LET’S PLAY DUMBBELL: Father Matthews forgives David Brock!


Epilogue—A well-funded Code of Silence: Citizens can get very dumb watching the cable show Hardball.

Concerning our recent journalistic history, a Code of Silence will quickly kick in. The dumbing of Hardball’s unfortunate viewers will be impressively thorough.

How complete is the Code of Silence concerning this recent history? How thorough is the dumbing of viewers?

Consider what happened on March 26, when David Brock played Hardball. To watch the whole segment, click here.

In the early 1990s, Brock was a high-ranking, fully-funded, professional Clinton hater. He worked for the crackpot journal, The American Spectator, as part of the so-called Arkansas Project.

The project was funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, the Koch brothers of that era.

To his credit, Brock had abandoned the crackpot conservative world by at least 1997. In 2004, he founded Media Matters for America, the press watch site he still runs.

Brock had abandoned his Clinton-hating as of 1997. By way of contrast, Matthews continued as a Clinton/Gore hater right through 2008!

We’ll review some of Matthews’ Clinton-hating below. Regarding his Gore-hating, no one slimed and slandered Candidate Gore any more than Matthews did in 1999 and 2000.

His insults were endless; his misstatements were vast. Chris Matthews busted his ass to send George Bush to the White House.

(News flash: Matthews worked for conservative owner Jack Welch at that time. His salary went from $1 million to $5 million as he waged his repellent war against Candidate Gore.)

Brock’s history as an early Clinton hater was discussed on that recent Hardball program. But how strange! Matthews’ much longer parallel history wasn’t mentioned at all!

Indeed, Matthews’ sordid journalistic history was aggressively obscured that night. Hardball viewers were made very dumb as they watched this program.

How thorough was the deception? Almost surely, many viewers got the impression that Matthews was always a Clinton-lover, the role he now plays on cable.

The misimpressions were shoveled out fast. This is the way Matthews introduced his guest:
MATTHEWS (3/26/14): David Brock came to prominence as the right-wing enemy of Bill and Hillary Clinton back in the 1990s. His sole purpose back then in life seemed to be, destroy the Clintons. But he’s now a recovering right-winger, you might say, an ally of both the Clintons.

Last night, he returned to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the first time in over 15 years, delivering an address called “Countering the Culture of Clinton Hating” to the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas. Let’s watch:

BROCK (videotape): I was part of what Hillary Clinton would later call “the vast right-wing conspiracy.” Now, when Mrs. Clinton made that remark about the political opposition back in the late 1990s, insiders scoffed. But she was right. The people I was working with then, they were after the Clintons. We were, and I was.

MATTHEWS: Well, in a twist of fate, Brock now runs a well-funded empire whose main mission is to shield and protect the Clintons from anyone who attacks them, and also attack back. He tried to bring the Clintons down. But now he is building them up to return them to the White House.
How strange! In its broad design, that description of Brock applies to Matthews quite well.

He too spent many years as a Clinton/Gore-hater—many more years than Brock did. In a twist of fate (and a race for the money), he too now works as part of “a well-funded [cable] empire whose main mission is to shield and protect the Clintons from anyone who attacks, and also attack back.”

Brock and Matthews share a history, with one extremely important distinction. Starting in 1997, Brock apologized for his prior misconduct in a series of essays about the crackpot conservative world.

Matthews has never even discussed his own reprehensible conduct. Indeed, on his cable show Hardball, he keeps pretending that this disgraceful history doesn’t exist.

Below, you see Matthews’ first questions for Brock this night. Would a cable viewer have any idea that their histories are quite similar?
MATTHEWS: I have always wondered at you. And I wonder this:

You know, Hillary Clinton, both of us were young libertarians in our teens, and then because of Vietnam and civil rights and a lot of profound historic events—I think that’s my case, at least; I think for her as well—moved over to the center-ri, center-left, I would say.

My question, how did you do it so damn fast, to go from a Clinton hater to a Clinton lover? What happened so quickly to you that made you change?

