Part 2—He almost got somebody killed: As a matter of theory, journalists aren’t supposed to fall in love with accusers.
In theory, journalists are supposed to be appropriately skeptical of the claims of accusers. That’s the theory you will encounter in eighth-grade civics texts.
Often, though, those who play journalists on TV fall in love with accusers—though it all depends on who the accusers are accusing, and on what they’re accusing them of.
Back in May 1999, one of our most prominent “cable news” pseudo-journalists almost got somebody killed. It happened because of an accusation which was demonstrably false—an accusation he put in the mouth of perhaps his most treasured accuser.
The pseudo-journalist in question was Chris Matthews. The accuser he so deeply loved was the fair lady Kathleen Willey, who had been raised by “shanty Irish” (her term) in Matthews’ own Philadelphia.
Throughout her adult life, the fair lady’s nickname was “Irish.” We’re going to guess this played a role in Matthews’ bizarre love affair.
Amazingly, Matthews is still a “cable news” host. That said:
After failing to get this first person killed, Matthews worked to trigger death threats against a nuclear physicist. And over the course of two years, he worked hard to send George Bush to the White House, trumpeting endless sets of absurd accusations against Candidate Gore, AKA “the bathtub ring.”
In the end, this heinous conduct led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people worldwide. Once this worldwide killing began, Matthews stood bravely against it. (Ownership of his cable “news channel” had changed by that point in time.)
Last night, Matthews was still playing the fool on your TV machine, although he’s now in love with a different brand of accuser. (For details of last night’s performance, see our next post.) As the frauds and the hacks on his cable channel continue to clown for us rubes every night, we thought it might be worth recalling some of the problems which can occur when pseudo-journalists go on TV and stage love affairs with accusers.
This is what happened back then:
By the spring on 1999, the mainstream press and its cable Potemkins were deeply in love with a certain group of accusers.
That May, Matthews almost got somebody killed. In a way, the dangerous incident he triggered was “all in the family.”
On Wednesday, May 20, Allen Lengel’s initial news report appeared in the Washington Post. Headline included, this is the way Lengel started:
LENGEL (5/20/99): Brother of Patrick Buchanan Faces a Gun Charge in D.C. IncidentAccording to family members, Hank Buchanan had a long history of mental illness. Presumably, this helps explain his conduct.
The older brother of presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan is facing a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon after allegedly brandishing a gun at a Northwest Washington home owned by a relative of a top State Department official, relatives said yesterday.
Hank Buchanan, 61, is expected to surrender to police within a few days, his brother Tom Buchanan, 45, a lawyer, said last night. Tom Buchanan added that he understood that a warrant had been issued for his brother's arrest.
The allegation stems from an incident Sunday [May 17] in which an intruder broke into the garage of Cody Shearer, a freelance journalist and brother-in-law of Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Buchanan's relatives confirmed.
The intruder slashed the car tires and, when confronted by two house guests, “brandished a handgun” before fleeing to a parked car, according to a statement issued by Shearer's attorney, William J. Murphy. Shearer turned the license plate number over to police.
To this day, no one has tried to explain the triggering conduct by Matthews, who is still frothing and dissembling on his “cable news” channel each night.
(He’s assisted by Howard, David and Joan, his most devoted caregivers.)
By the time Lengel’s report appeared, Buchanan had checked himself into a hospital for treatment. As the reporting became more clear, so did Buchanan’s conduct.
Two days later, Lengel provided more detail about what Hank Buchanan had done at the home of Cody Shearer—triggered by the conduct of Matthews, a real accuser-lover. This is the best link we can find:
LENGEL (5/22/99): According to a court affidavit, Buchanan was lurking in the alley near a car parked in Shearer's garage about 1 p.m. Sunday. A house guest came out and confronted Buchanan. As she walked past the garage, the guest heard air seeping from the car tires and ran back in the house to get her boyfriend. In the meantime, a neighbor who was taking out the trash confronted Buchanan, the affidavit said.Buchanan didn’t encounter Shearer, at whose home this conduct occurred. Perhaps for that reason, no one was injured or killed.
According to authorities, Buchanan pulled a silver-colored revolver from his pocket, pointed the gun at the man and demanded that he walk off. The man complied.
