Soptic, the man whose wife had died, about that very point! But she wasn’t going to say what Soptic told her until Stein forced the point.
STEIN: What he thinks is that his wife ended up getting thrown off insurance and then they had to scramble for her coverage. Listen, that's a legitimate statement—thing to be concerned about.
And it is fair to say, yes, Mitt Romney was more concerned about profit than his workers’ health care. But then to throw Romney into a conversation where you are talking about this woman’s death six years later, I think is a bridge probably too far.
HENDERSON: I asked him [Joe Soptic] about that. And he said he didn’t necessarily make that link either, but that his main point was that he felt like Romney cared more about profits, didn’t make good on some of the promises that Bain made to secure their pensions and health insurance. And that was the main point of that ad.
MATTHEWS: Well, let’s see more of these cases. If there is a pattern here, it is going to hurt him a lot. Anyway, thank you.
Henderson has been turning into a hack before our eyes as she works with Matthews, a consummate cable con man. Our view? Voters might learn to trust the liberal world—if we started acting like Stein, if we stopped handing them the consummate bullshit which increasingly defines the work of the pseudo-liberal world.
Sam Stein said a ridiculous thing: Liberal elites should be truthful, trustworthy, honest!
As Hector said of Paris, "Strange man." Sam Stein suggested that liberal elites should tell the public the truth!