BROCK: Well, actually, it actually wasn’t that quick, Chris. I think, as folks know, I mean I was involved in some things I’m not proud of in the early Clinton years, in the 1993-1994 period, where I was involved with something called the Arkansas Project, which was trying to dig up dirt on the Clintons.

I then did research on a book on Hillary Clinton. And I went into that book, frankly, with a very negative agenda. But I learned a lot about Hillary Clinton as I worked on that book. I saw somebody who was really, had such a strong commitment to public service and was really a good person who cares about people, a forward-thinking progressive—

MATTHEWS: What did you think she was? How did that, why did that— What did you think? I mean, we all knew that she was very focused, from the time we have ever heard of her, on women and children issues. We know she was always a policy wonk, to put it lightly, always concerned about policy and things like that.

What did you think she was interested, before you came with this, to this discovery about her? What was your earlier view of her?
There you see a slimy person giving his viewers a vast misimpression. To our ear, Matthews was making it sound like he was always aligned with the wonderful Clinton, extending back to teen years.

He seemed to be deeply puzzled about how Brock could have been so wrong, about what made Brock change. A cable viewer would have no idea that Matthews made the same reinvention concerning Hillary Clinton, in a much more recent year.

As he continued, Matthews continued misleading his viewers. A person can get very dumb watching this bad person’s show:
BROCK (continuing directly): Sure. Yes. Well, I was really—

Sure. I was inculcated in what the conservative movement believed. At the magazine I worked for back then, The American Spectator, she was on a very early cover called “The Lady Macbeth of Little Rock.” She was seen by us as somebody who was ruthless, out for herself. And you know, the other big thing was, there was a lot of what ended up being empty scandal politics going on at the time.

MATTHEWS: That’s for sure! You’re right about that. Whitewater was nothing. Whitewater was nothing.

BROCK: That’s right.
In 1992, the American Spectator called Hillary Clinton called “The Lady Macbeth of Little Rock.” Of course, Matthews was still calling her “Evita” in December 1999.

In the most repellent ways, Matthews was also describing Hillary Clinton “as somebody who was ruthless, out for herself.” Beyond that, he was describing her failed health care plan as a form of socialism.

(For all these examples, see part 2 of this series.)

In fact, when it comes to Matthews and Hillary Clinton, you can pretty much forget the ancient year 1999. Matthews was still sliming Clinton in these ways as late as 2008.

His weird aggression never ceased. Here’s an excerpt from a profile of Matthews by the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz:
KURTZ (2/14/08): [T]he Hardball host has been particularly hard on the former first lady, to the point where some of her advisers have glared at him at parties. And there is a history here. In 1999, amid speculation that Clinton might seek a Senate seat in New York, Matthews told viewers: “No man would say, ‘Make me a U.S. senator because my wife's been cheating on me.’ ”

The following year, he said: “Hillary Clinton bugs a lot of guys, I mean, really bugs people—like maybe me on occasion. . . . She drives some of us absolutely nuts.”

In 2005, when Clinton criticized the administration on homeland security the day after terrorist bombings in London, Matthews said: “It's a fact: You look more witchy when you're doing it like this.”

In recent weeks, he has asked whether Clinton's criticism of Obama makes her “look like Nurse Ratched.” He has said that “Hillary's loyal lieutenants are ready to scratch the eyes out of the opposition” and likened her to Evita Peron, “the one who gives gifts to the little people, and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita.”

It was against that backdrop that Matthews sparked a furor last month when he said: “I'll be brutal: The reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner, is her husband messed around.” The counterattack was fierce.

“The question is not how dumb he is, but how dumb he thinks the rest of us are to listen to this drivel,” wrote Susan Estrich, a former Democratic strategist. Salon's Rebecca Traister denounced what she called his “drooling excitement at the prospect of her humiliation.”
For unknown reasons, this conduct finally produced a (very brief) “counterattack” from the liberal world in early 2008. At that time, this Clinton/Gore-hating had persisted for at least a decade to the sounds of career liberal silence.