When the woman returned with her boyfriend, Buchanan pointed the gun at them and ordered them to walk away, the affidavit said.
Authorities said Buchanan then ran to a parked 1996 Honda and drove off.
As noted, Buchanan’s history of mental illness may have explained his conduct. But the incident stemmed from “journalistic” conduct by Matthews which was similarly outrageous and bizarre.
During this general period, Matthews displayed Big Love for all accusers peddling tales about Clinton, Clinton or Gore, no matter how absurd, or even demonstrably false, their accusations might be.
In this particular incident, Matthews’ behavior had been heinous, bizarre, appalling. All too predictably, he wasn’t disciplined by NBC News or its cable arm, let alone kicked down the stairs.
Matthews continued peddling accusers’ tales even after this frightening incident. Within weeks, a Chinese-American nuclear physicist was receiving death threats, even as Matthews peddled reckless, wildly embellished claims about him.
Matthews’ abiding love for accusers produced endless journalistic misconduct in the two years which followed. Examples:
That August, Matthews brought a beloved accuser, Gennifer Flowers, onto the air for a full half hour. While there, she accused the Clintons of a wide array of murders as Matthews praised her for being so smokin’ hot.
(Matthews to Flowers: “I gotta pay a little tribute here. You’re a very beautiful woman, and I, and I have to tell you, he knows that, you know that, and everybody watching knows that. Hillary Clinton knows that. How can a woman put up with a relationship between her husband and somebody, anybody, but especially somebody like you that’s a knockout? I don’t quite get this relationship...It’s an objective statement, Gennifer. I’m not flirting. So let’s go on.” See note below.)
By that fall, Matthews was reciting endless accusations about Candidate Gore. He maintained this practice from March 1999 right through the November 2000 election, thus sending George Bush to the White House.
(According to press reports, Matthews’ salary went from $1 million to $5 million during this period. At that time, he was being paid by his conservative Republican owner, Nantucket’s “Ole Massa,” Jack Welch.)
During these years, the “liberal” world just sat there and took this. Today, career “liberal” writers still refuse to discuss it. (As the years passed, some of these strangely silent liberals became cable TV stars on Matthews’ clownworthy show.)
In the incident at Cody Shearer’s home, Hank Buchanan was said to be mentally ill. Repeatedly, Matthews behaved as if he too were so afflicted, as of course he may be.
But a code of silence was in effect, a code which still exists today. A few brave journalists challenged his conduct with regard to Shearer, though no one did so aggressively enough.
Everyone else looked away.
Today, Matthews is praised as the “beloved colleague” of Rachel Maddow. In our view, Maddow has also been betraying a bit too much love for accusers, perhaps in service to the corporate employers who have apparently made her just as wealthy as Matthews.
In our view, these are deeply compromised people. In even a dimly rational world, liberals and progressives would be skeptical of people who are paid millions of dollars by corporate entities to attract eyeballs to cable.
We don’t live in that kind of world. We live in a world peopled by us ditto-heads.
Don’t get us wrong—accusers are often right in their accusations! In the current high-profile case, it’s entirely likely that we will learn that members of the Christie administration engaged in deliberate misconduct in the case of the traffic lane closings in Fort Lee.
We may learn that from the ongoing investigations, or even from some journalist somewhere. In the meantime, many people are being accused on cable TV entertainment programs in very casual ways.
Matthews almost got somebody killed that way. (Later, Nancy Grace actually did.) Tomorrow, we’ll describe the astonishing way Matthews triggered Hank Buchanan’s extremely dangerous conduct.
Today, the ridiculous fellow is still on the air, frothing, dissembling and clowning each night. Two questions:
Why do you think that is? And what can we say about a culture which regards these events as the norm?
Tomorrow: When Matthews interviewed Willey, he engaged in astounding misconduct
Just for the sake of the record: The evidence strongly suggests that there was no “relationship” between Flowers and Bill Clinton. Before she started listing the Clintons’ many murders, Flowers had offered a wide array of demonstrably false statements about the alleged affair and about other matters.
As of 1999, that made her the perfect accuser for cable. Matthews is still on cable today. He’s Maddow’s “beloved colleague.”