Today, the career liberal world works very hard to disappear this history. Matthews’ sliming of Candidate Gore was even more consequential than his sliming of Hillary Clinton. But we know of no time when the career (and careerist) liberal world ever complained about that, even for a couple of weeks late in a failing campaign.

On March 26 of this year, Brock lamented the way The American Spectator slimed Clinton in 1992. He was speaking to a Welch-owned multimillionaire who continued to slime her, in similar ways, right through 2008.

Hardball viewers were given no sense of that obvious parallel history. “Whitewater was nothing! Whitewater was nothing!” the excitable Matthews exclaimed.

We defy you to find him saying such things when it would have mattered. Go ahead! Try to find any record of any interviews with Gene Lyons, who wrote Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater, building on an earlier article in Harper’s.

The book was published in 1996, when it really mattered. Matthews continued name-calling the Clintons and Gore, and watching his salary rise.

A remarkable con was performed all through that recent segment with Brock—an act of deception at the expense of Hardball viewers. In our view, the next exchange between Matthews and Brock was especially striking.

Brock raised a very good question. He wondered what might have happened in the 1990s if organizations like Media Matters had existed then.

Here’s one thing that would have happened—they would have been attacking Matthews every day of the week, as we did at the time! But viewers were given no sense of this fact as the discussion continued

For amusement purposes, note the first highlighted statement by Matthews, a clownishly dishonest life form. Then note which presidential campaign Matthews forgot to mention:
BROCK: ...Back in the 1990s, had there been some of the kinds of organizations that can push back on the misinformation coming out of the right wing, you know, you might have a different outcome to some of these scandals. And I think we probably share that view.

MATTHEWS: I agree with you. Let me ask you:

I mean, generally, you are very focused on the Clintons now, and I completely appreciate that, given your past.

But I’m looking at whether Mike Dukakis could have used you, David. Or whether the Swift-boating of John Kerry, which I thought was awful— This very tough, beyond war room approach you take, which is almost like SDI, don’t shoot missiles at us because we knock you out of the sky—tell us about that. That approach to political fighting.

BROCK: Yeah. Well, I think you’re absolutely right that certainly, Michael Dukakis and— You know, we saw what happened to Al Gore when the Republican National Committee was able to put words in his mouth, and what they did to the war hero John Kerry. That was sort of one of the fundamental principles when we started the work we do was that those kinds of charges would not remain unanswered.
Amazing! At the start of that exchange, Matthews tells Brock that he appreciates Brock’s current work, “given your past.”

Matthews’ history as a Clinton/Gore-hater extended much longer than Brock’s and was much more consequential. Here again, this basic history was disappeared at the expense of Hardball viewers.

And please note—when Matthews thinks about past campaigns, he remembers Candidates Dukakis and Kerry. He doesn’t remember the War Against Gore, the war in which, for twenty long months, he played the leading role.

For his part, Brock refers to “what happened to Al Gore when the Republican National Committee was able to put words in his mouth.” He doesn’t mention a fact he surely understands: Matthews played a much larger role in the sliming of Gore than the RNC ever did. The RNC was a two-bit player in that war as compared to his own Hardball host.

Viewers were being played for fools as Matthews conducted this discussion with Brock. Brock, whose organization is political, played along with his host.

Today, Matthews is being paid to promote the Media Matters line. Media Matters will not report what he did in the past.

A person can get extremely dumb watching the cable show Hardball. People are dead all over the world because of Matthews’ reprehensible conduct in the years which followed Brock’s conversion. But no one, not even Brock, is going to tell you that.

Instead, Matthews plays the role of Brock’s confessor. Brock allows him to do it.

We rubes get made very dumb in these ways. But this is the way the political world of “well-funded empires” works.

Monday: Rebuking the unworthy Joan


  1. I don't believe Media Matters exists to protect the Clintons. That is an odd characterization and it surprises me that Brock went along with it.

  2. I think it's a real reach to ascribe Gore's loss or Bush's victory in 2000 in any way to the critical view of Gore and the Clintons on the part of Matthews.

    Second, while it's true that Matthews was critical of the Clintons, especially Mrs. Clinton, and Gore over the Lewinsky matter, his criticism during that period never was never ideological or philosophical. His critique was entirely personal and not political. If he truly was in the pocket of Jack Welch then what accounts for that silence?

    Matthews' criticism of the Republicans and his defense of the Democrats today is far more extensive than it was during this period.

    Matthews does show a like or dislike certain politicians, an emotional attachment or dislike. Regardless of their political stripes. I think that explains as much of his criticism of Gore (in my opinion, a terrible demagogue) - if not Mrs. Clinton - then any desire to dance for Welch's dollars.

    1. Rush Limbaugh was also highly critical of the Clintons and Gore, and with more vitriol and venom than Matthews could even begin to imagine.

      Apparently, Limbaugh was a non-factor as Matthews decided the election.

    2. People who listen to Limbaugh are not swing voters who might vote for Gore or Clinton. Those who listen to MSNBC now (or Matthews in past years) are.

    3. You weren't paying attention during that campaign.

    4. You're entirely right, Anonymous 2:14. As evidence of that, Matthews's animus towards Hillary Clinton melted away rapidly after he was finally allowed to sit down with her for an extended interview.

      Of course, BOB disappears that part because of his tribalism, so you would never know it from reading TDH.

      Matthews was also at the high point of an extended manic episode when he was most crazily harsh about Hillary. He vanished for a week or two, no doubt for readjustment of his meds (not snark, btw), and came back calmer and more rational.

      Also, I'm quite certain his beloved wife smacked him upside the head about his Hillary animus and the terms he used in exercising it.

      But none of that matters to BOB, who is wayyy too pure for such human stuff.

      Matthews is not an honorable man, but he's not the monster BOB wants everybody to think he is.

    5. Well, why doesn't he apologize for his conduct? I guess you're just allowed to spew whatever venomous shit you like, and never apologize, or even own up to it, if you back off a bit.

      Interesting "thinking" on your part.

  3. Most of us who have followed these things know all about the Matthews hypocrisy concerning Bill Clinton, Gore and Hillary. The rest don't really care about what happened in 2000 any longer because it has nothing to do with what we are going to do going forward. We now have our own mostly grass-roots noise machine that can crucify anyone who pulls this kind of crap, including some strong women in the blogosphere and the political arena who will have Hillary's back in 2016. Any supposedly mainstream journalist who tries to resurrect all the 1992-2001 nonsense will be in serious career trouble very quickly.

    So what is the point of re-hashing all these stories about Matthews over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over . . . . . . . and that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the relentless repetitiveness? He does now what he does now -- and he happens to be MSNBC's strongest ratings contender against Fox (followed closely by the other bete noir of TDH, Rachel Maddow). That he hides what he did before? Well, there are some people who absolutely refuse to admit when they have made a mistake. Let me see if I can think of anyone like that? Hmmmmm.

    So Matthews and Maddow have platforms that nobody else has and are the most popular hosts on a network that reports news the others do not. Are we supposed to excoriate Walsh and others who appear on their show and are able to express their views because they are civil to the people who invite them on? That's about as stamp-your-foot childish as you can get.

    1. Does history matter? Does the truth matter? Is it all about expediency? Everybody pretends not to notice how it wasn't the Right that did the worst damage against the Clintons and Gore back then, but the MSM and "serious people." Ignoring that let's the main perpetrators off the hook, and allows them to continue their behavior into the future. It's the truth that Matthews did everything he could to trash the Clintons back in the early 1990s/late 2000s, but now he's useful so everybody looks the other way. He is one of the biggest frauds around, and everyone pretends not to notice because it is convenient to ignore it because he is a "Good Guy" now. It's revolting and it's wrong.

      It's wrong when people praise Maddow for her awful work on TV, and not criticize her when she pushes garbage. It's wrong that liberal journalists won't criticize her and Matthews, because they want so desperately to get on MSNBC for exposure and whore themselves out. Is that how political life should function in a democracy?

      If people believe all that garbage back in the 1990s is over if HRC decides to run, I've got a bridge to sell you.

    2. "what is the point of re-hashing all these stories about Matthews over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over"

      Because to this day nobody knows it. Duh. You'd think someone besides Somerby with any influence would have learned such simple facts. But they haven't.

      Somerby never repeats what people know. He only repeats what people, very demonstrably, don't know.

      And saying that criticism of media figures who still have jobs and unsullied reputations to this day doesn't matter is hilarious. Maybe if these clowns had been fired or dropped dead or something, we can leave the lesson unlearned. But they're all still here, spraying stupid all over the country.

    3. Tim Russert is dead, so we have that.

    4. "Because to this day nobody knows it. Duh."

      You want to know why "nobody" knows it? Because very, very, very few people SAW it! And even fewer give a shit.

      For Gawd's sake, Matthews had an extremely low-rated show in CNBC. Good lord, this wasn't like Mike Wallace screaming this on "60 Minutes."

      But go ahead. Pretend a show that drew ratings so small they could barely be noticed with a microscope was so consequential and influential that it turned the tide of human history.

      That's Somerby's script. Who are we to question the sanity of your prophet.

    5. At the time, Matthews comment about Hillary Clinton only being elected because her husband had an affair was all over the media. There is an echo chamber on the left like the one on the right. It doesn't matter what the nominal ratings are for a show when internet discussion on various websites amplifies the original statement. When Matthews said the stuff about Gore, others repeated that too. Somerby focuses on Matthews because he was the source, not because of his original audience size. Influence isn't measured that way.

  4. Clinton sleazily had sex with a very young white house intern right in the oval office.

    Sorry he got a BJ from a very young ex-intern, federal employee in the oval office. Right? That's a HUGE difference.

    Anyway, I didn't want Bubba impeached, but frankly I was pretty much done with his administration by 2000. That's why i and many others didn't vote for Gore, and it's a good reason he lost in 2000.

    Bob you choose to blame Matthews' rants for Gore's loss, i choose to blame Clinton's immaturity. there's really no proof as to who is more at fault

    1. The facts do not support this at all. TDH has rightly pointed out that Gore creamed Bush in the first debate by double-digit advantage. It was the mainstream press attacking his "sighing" (with amplified audio and relentless press copycat-ism) that started eroding the Gore advantage.

      Nobody who wasn't stupid blamed Gore for what Clinton did -- or already an immovable Republican -- and those early polls showed that.

    2. Gore was way behind in May 2000. He caught up and passed Bush by late Sept. Gore won the first debate, lost the second and they were tied for the 3rd. The election was effectively a tie.

      My guess, if it weren't for Clinton's sleaze (which stained Gore like a blue dress) and the 2000 economic downturn Gore would have won. But yeah, the script is blame Matthews so follow that..

    3. Apparently Gore lost because you wanted tax cuts for the rich instead of "immaturity". The media is factor #1 in the 2000 election, but factor #0, a constant in all elections, is dumbass voters.

    4. This is 3:45, i voted for Nader, and not because i wanted lower taxes!

      Your belief that it was "the media" has as much basis as my belief it was Clinton's sleaze.

      I may be wrong, as may you. I admit it, you (or Bob) won't. Keep to your script.

    5. During my service in The Presidency I did not take the initiative to have sex with that Internette, Miss Lewinsky.

    6. She did say she pursued him.

    7. Extremism in the pursuit of vice is close but no cigars.

      I think Bob Dylanby said that.

    8. Gyre, yep, i'm an idiot. i didn't vote for Gore because i was sick of the misogynistic sleaze coming from the Clinton admin. Yes, that was one of the reasons.

      if Gore picked a liberal VP or distanced himself from the Clinton/Gore admin's NAFTA, bombing Kosovo and the Wall St give aways, that may have washed away some of the sleaze in my eyes, yeah.

  5. Civil-Rights LawyerApril 12, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Generally, an interview should be about the person being interviewed, not about the interviewer. Had Matthews interjected more of his own background, development, views, and philosophy into his interview with Brock, Matthews would have been justly criticized (perhaps by Mr. Somerby himself) for letting his ego hijack the interview.

    1. He didn't have to hijack the interview to be more honest in his presentation of his own past actions.

    2. Really.

      And truthfully, Matthews has not fully repented for his misbehavior, but since that was during a period when he was literally insane, it's pretty difficult to apologize. Oh, yes, he *should*, but the fact that he hasn't doesn't mean he changed his views only because of Jack Welch and a mansion on Martha's Vineyard.

      BOB's obsession with Matthews borders on insane itself.

    3. Please gyrfalcon, learn the lesson of the OTB in the recent verses on Krugman. You say BOB "borders on insane. As BOB said unto Krugman, we paraphrase unto you:

      "It’s easy to talk about insane —it’s easy, and it feels good. It also tends to make it hard to build broader coalitions."

      When trying to reach BOBfans, harsh charges offend. Just like words such as "racist" and "rape culture." Go and offend no more.

      So please, when trying to build coalitions use words BOBfans find comforting, like "BOB seems to have a few screws loose" instead of suggesting his actions border on insane.


    4. Unless the word insane is used as a clinical term. That's just keeping it real. Right, KZ?

    5. There are a few around her who have used that term to describe us. We don't mind. The OTB reminds us how dumb blog commenters are. He never reads them. We compromise. We read and ask, what would BOB do?
      So if they really piss us off we use a sock puppet.

      On the other hand, a suggestion we have loose screws would amuse more than offend. We are a veritable bucket of nuts and bolts.


  6. In addition to 9/11 (which Clarke warned Bush about) and the Iraq war and Bush's other blunders, there are opportunity costs to Gore's loss. We might have made more progress in forestalling the human contribution to climate change. We might have derailed the financial meltdown and left FEMA in competent hands so Katrina might have been less devastating to the poor and elderly. It will take us some time to learn about the costs of electing Obama instead of Hillary Clinton, but I suspect one will be the takeover of our civil liberties by the NSA.

    To talk about sleaze and BJ's when there were such monumental consequences to our choices makes me wonder how any democracy can survive human stupidity. When Somerby decries the focus on sex on NEWS shoes, whether attacks or scandals, he may be remembering how that affected our elections in past years. We are now facing decisions that will affect the survival of the human race on earth. How can trivialities like Southern accents or Christie's endorsement lists preoccupy the left when we must get serious and communicate the importance of upcoming decisions to an undereducated and highly distractable electorate. MSNBC could be helping. Instead it is a major part of the problem, as are trolls, bloggers who think BJs matter more than policies, and people who are here to call Republicans names (or each other).

    I am fortunate because I will be dead and will not have to suffer the long term consequences of the decisions being made during this decade. But I have children and grandchildren. I care about them because they are not abstract. I do not want them to starve, die in riots or in pandemics or preventable wars. I want them to be as happy as I have been in my life. I do not want this time to be remembered as a transient golden age between dark ages, if it is remembered at all. So, please get serious and stop pretending this is about whether Gore ran his campaign right or whether Monica was an intern or a staffer. Plutocrats thinks money will make them immortal -- they use it to fill the dark spaces in their souls (usually occupied by character) and keep away thoughts of what will become of them after they die. They are in denial. We cannot be.

    1. Oh dear god, yes if only Gore were elected, it would be all gum drops and rainbows. And if HC were president, the NSA would be reined in.. or more likely we'd be carpet bombing Syria.

  7. You know who I blame for Bush's victory? The people who voted for Bush.

    1. Me too. All five of them. Kennedy, O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas

  8. The The Chris Matthews Truth Squad railing on about events that happened 14-15 years ago isn't going to drive one single voter to the polls. That is the only thing that matters. People who make it big on TV are narcissists, period. News at 11:00. Matthews will admit what he did when he perceives it will help his career. People who appear on his show will compliment him because (1) that's what most people do in public with their acquaintances, (2) they will never appear again if they attack him, and (3) guilds are guilds and they all act the same, always have and always will.

    It's time to focus on actionable things and grow up.

  9. OMB (Let's Play DumbBOB)


    "A person can get extremely dumb watching the cable show Hardball."

    True. And a person can get dumb reading a blog like the Daily Howler if they don't approach it with the same jaundiced eye toward its author that its author casts on everyone else.

    BOB just got finished with a series on Matthews coverage of Bridgegate in which he is both rube and rube runner deluxe.

    He swallowed Mastro's report and spit out all but the salient points which give some hope that his past errors throughout this episode were not errors at all. And we just finished blow the parts he likes and defends away in his last post.

    But those who like BOB will keep swimming in his sea. Suffice it to say, if nobody knows the history of Chris Matthews, it ain't BOB's fault for not trying.

    But if many of those who have heard the tale over and over no longer care, it may be because BOB tries to tell the tale in ways which resemble the spittle flecked misogynist himself.


  10. How pathetic that you are writing this stuff on a Saturday night. I'm old and there's nothing on TV. What's your excise?

    1. We find BOB the most interesting one of your species on your tiny water filled planet where rubes rule.

    2. This planet is not "water filled." There's a thin film of water that doesn't even cover the whole surface.

    3. We have not probed much below the surface. And, contrary to rumor, when we abduct humans we do not probe them either.


  11. Bob pulled some punches Here is one description of Matthews on HRC in just one year alon:

    "Matthews repeatedly smeared Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. On April 24, Matthews attacked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) by referring to her as a "sort of a Madame Defarge of the left." On May 30, Matthews questioned Clinton's ability to lead, expressing surprise that retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an NBC military analyst, wasn't "chuckling a little bit" at the idea of Clinton giving orders to the troops as commander in chief. On July 11, Matthews said Sen. Clinton "looked more witchy" because she criticized the Bush administration's homeland security spending priorities on July 8, a day after the London bombings. On July 27, Matthews asked Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) if he thought Sen. Clinton is a "big-government socialist."

    1. Yes, Matthews is an idiot. So what? Don't ascribe to him powers to move the American electorate in the direction he wants.

      For instance, since he has proven what a kingmaker he is in sending both Bush and Obama to the White House, how many politicians of either stripe are lining up to appear on his show and kiss his hindquarters?

    2. OMB...to tell the truth, we ascribe nothing to Matthews on our own. We made the above comment unsigned just to test the BOBmarketplace of Ideas.

      That quote came from David Brock's Media Matters in 2005
      when they gave Matthews their Misinformer of the Year Award. Silence of the Guild and All.



    3. Is making something disappear the same as Code of Silence?

      And does this mean Father Brock forgave Chris Matthews
      at an earlier date we haven't been told about?

    4. Finally, giving someone a misinformer award in 2005 when he had been making misstatements back in 1999 does imply quite a bit of guild silence.

    5. You are right 2:08. You are bright 2:08. It was a Code of Silence that kept Media Matters from giving Matthews that award in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.

      You win the Brightest TDH commenter since 2:07pm for that comment.

    6. Brock entered the arena specifically to combat the disinformation campaigns, especially of the right. His brief was to identify disinformers. Others in the "Guild" do not have the same motivation. That lack of motivation is the "Code of Silence" referred to, because as several others have pointed out, commenting on such things is bad for one's career aspirations. Brock had different goals. So he is not a counterexample demonstrating that there is no such thing as a guild code of silence. Calling me names changes nothing -- it just shows what ugly people you guys are. But we already knew that.

    7. You do realize that Bob Somerby devotes a substantial amount of his posts calling people names.

      No, you probably don't realize. Just as you apparently don't realize Media Matters did not exist or start giving out the Misinformer of the Year award until 2004, when its first winner was Bill O'Reilly. Matthews was the second recipient.

    8. Why wouldn't I know when Media Matters started? Did I say Matthews was first? There are no doubt lots of name callers in the world. How does that excuse your behavior? Again, you think if Somerby is a flawed human being it invalidates what he says. Truth is not determined that way.

    9. You think only people with slim pickins up top like yourself read your comments, Wiz?



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